mindset shift

You sell work, then you do the work you sold, then you go out to sell more work. In this system, you can never get ahead.

There’s a simple fix to all this.

You need to shift your mindset away from being your own employee and start thinking more like an owner.

Here are a few things you need to change right now if you want to break out of the employee cycle.

Set the Right Priorities, Then Follow Through

Instead of opening email first thing in the morning and looking at a list of other people’s priorities, why not start the day with five things that have to do with sales, business, and your brand?

Make your business the priority, then start doing what other people have asked you to do.

This one small habit will help you develop an owner’s mindset where you think, “This is my business. I make the decisions. I make the sales.”

Create Confidence

Get over the lies you’ve been sold: “I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know enough.”

These thoughts create a self-defeating attitude. They also cause you to charge less than you’re worth.

We all take in information from our surroundings – our family, the places we grew up, the competition –and make assumptions.

And these assumptions are usually wrong. Let me tell you a story to highlight this point.

One web designer says, “I’m never going to work with nonprofits again. They’ve got no money. It’s not a good niche market. I’m getting out of it. I’ve never had success.”

Another designer says, “The nonprofit marketplace is amazing. It’s the best market I’ve ever worked in. I just landed a $15,000 project.”

Who’s right? Both are.

The difference is in going back to the basics about setting priorities. Did I define my brand? Am I bringing in the right people? Am I controlling the sales process?

Because both believe the market is what they perceive, they’re going to market themselves differently.

It’s about having the confidence and the clarity to know what value you add and then going out and doing it.

“Perfection” Doesn’t Exist, So Stop Worrying About It

Perfection is a journey, not a destination. It takes a long time to get traction. Start putting messages out now. Your brand doesn’t have to be perfect.

Ask people, “Do you need help? Are you struggling with x,y,z?”

Start the discussion.

It’s going to take a while to make that unfold. It doesn’t take long when you spend 30 minutes a day on it.

It takes a long time when you finish all your work and then go, “Oh crap, I need to spend the week trying to make sales!”


This is where the biggest mindset shift has to happen.

Accountability is not for critical, urgent things that absolutely have to get done. It’s not something you need to do for others. Accountability is not a task list.

Accountability is asking yourself what you need to do as a business owner in the next seven days to get you closer to your big thing and then doing it. Maybe it’s selling a ten thousand dollar website. Maybe it’s something else. You define what it is.

People often say things like, “I have to get this proposal out,” or “I have to redesign my website.” Those are tasks.

Accountability is about doing the bigger things that makes your business work.

Whatever your big thing is, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I need to do this week to move closer to [my big thing]?

Final Word

It takes about 30 days to make or break a habit. While big changes won’t happen overnight, if you start with small changes right now, next month will be a different story.

Everybody has the same problem. We all stop for the fear of not knowing what it looks like in the end.

Just jump off the cliff and see what happens. At some point you have to earn your stripes.

Being a business owner is more about getting to the next level by being willing to make mistakes. It’s messy, but it’s fun.

I didn’t know anything when I was starting my business and I made a lot of mistakes. But I knew bigger things were possible.

Once you believe they’re possible, big changes become probable.

Have a few ownership mindset lessons of your own? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment and let me know.