These four mindset shifts can help you create winning strategies in both your business life and your personal life.
Sitting on the balcony of our apartment in New Westminster, Canada, I hold my baby boy and reflect on the past few months. After everything that happened, I’m amazed that I made it through without breaking down mentally. I recall founding a new business while my girlfriend navigated a challenging pregnancy, and my father fought terminal cancer.
My emotions were erratic, and I felt pulled in different directions, trying to be present for my girlfriend, dad, mom, and clients all at the same time. Things spiraled downward, and my father passed away shortly before the birth of my son. I was overcome by a mix of grief and joy, and at the same time, we relocated from Germany to Canada amidst the start of a global pandemic.
This was in the Spring of 2020, and I realized that a few mindset shifts helped me navigate these challenging months. Adjusting your mindset allows you to focus on thinking smarter, more complex, with more ingenuity, and finding multiple paths to success. Let’s explore four mindset shifts that will help you succeed.
Embrace JOMO, because YOLO
The first shift is from FOMO to JOMO. The fear of missing out is that feeling when everyone around you is raving about a new artist, and you feel like the only one who hasn’t heard of them. But you buy tickets, just in case, because everyone else is doing it, and you don’t want to miss out.
If we allow fear to drive our decisions, we waste our biggest asset, our attention, on things that don’t matter. In business, this can lead to poor job performance, lack of career advancement, or even job loss. On a corporate level, FOMO can lead to “me-too” strategies, with companies copying whatever their competition does first. However, success comes from clarity, direction, and differentiation, not copying others.
To shift from FOMO to JOMO, the joy of missing out, we need to define our priorities in life and business. Writing them down helps us crystallize our thinking, understand what matters to us, and how we can achieve our goals. This becomes our go-to resource for decision-making, as we evaluate opportunities based on whether they help us reach our goals.
Overcoming Perfectionism with Speed and Agility
The second mindset shift is moving away from perfectionism and towards speed and agility. As a strategy facilitator, my role is to assist businesses in achieving their future goals. When clients ask me how long it takes to create the perfect business strategy, I tell them the truth: it’s impossible to achieve perfection. We can align a business around an 80 percent strategy and leave the remaining 20 percent for uncertainty. This gives us enough direction to get started and make progress.
In business and personal situations, we must be able to adapt quickly when unexpected events occur. When COVID-19 first hit, we had to decide: wait it out, or pull our relocation to Canada forward, and move within days. Our perfectly planned relocation had to make space for a new reality: we acted swiftly and learned as we navigated the uncertainty of moving to a new continent under lockdown conditions. Prioritizing speed and agility over perfectionism will help you move forward, learn from mistakes, and succeed over time.
From Scarcity to Abundance Thinking
The third mindset shift is from scarcity to abundance. In business, an abundance mindset is crucial for creating a winning strategy. It’s about exploring possibilities, curiosity, and daring to dream. It’s about creating hope. Allowing ourselves to be in an abundance mindset will bring about new perspectives, thoughts, and discussions that were previously unclear to us because we listen deeply and build on each other’s creativity.
Abundance also helped me deal with the emotional rollercoaster in 2020. While I traditionally dealt with my emotions by myself, I wanted to seek out additional resources this time. It might sound obvious, but my next move was a sign that I was starting to embrace an abundance mindset. I reached out to a psychologist. As an additional resource in my life, she helped me sort the emotions and embrace both joy of being a dad, while still mourning the loss of my own father.
From Fixed to Growth Mindset
The last shift is from a fixed to a growth mindset. Instead of thinking in limited terms and absolutes, a growth mindset allows us to see mistakes as learning opportunities. Instead of thinking “I failed” or “I’ll never make it,” we can find new ways of doing things and try something different without giving up. When I was younger, I had a fixed mindset, and I struggled with understanding many things. However, I realized I could do something about it and became an avid reader and embraced learning to overcome my fixed mindset.
Instead of making statements and trying to fit things into what we already know, we should ask questions like “What am I missing?” or “How could I use this negative experience and turn it into something positive?” In a growth mindset, we understand that nothing is too hard. By adding perspective and time, we can figure things out, even if we don’t know how at first.
Making Mindset Shifts Happen
How can we implement these mindset shifts in our lives and where would they be most useful? Adam Grant, a leading organizational psychologist, suggests two concepts: challenge networks and confident humility.
A challenge network is a group of people around us who can disagree with us in a constructive way, providing honest feedback without being aggressive. They help us question our assumptions, identify blind spots, and counterbalance potential weaknesses in our thinking. By building a reliable challenge network, we can tackle speed and agility in execution and learning.
Confident humility is having faith in our capabilities while appreciating that we may not have the right solution or may not be addressing the right problem. It involves having enough doubt to re-examine our old knowledge and enough confidence to pursue new insights.
Implementing these mindset shifts can have a significant impact on our lives. Embracing JOMO helped me avoid distractions in business and prioritize what mattered, resulting in more quality time with my family. Adopting an abundance mindset allowed me to see options that would have otherwise been invisible when starting a new business. A growth mindset helped me rise to the challenge of being a first-time dad in my mid-40s. Finally, speed and agility helped us avoid overthinking and instead move to Canada, even under the most challenging circumstances.
To implement these mindset shifts, we need to have faith in our capabilities while being open to new insights. By doing so, we can transform hopes and dreams into reality and create winning strategies in both business and our personal lives.
Alex Brueckmann is the founder and CEO of Brueckmann Executive Consulting, and the author of “Secrets of Next-Level Entrepreneurs” and “The Strategy Legacy” (Fall 2023). He is a keynote speaker at the intersection of business strategy, leadership, and empowerment. Brueckmann is an alumnus of EBS European Business School (Germany), and holds certificates in change management, leadership, finance, organizational development, and strategy from INSEAD (France), and Harvard Business School (USA).
For more information please visit www.AlexBrueckmann.com
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