By Kathy Goughenour, CEO and Founder of expertVAtraining.com
“You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too late to start again. Sometimes it’s easier to become complacent in a job that brings you the comfort of a paycheck, but leaves you longing for more fulfillment and joy. Starting a new path means you need to face your fears, trust in yourself, and believe you can achieve your goals. Unfortunately, this mindset is extremely challenging for many women.
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, discusses that even people who reach a certain level of success sometimes fall into a fixed mindset and they become “afraid of making mistakes.” She adds that “because they are fearful of venturing out of their comfort zones, they don’t take risks or develop the abilities they’re capable of.”
If you’ve fallen into a fixed mindset, you may be haunted by the feeling of not being good enough. You may believe that you’ve accomplished all you’re capable of achieving, or you may be plagued by the idea that you’re destined for failure.
With a fixed mindset, you’re stuck. You’re constrained to your unfulfilling job because you’re too fearful to take the steps to make a change for yourself.
Even though you believe starting your own business as a virtual assistant (VA) would lead to a happier more fulfilling life, taking the first steps feels impossible. Your fear prohibits you from accomplishing your goals and living up to your true potential.
Fortunately, you have the power to change your mindset. That change—believing in your ability to grow and develop—will inspire you to make the changes necessary to live a fulfilling, joyful life.
A growth mindset empowers you to focus on the possibilities. With this mindset, you can set a new goal for yourself, dream a new dream, and begin your journey to achieving the career and life of your dreams.
A growth mindset empowers you to be:
A Risk Taker
As with any new venture, starting a Virtual Assistant business can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. You’re taking a risk. However, without taking that risk, you’ll remain stuck in your current situation without the possibility of living a life you truly enjoy. Only by taking risks, can you discover and reach your maximum potential.
As a business owner, you’re creating something that’s entirely your own. You have the power and freedom to make decisions that work best for you. From the services you provide and the clients you serve to the hours and days you work, you’re in complete control. And, you’re not only in control of your business, you also have the freedom to create the life you’ve always imagined.
A Life-Long Learner
With a growth mindset, you believe that you’re always learning. Being a life-long learner empowers you to always be on a road to discovery. You’re freed of feeling that you always must have the answer. Instead, you acknowledge your imperfections and understand that you can find the answer to accomplish your goals. Create a plan to discover knowledge and use that knowledge to inform your decisions to make your business and yourself better.
A Problem Solver
As someone with a growth mindset, challenges and setbacks won’t stop you from moving forward. Instead, you’ll face adversity with a purpose of finding a solution. This enables you to use challenges as learning moments instead of allowing them to defeat you. As a problem solver, you’ll build your business despite setbacks because you’re focused on the goal of reaching your maximum potential.
With a growth mindset, you set forth on your journey to build your Virtual Assistant business with an open mind. You have goals and aspirations, but you’re not ignorant of the fact that you’ll experience challenges and setbacks along the way. With an open mind, you can tackle any roadblocks you encounter. Additionally, an open mind empowers you to be patient with yourself throughout the learning process of building your business.
Balance is an essential part of living a well-rounded, fulfilling life. Balance in your career and personal life is essential. Without balance, you’ll burn out. You understand the value of working hard to build a successful business, but you also understand the importance of making time for yourself to enjoy time alone and with friends and family. Balance keeps you healthy, engaged, and motivated to reach your potential.
With a growth mindset, you understand that building your business is a process. Being reflective throughout the process empowers you to grow and learn not only as a business owner but also as a person. Being open to new ways of doing things, and using trial and error to figure out what works best for you ensures that you are on the road to success.
Many of us are so hard on ourselves. The negative relationship we have with ourselves forces us into a fixed mindset. Fortunately, a fixed mindset does not mean all hope is lost. Check out Carol Dweck’s steps to change a fixed mindset into a growth mindset. You can change your mindset, and take charge of your future.
How do you develop a growth mindset to build your Virtual Assistant business?
Set Long-Term and Short-Term Goals
Long-term and short-term goals give you purpose as you build your Virtual Assistant business. Your long-term goals are goals you want to achieve within an extended time frame—a year, two years, etc. Your short-term goals are the steps you need to accomplish as you work to achieve your long-term goals. Keep your eye on the big picture, but focus on the smaller tasks. As you achieve your short-term goals, celebrate your accomplishments. Focus on how far you’ve come rather than how far you still need to go.
While building your Virtual Assistant business, remember that perfection is not the goal. Just as it’s impossible to know everything about starting a business, it’s also impossible to not make mistakes occasionally. Embrace your imperfections and use them as moments of growth. Keep in mind that we all have strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the areas that you need the most growth, and set goals to grow in those areas.
Focus on the Positive
Those who embody a growth mindset know that you are constantly learning. Every setback and challenge is an opportunity to learn. As you gain knowledge, you also gain confidence. Instead of feeling defeated because of a setback and challenge, embrace it as an opportunity to get better. You are a lifelong learner; therefore, every moment is an opportunity to learn, grow, and get better. With this positive mindset, you will enjoy the journey to your inevitable success.
To get insider’s secrets, tips, and tools and the support, clarity, and know-how to keep a positive mindset, unlock your maximum potential, and grow your business, click here to join my Expert VA Community on Facebook and connect with other brilliant women who are interested in becoming Expert VAs.
Author Bio: Kathy Goughenour
After finding the courage to say “bye-bye” to her corporate marketing career, Kathy Goughenour built a 6-figure virtual assistant (VA) business from her tiny house in the middle of nowhere. Today, she helps VAs join the 6-figures club and live their freedom lifestyle. Kathy’s students describe her as a confidence and profit building expert. After working with her, you look and sound like a professional, and potential clients beg to work with you. For more information, visit www.expertvatraining.com