In every one of us, there is a desire to make a difference in this world. No matter the path we choose, the passion and desire drives to make the biggest impact possible.
For entrepreneurs, it can be a rough road. Business competition is fierce. There are economic rises and dips and having little or no capital can cause lots of stress. But through all these challenges, what you set out to do is why you have chosen this path. That is why you work the long hours and drive the extra miles just to make one more sale to help drive the company forward.
The entrepreneur must go into a state of mind where they know they will not lose. Where mistakes are not bad, but are learning experiences. They know that their company is heading into battle and that they must lead their troops to victory. This is what I call the Warrior mindset.
Michael J. Asken, Ph.D., along with his colleagues Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Loren W. Christensen wrote a book titled Warrior Mindset. They describe the warrior mindset as:
Mental toughness [that] is esssential for elite human performance, especially in high stress situations. While mental toughness is a singular value in both military and law enforcement training and missions, too often, there is a disconnect between tallking about and actually training it. Warrior Mindset defines mental toughness and describes its critical need and function in the face of the performance degrading effects of combat, mission or response stress. Warrior MindSet provides the psychological skills that comprise mental toughness to optimize performance, success, safety and survival in the field.
Not everyone has this mindset. It is self-discipline and determination on a level above the rest. The people who have this ability to push through when times are tough are the same people who will thrive when times are great. They know that to build a strong business, you must put in everything you have in order to get the most out of it.
The warrior mindset believes that business is like war. There are winners and losers. Everyone is not a winner. The reality is that competition is severe and doing business at any scale can be like going into battle. The warrior mindset in the business environment empowers their employees to win. Organizations that adopt the warrior mindset instill in their employees “intend to win.”
The 4 Basic Characteristics
Courage: Know and trust in yourself and your team to take you to where you want to be. When you truly believe in yourself, no one can hold you back.
Fearlessness: TThe business world can be daunting. Not taking risks can end up being even more daunting when you ask yourself countless times, “what if?” Don’t just wonder “what if;” make the choice now to be fearless and to stick to your plan. The worse thing that can happen is you fail. When you fail, you learn. When you learn and try again, you gain knowledge.
Mental toughness: It can feel like everyone is against you. Your close friends and family may tell you to go back and get a real job instead of fueling this dream. They say these things out of love. Take it for what it is, love, and continue to push through. You know inside that you must give it your best shot. Failure along the way is part of the process and that equals learning; failure of the dream altogether, is simply not an option.
Self-Discipline: It is too easy to sit on the couch and watch TV, daydreaming about making it big in business. Or going out with friends and talking about great ideas, but never actually making them a reality. You owe it to yourself, knowing that the effort you put in will pay off in a few short years. Not that you can’t enjoy life, but know that the sacrifice you make now, will more than reward you in the long run.
Billionaire Warren Buffet, sums up the warrior mindset quite perfectly.
He states: “Rule #1: Don’t Lose. Rule #2: Don’t Forget Rule #1.”
Continue to Practice, Never Stop Learning
Keep honing these skills until they are second nature. If you have not yet become skilled in these areas, now is the time to start. Practice by setting a time and place to work on a project on a daily or weekly basis. As you begin to get a routine, self discipline will start to kick in. As in sports, repetitive exercises build muscle memory. When you don’t practice, you have to retrain to get back into the habits you created. Continue small tasks daily, rather than one large amount over one or two days. It is the small steps that lead to the big steps. Just like in anything and everything that you set out to do. Business is no different- people are no different.
Stay out of your comfort zone. When you are out of your comfort zone, you push yourself in ways unimaginable. Meet with industry leaders to learn about their experiences and learn from their mistakes. Firsthand knowledge is the best information out there. This is one way to build your network. Business is people. It is not always what you know, but whom you know. Use these experiences, although sometimes uncomfortable and nerve racking to your advantage.
When you look back on these experiences, realize that by focusing your mind allows you to do anything. When you step out of your comfort zone to meet a goal you thought impossible, your confidence will build. For the warrior mindset is one to never give up.