Are limiting beliefs holding you back?

Rachel Baker

They say that achieving things is a case of mind over matter, and with business, this can often be true. While there are tangible social and economic barriers that can hold a business back, mindset can cause big issues too. Whether for a solopreneur or a larger organisation, if limiting beliefs are at play then this can have a huge impact on culture, growth and success.

Here are five of the most common limiting beliefs holding businesses back.

“Our product or service must be perfect before launch”

While proper research and preparation are key to launching a new product or service, many businesses fall foul of stagnating perfectionism. Stalling for too long for fear of not getting it exactly right can slow your business growth.

You can always change things later, but the sooner your offerings are out there in the world, the better. As the old adage goes: “done is better than perfect”.

“We need to know that something will be successful before we launch it”

We all want to try and predict the future, especially in business. And it’s perfectly understandable: launching something new is always a risk. You want to be as sure as possible of success before you pour all your time and resources into it.

However, receiving data and feedback on what does and doesn’t work give you a chance to learn and revise your offerings accordingly. Try flipping your mindset to view mistakes as good: you learn from them, and they can actually help you grow faster.

“It’s hard for purpose-led businesses to make money”

One limiting belief that’s common amongst purpose-led business owners is that you might have to wrestle between making money and making a positive social impact. However, this isn’t the case. Sure, traditional business advice might tell you that you need to focus on profit before anything else, but times are a-changing and having a positive purpose is no longer at odds with making money.

Firstly, many more consumers are buying in line with their morals now. A 2020 report found that 71% of consumers prefer to shop in alignment with their values. So your purpose can actually work in your favour and be a key to success.

And of course, the more successful your business is, the more money and resources you can put back into your purpose.  Whether you donate a portion of your profits to a social or environmental cause or you work with suppliers who look after their staff and pay a decent wage, the more money you make, the more that’s flowing to these good causes, too.

“Things have to be done in a certain way”

We’ve all heard the traditional stories about how to set up and run a business. But while some general principles often ring true, what works for one business or founder may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to find a solution that works for you and your customers, even if it means doing things a bit differently.

One way you can challenge your existing beliefs about business is by networking and mixing in different circles. This can open your mind to new ways of thinking and doing things and stop you from being limited by what’s possible in your immediate environment.

“Success comes easily to everyone else”

It’s easy to think that every other business out there is thriving, or that any successful business has got to where it is without any bumps in the road. But there’s a reason for this.

People usually only share stories of success. We’re less likely to hear about the failures, the problems and the struggles – but it doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. Again, creating supportive networks with other business owners can help you learn that ups and downs are a natural part of running a business and not be thwarted when things don’t go to plan.

What are your beliefs about your business?

When you think about what’s holding your business back, what comes up? Are you making any assumptions? And are these assumptions based on fact?

Taking a step back to assess why we’re doing what we’re doing in our businesses, and seeing if there are ways we could change our approach, is key to moving in the right direction going forward.
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