When it comes to owning a business, there are two types of people: those who make it and those who don't. And to the surprise of many, it's not always the most skilled or talented in an industry who survive, but rather those who know how to play the game. There are many traits that make for strong business owners, but one thing they all have in common is the way they think.
When you look at the thoughts, beliefs, philosophies, and behaviors of the most successful people, it's as if they're living on a different planet than everybody else. There are five commonalities in the way they think.
Top performers compartmentalize. In other words, they make the difficult look easy. They're able to manage multiple problems and maintain emotional control while solving each problem individually. Average people get bogged down in the details of every little problem and become overwhelmed quickly. Professional performers compartmentalize each problem and create a mental and emotional separation between the person and the problem. The pros don't engage in the emotional aspects of each problem; they focus on a logical solution and then put it aside so they can focus on the next challenge.
2. Suspend their disbelief
Top performers are the most open-minded group of people you will ever meet, which is one of the reasons for their tremendous success. While most people are convinced they have figured out how the world works, champions are not so sure, and are open to new ways of looking at old problems. In other words, champions are willing to suspend their disbelief until they evaluate the facts. The great ones are ready to change at a moment's notice if they are convinced something can be done faster, cheaper, or better.
3. See mistakes as intellectual capital
Mistakes are viewed as failures by amateur thinkers. The aggregate cost of workers hiding their mistakes out of fear of reprisal runs well into the billions of dollars each year. The most successful people see mistakes in a totally different light. They see mistakes as a company asset, to be recorded and duly avoided in the future. The great ones know the only way to avoid making mistakes in business is to stop coming up with new ideas. The pros embrace mistakes because they are a sign the organization is pushing forward and forging into uncharted waters.
4. Act interdependently
Most people tend to view the thoughts and ideas of others not only as potentially useful, but also as threatening to their egos and existence. As a result, most people are severely limited in the size and scope of their accomplishments. Champions understand the world is an interdependent, complex network in which the aggregate potential is limitless. The pros don't need to ride off into the sunset as heroes. They prefer to tackle bigger ideas and accomplish more by working with a team of like-minded, high-integrity, world-class individuals. With this in mind, the pros embrace and celebrate the contributions of all team members.
5. Are products of their habits
Average performers think of habits as something to break, like smoking or eating too much. The pros know successful habits are the keys to the kingdom. Each and every day, the great ones reinforce their success habits, such as exercise, proper diet, showing up early or staying late, and studying their field. Champions have a sacred respect for the power that habits exhibit in their life. The pros know if they allow their championship habits to slip for even one day, the habit will begin to atrophy. The great ones know it's more difficult to develop a championship habit than to lose it. They understand the magnificent force of momentum can work for or against them. As a result, they protect their success habits with an almost religious fervor.
As Henry Ford said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it." If you want to jump-start your business and see a new level of success, take a close look at the way you think.