Mindsets Part 1


In life and in business people will tell you what you can and can’t do.
It seems there are those with limited mindsets all around us and we can easily fall into the trap of going with the flow.

‘It’s too hard!’ or ‘It hasn’t been done this way before’ … Therefore it can’t!

These people are revealing their own limited thinking, or they may be operating from their own comfort zone. Their small mindsets haven’t been stretched or enlarged. So when you decide to do something different or risky, like launch a product, add another retail store, change a service, or establish a larger vision, you’ll find at least ten percent of people will either oppose you or disagree with you.

In fact Robert Kennedy said

One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.”

Far better to have the type of mind that looks at what can be done.

We just keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

Walt Disney

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”

Isaiah 54:11

This month I’ll give you a few examples of negative mindsets I’ve run into over the years, they might trigger some recognition as you read.

Competitor mindsets:

People with a mindset that focuses on the competition around them end up constantly comparing themselves, worrying about how they will keep up or keep their market share. In retail, in the service industry, even manufacturing and production areas. Constant worry about losing customers or sales to another company instead of moving ahead with focus on what will build business (Churches too can be guilty of this!).

Focus on competitors will cause you to:

  • Copy each other’s ideas (watch how quickly other companies copy Gloria Jean’s Coffees new drink recipes with similar ones of their own)
  • Copy each other’s advertising strategies (even the ones that don’t work!)
  • Lose your point of difference – the very things that set you apart in the market
  • Lose direction & move away from your own vision

Learn to be a leader in your arena and let everyone follow you.

Media mindsets:

The media always wants to generate stories with attention-grabbing headlines. You can present the facts to reporters and they can still publish or broadcast stories that are totally contradictory. To them, contradiction and controversy are what make great stories, sells magazines and newspapers, and attracts viewers or listeners.

I heard this morning that print & TV media in the UK are in dire economic straits. It seems no-one is buying advertising during the economic downturn!
What a surprise! These same media have been publishing economic doom and gloom for months and now are reaping the rewards – people believe their bad news and stop advertising!

  • Learn to find and celebrate the good news. There are some great success stories still being published (often hidden at the back of the paper).
  • Stop reading or listening to negative media reports.
  • Get some positive input. Meet with positive people, read & listen to  encouraging material.
  • Feed your spirit. Don’t just rely on external things to keep you motivated, build yourself up on the inside. Make sure whatever faith you profess relates to your life and builds you up - giving hope rather than bad news.

Family, Friends and Colleagues mindsets:

There are so many people close to you who will tell you what you can’t do. They have mindsets about you and your business (or your Church involvement) which often don’t line up with your vision in life.

When we purchased the international rights for the Gloria Jean’s Coffees brand (and the supply) and signed the agreement in 2005, some of the comments we received were:

“You can’t run that from Australia!”
“What about the different cultures and customs?”
“What about the languages?”
“What about the distance?”
“How are you going to supervise it?”
“How are you going to protect your brand?”
“What about government regulations?”

All these comments and cautions were valid. They were right that the risks were very high. But we went ahead and did it anyway, despite the mindsets. We have been able to open Gloria Jean’s Coffees in more than thirty-five countries at current count. We have a brand that is growing internationally. We have done all the things we were told we couldn’t do. Yes, there are issues and there are obstacles. Yes, there are mountains to climb. But it’s the same in every business and in every situation. Watch out for any family, friends and business associate mindsets that tell you what cannot be done.

  • Face the challenges step by step. There is always an element of truth in these mindsets but they can be overcome.
  • Don’t be impatient. One of my failings is that I like things to happen ‘Now!’ I am still learning to take time to get things right.
  • Don’t let these mindsets to steal your dream or destroy your relationships. These are people who care about you, however haven’t done what you are doing. Do your best to bring them on the journey.

Peter Irvine