If you’ve owned your practice for any length of time, you know that business is as much art as it is science.
It’s important you develop solid business skills, acquire practical knowledge, and follow proven principles.
But you must also develop foresight, good judgment, and at times just follow your gut.
And of course, it helps to have some luck on your side!
While I can’t help you with luck, I can help you with developing skills. Rest assured you can acquire all the business skills you need because they can be learned and refined over time.
But there is one skill that is the foundation for everything else. And if you don’t have that one skill, or fail to cultivate it, it will be challenging to master the others.
What’s That One Skill?
It’s mindset, the right mindset to succeed in business.
I believe that mindset is everything… well, almost everything.
How you think and what you think controls your mood, your outlook, and ultimately your actions.
You know the saying: “No matter if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.”?
Well, these few words say it all…
If there are doubt and fear, there will be hesitation and missed opportunities. But if there are optimism and a “can-do” attitude, there will be determination and progress.
Of course, positive thinking alone may not get much accomplished, because it takes real action to makes things happen. But action alone may not get you far either.
You must cultivate both, the right mindset and the ability to take action! It takes mindset and ongoing action if you are to achieve success in your business.
Since mindset is crucial to being successful as an entrepreneur, what if you don’t have the right mindset? You get busy. You work on developing and cultivating one.
Below are some suggestions to help you do just that:
Be a Cautious Optimist
It’s a positive outlook and sense of optimism that moves people forward; it’s what drives entrepreneurs to start a new or expand an existing business.
Most often, people ridden with fear and negativity don’t start new ventures or try new things.
Most of them don’t want to start anything new, avoiding change at any cost and determined to live in the comfort zone.
But to be successful, you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone; you must be open to trying something new.
You can’t do both, accomplish new and big goals while staying in your comfort zone. So be willing to step out, change things up, and try something new.
Of course, there is always the danger of too much optimism, which might lead to ignoring potential risks and pitfalls.
That’s why you want to be a cautious optimist! Remain open to new ideas but be aware of the potential risk and dangers.
What does this mean to you and your business? Always do your due diligence before starting something new and committing resources to a new project.
Be a Healthy Pessimist
I know, it sounds like I’m contradicting myself, particularly after the above statement.
Well, not really.
We have this idea that all negative thinking, or pessimism, is bad. However, there is a place and time even for pessimism, at least a healthy dose of it.
Having a healthy dose of pessimism simply means you are aware of potential problems that may result from changes or something new in your business. That’s why you want to be on the alert, ready to anticipate and act if you should have to!
Let’s take email from patients as an example.
Virtually all healthcare clinics today maintain a website. Many offices stay in touch with patients by publishing a newsletter or sending out educational emails to them.
The newsletters you’re sending are informational. They are not meant to be a two-way channel of communication. No, they’re meant to be a one-way channel of communication!
But of course, it’s not uncommon for patients to send an email or reply to the educational emails they receive from your office.
Perhaps accepting emails from patients may seem like a great idea at first glance. However, there are problems that make accepting emails from patients challenging.
- Is the email communication HIPPA compliant?
- Do you have enough staff to monitor patient email?
- What about an email from a patient informing you of a medical emergency?
- What if you don’t see the email for a few days? After all, you never intended to accept personal email containing medical information.
Therefore, unless you are utilizing a HIPPA compliant platform, caution is in order. The software must be designed to handle emails between you and your patients securely.
And that’s why a healthy dose of pessimism is important.
It’s what motivates you to go through a “what-if analysis” and allows you to anticipate potential problems. Once you know what could go wrong, you can put safeguards in place, so that you won’t have to react to problems down the road.
Hang On To Your Motivation
Sooner or later we all encounter “speed bumps” in our business; some of them small, while others feel like big boulders blocking the road.
Disruptions and setbacks will happen. Don’t think of it as “if,” but think of it as “when.” It will get you mentally prepared.
As small business owners, we get thrown off and tossed around.
Those are the times you must remember why you started your practice. Because if you have a solid reason, a big “why” for being in business, challenges will be much easier to deal with.
We all have different reasons for why we do what we do.
Some want the independence of running their own practice. They cherish the freedom of setting their own schedule and making their own decisions.
Others start a practice with the end goal in mind. Perhaps they’re planning to sell the business when they’re ready to retire.
Always remind yourself of your WHY… your reason for starting and now running your business. As long as you remember the reason, it will be easier to get through the rough spots, without losing your motivation.
Pay attention to what you think and how it makes you feel. Don’t allow fear and negativity to infiltrate your mind because it will take its toll.
Your mindset is where everything comes from, and everything you do depends on it.
- Your beliefs, your focus, and your outlook.
- What you think is possible and what you think is not.
- What you set out to accomplish and what you don’t dare to try.
Because it’s all… mindset!
What are your thoughts about mindset? How important do you think it is?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.”