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February 22, 2019
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Unlocking the Growth Mindset for SMEs: 7 Steps to Achieving Success in Your Business

By Isabel Valle, Peak Performance Strategist Global room


Small and medium sized businesses are faced with many challenges in today’s volatile environment. Having worked with hundreds of businesses across a wide range of industries in different countries around the world, I believe I have gained a good perspective on the key challenges facing SMEs today. Even though I could be talking about the most commonly known challenges faced by SMEs, like leadership, culture, strategy formation and execution, building high performing teams or productivity gaps, I want to discuss instead what I believe in my opinion is holding many SMEs back from becoming a success story: mindset.

For SMEs looking to grow, finding the time to create new and innovative ideas that promotes growth can be quite a daunting prospect when busy keeping on top of day-to-day business needs. Despite the great start-up enthusiasm being felt globally, not all of these new businesses will survive – so what can SMEs do to make sure they continue to meet the needs of the market and remain ahead of the competition? The answer is simple. They must adopt a growth mindset.

In working with many small and medium businesses, I found a mentality of doing things in their business the way “they’ve always done them” still remains. I also found many businesses are simply making assumptions about the market, their customers and their products, without testing their theories in the marketplace.

If SMEs are to succeed in keeping the pace with leading technologies, nurture innovation and growth, remain competitive and enhance productivity, they need a shift in mindset.

Creating a success growth mindset is the most powerful key to succeed. It can either limit your potential or power your success. Whether you are an established business owner, planning to launch a new business or just starting out, having the right mindset is crucial to your success. You can have the best business idea, great marketing and social media strategies, but your business won’t go the distance for the long-haul unless you have a success mindset.

Here are some basic steps you must take in order to begin developing a success mindset:

1/ Create A Big Vision 
Figure out what you really want, then go for it! The bigger your dream, the more excited and inspired you’ll become, and the more open to new ideas and opportunities. When you have a big vision that excites you, you become more committed to your goal, you’ll work harder towards achieving it and you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. By creating a mental image of what you want, your mind will also help you find a way to make it a reality.

2/ Always Be Your Best
Use your own unique gifts and talents to work your personal, unique magic in your business. Find that purpose, that meaning that makes you feel so passionate, determined and driven that you want to give it your all, then you’ll be off to a great start! If you only put 70% of your effort into creating a successful business, all you will get in return is 70% or less. Your chances of success will be much greater if you are prepared to give it 100%.


3/ Be Positively Happy 
Stay away from any negative talk, any fearful voices in your head, or opinions that build fear and doubt about what you are capable of. Instead, cultivate a positive attitude and choose to entertain only positive and empowering thoughts. Keep inspired and focused on your goal and don’t let anything get you down. With a dose of gratitude and a positive mental attitude, you will overcome any obstacle and you will get what you want.

4/ Failing Is Not Failure 
Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Be prepared to fail and take risks. If you are not willing to fail, you will never take the risks that you need to play a bigger game in business and in life. Everyone fails at something. The difference for those who succeed is that they won’t quit. Take your mistakes and failures as an opportunity to grow, improve, learn and help you become a stronger person. In reality, there is nothing and no one that can stop you – only yourself and your own thoughts.


5/ Find Your Spark 
Surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you to better yourself. Seek out inspiring people who want to succeed and will share with you their secrets to success. There is nothing worse than being surrounded by critics and naysayers, especially when you are building a successful business or coming back from a setback or failure. Make a point of expanding your network, mix with like-minded entrepreneurs and seek out positive, proactive people who will challenge you.

6/ Believe 
The way you think influences your confidence, your creativity, your world view and your resilience in the face of challenges. Believe that you can, and you will. Walt Disney said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Believe in your dream and take inspired action. If someone tells you that you can’t do something, don’t pay attention. Just remind yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to and keep going. Focus on your goals every day to keep yourself motivated and inspired.

7/ Get A Coach or Mentor 
A coach or mentor can be a very valuable asset when it comes to creating a mindset for success in your professional life. Remember, your best thinking has got you here, but it may not be enough to get you there. A coach or mentor will help you identify and eliminate many of the self-limiting beliefs that may be holding you back.


So have the courage to take the leap. With practice and persistence, you too can create a mindset for success in business and in life. Success is within everyone’s reach.

Here’s to your Success!

Isabel Valle, Peak Performance Strategist Global room
Isabel is an experienced ICF Coach with over 20 years of international work experience holding senior positions within the hospitality industry in countries around the world, as well as Executive and Leadership coaching, mentoring and training. Isabel specializes in high performance strategy, leadership development and building organizational culture. More available on
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