Entrepreneurship is tough.
You’ll spend long hours solving complex problems. You’ll be isolated from friends and family. Much of your time and energy will be spent working on something you have no guarantee will become a success.
Most people would give up just at the thought of pursuing a lifestyle like that, but as entrepreneurs, we know that it’s merely a part of what is required to get from Aha To Exit. That said, we’re human. Even the most hardened of entrepreneurs still get burned out, mentally exhausted, and frustrated. Indeed, it takes a certain mindset-even as an entrepreneur-to keep going, push through adversity, and move through the steps of the Startup Roadmap.
Recently, there have been some incredible books that specifically touch on what is necessary to shape your mindset to not only tackle the challenges that may come within your entrepreneurial journey but within life itself.
The first of these books is Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins. Goggins is known for having transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man who suffered from an abusive childhood, into an undisputed legend within the U.S. Armed Forces as the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.
The second book I want to share a lesson from is from Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. In this book, former U.S. Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin use their experiences serving overseas in the SEAL teams that translate into practical lessons for business and life.
The final book I want to touch upon is The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. In this book, Cardone explains to readers why they must take “Massive Action” to be able to achieve success in business and in life.
All three are incredible books in their own right, and have my wholehearted recommendation. However, three crucial concepts, which are vital for entrepreneurs, stand out:
1. Callus Your Mind
In Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins explains his concept of callusing the mind. Goggins explains that callusing your mind involves taking the path of MOST resistance each and every day of your life. Only by choosing to do something difficult as, opposed to being forced to do it, can you train your mind to handle the unexpected rigors of life.
By callusing your mind to voluntarily choose to tackle issues, you not only prepare your mind to handle the inevitable bigger challenges that will come along the way, but prevent further issues from splintering from that challenge that you chose to tackle. See the benefit?
So, what does this mean? Your life is already hard enough as an entrepreneur, right? Does this mean you need to work even more? In short, yes. Only by ’embracing the suck,’ as Goggins aptly puts it, can you develop the mindset you need to win.
So add in an hour a day to work out if you don’t already. Put in those extra hours on the weekend even though you already work 60 hours a week. Callus your mind. When you’ve reached the final steps of the Startup Roadmap, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Understand that ‘Discipline equals Freedom’
Extreme Ownership fundamentally states that leaders must take 100% ownership of everything in their domain, including the outcome and everything that affects it. Of course, the book goes into more detail as to how to accomplish this, but a primary focus of the book is the concept that Discipline equals Freedom.
In the book, Willink and Babin note how when first starting in the SEAL Teams, they observed that the highest performers were always the ones who that he most disciplined morning routines, specifically waking up to prepare for the day’s missions while others slept. These high performers were disciplined, and as a result, they enjoyed the feeling of freedom that came along with being at the top. In a nutshell, if you want more freedom, get more discipline.
You might say, “What are you talking about? I’m disciplined, I have routines!” If you’re in this mindset-you’re missing the point! It isn’t just about maintaining consistency in your routines-it has to be at the backbone of everything you do. You need the discipline to say “No” to things that eat up your time and provide no value in return.
Willink wakes up every day at 4:30AM to exercise. That isn’t just consistency, that is extreme discipline; how many other people do you know that are willing to do that? To be the uncommon entrepreneur, you must have the discipline to do what others don’t, and on a consistent basis. This discipline is what will help put you on a path to the freedom you seek as an entrepreneur.
3. Set Your Goals 10X Higher Than They are Now
In his book The 10X Rule, Cardone presents that you should set targets for yourself that are 10x greater than what you believe you can achieve and that you should take actions that are 10x greater than what you believe is necessary. Now, you might think that goal setting isn’t a function of mindset, but rather a metric that you write down and track. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you set average goals, you’re going to see average results. This directly correlates to mindset. An average mindset will, without a doubt, net you average results 100% of the time. Cardone believes that if you aren’t setting goals that are 10x higher than what you currently believe you are capable of, you’ll never reach your true potential, and the same goes for your mindset. It isn’t enough to merely compete against the person next to you-you have to dominate the person next to you. But, if you don’t set goals that are 10x higher than that person, you’ll never put your mindset on a level that’s 10x higher, and you’ll never dominate in life.
Sure, these are just a few viewpoints, but one thing is for certain. If you think like everyone else, you’ll end up just like everyone else. As an entrepreneur, you have to ask yourself :do I want to be like everyone else? Or do I want to dominate and change the game? The choice is yours.