You don’t need to be a superhero or even a psychic to master your mindset – it just takes practice and a bit of patience
The benefits attached to investing in a franchise are endless. You join an established brand, get unlimited support from your franchisor and have access to a proven business model. However, like all businesses, franchising comes with its fair share of challenges, disappointments and adjustments that we have to overcome. But learning to manage your mindset will help you keep your emotions in check. It will also allow you to make better decisions and gain a healthier perspective on your business, ultimately leading to success.
Your mindset is an attitude that includes your beliefs about yourself, your talents and what gets realised in your life. Put simply, our mindset is the lens through which we view the world we live in and our experiences in it. And because how we view ourselves can significantly impact what we achieve in life, managing our mindset is essential when looking to run a thriving franchise business.
From a franchising perspective, a good mindset will enable you to learn from your mistakes, develop resilience and embrace new challenges. On a personal level, a good mindset will help you be more alert, have less stress and be at a lower risk of depression and other mental health problems. Learning to be the master of your mindset really has no downside!
According to Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, there are two basic mindsets: fixed and growth. In a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and, therefore, cannot change. These people document their intelligence and talents rather than working to develop and improve them. They also believe that talent alone leads to success and effort is not required.
Alternatively, Carol believes a growth mindset is one where we think we can improve our abilities and create success by working hard, practising and learning. With a growth mindset, we decide to take on new challenges even if there may be a risk that we might ‘fail’. When we have a growth mindset, we embrace failure because we know that the end result is that we always learn from the lessons. This is where franchisees should aim to get to when it comes to mindset.
Whether you are starting your first franchise or you are an experienced industry professional with multiple territories, managing your mindset into a growth one is crucial and will help you overcome obstacles you may face when learning something new or developing a new skill.
Jenine Butroid, CEO of Supporting Minds, shares eight tips to manage your mindset and help you overcome any difficulties you may face managing your franchise.
1. Identify the thoughts you want to change
No matter how well your franchise is performing, everyone experiences discouraging thoughts or emotional setbacks from time to time. For example, you could be breaking network records for sales, but if you recently experienced a life-challenging event such as the loss of a family member, you may struggle to maintain control over spiralling thoughts or your overall mindset.
My advice would be not to panic. Intrusive thoughts are normal and something everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives. While they can be distressing, they often pass quickly, especially when you don’t engage with them. By identifying specific thoughts and patterns, you are one step closer to dealing with them.
2. Embrace unwanted thoughts
As human beings, we are designed to avoid pain, so it is only natural that we would want to avoid upsetting thoughts and feelings. However, by doing this, we are only letting these unwanted thoughts gain control. Instead, we need to accept them.
This is equally true of your franchising journey, which can be filled with challenges and opportunities, so it is vital to become more resilient and streamline the approach you take to delivering your services. Like with all businesses, it is common to experience the occasional ‘no’, which can often leave you feeling disheartened or rejected. However, a crucial element to building a successful franchise is to be able to take the rough with the smooth.
So, remember to constantly remind yourself that ‘There’s only so much I can do, but giving up isn’t the answer’. By acknowledging these feelings, you can confront them and remind yourself that you’re not to blame for a customer not needing a product or service. Keeping the situation in perspective can help you manage your worries about it happening again, instead of letting fear hold you back from finding someone new.
3. Be your own biggest fan
Self-talk is another excellent way to alter your mindset, and how we talk to ourselves matters. Instead of having negative thoughts, turn them into positive thinking and actions. Try to think about the specific situations where negative thoughts most often appear, so you can then view them more clearly and gain a greater perspective on how your feelings cause emotional reactions.
Using self-talk helps trick your mind into considering yourself as another person, giving you the distance from your own hardships. It might feel a little awkward at first, but this cognitive reappraisal strategy is a great way to observe situations from a different point of view.
4. Focus on the positives
Focusing on the positives in life is another excellent reframing strategy that can help you regain control over your mindset. This doesn’t mean pretending there’s nothing wrong, ignoring problems, or failing to consider helpful solutions. Instead, it involves putting a more positive spin on your negative thoughts.
Say someone just cancelled an appointment with you last minute. Sure, it isn’t very pleasant because you had geared your day around it, but now you have free time to get some admin done or start a new task, which means you will be able to get home earlier than normal.
5. Visual scene
Guided imagery is a meditation technique where you visualise positive, peaceful scenarios to promote a calmer state of mind. To do this:
- Get comfortable and start taking deep breaths. You’ll want to keep breathing just like this as you create your visual scene.
- Try and create a scene in your mind by thinking about something that brings you peace.
- Picture yourself wandering through the scene you’ve created, mindfully noticing your surroundings and taking in every detail.
- Keep breathing slowly, letting the peace of the scene wash over you and help you relax.
I recommend spending 10 to 15 minutes enjoying your image. Once you feel calmer, you might have an easier time maintaining a relaxed state and regaining control over your thoughts and overall mindset.
6. Write it out
Writing things down has always been a great way to help focus our minds. Although it’s a simple act, writing down a thought is often enough to reduce the negativity behind it. Of course, writing your problem down is directly challenging and accepting distress, but putting those feelings down on paper allows you to acknowledge them somewhat indirectly.
7. Meditate for your mind
Meditation is a great way to accept unwanted thoughts and help us gain control of our minds. Meditation helps you learn to sit with the thoughts you don’t want. You notice them, but then you let them go, which helps loosen their hold over you. And just like that, you’ve regained some control. The more you meditate, the easier it becomes to let unwanted thoughts drift past.
There are tons of additional benefits attached to meditation, too. It can relieve the intensity of negative emotions and stress, which is perfect after a long stressful day. As well as this, meditation boosts resilience and compassion.
8. Therapy works wonders
It is no surprise that learning to control your mind is sometimes easier said than done. This is why you should seek professional support for any mindset that affects your professional and personal relationships and overall wellbeing. A therapist can help you identify underlying issues and explore potential solutions. Therapy also offers space to practise the tips above.
I recommend looking for a therapist who offers cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy or psychodynamic therapy. These approaches are specifically designed to help people get better at accepting, challenging and reframing unhelpful thoughts and taking control of their mindset.
You don’t need to be a superhero or even a psychic to master your mindset – just practice and a bit of patience. By following these tips, you can learn to effectively manage your mindset, which in turn will benefit your franchise. But remember, seeking out a therapist is essential if you continue to have difficulty regaining control.
Jenine Butroid is the founder and CEO of Supporting Minds, a counselling service providing a range of professionally recognised training and therapy services. Founded in 2014, the business is making talking therapies accessible through a range of affordable, quality services.