Finally, failure is no obstacle to being successful!
I’ve been coming across a lot of ‘non-authority’ authority websites recently.
These are blogs where, rather than proclaim themselves an expert, the writer is upfront about being an amateur who is seeking knowledge.
The point of the website is that they share their highs and lows as they progress on a journey.
For instance, an amateur photographer might decide to learn everything they need to become a professional wedding photographer… sharing the tricks, techniques, equipment reviews and marketing tactics.
Or an overweight person might decide to try out a series of diets and therapies in order to finally end their yo-yo dieting, and report their findings to their followers.
What’s exciting about these little businesses is that the ‘seeker’ starts from a point of failure… and eventually becomes an expert.
In my view, not enough people are aware that this option is not only possible, but it’s actually a very exciting, honest and profitable way to start an Internet business without any experience or skills.
That’s when it struck me suddenly…
Why don’t more people do this?
After all, if it’s possible to kickstart a business that’s dependent on the skills you develop, not the skills you have already, why are so many people scared of trying it?
I realised this is precisely what Carol Dweck means when she talks about the ‘growth mindset’ in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
She splits people into two categories…
1. There are those ‘fixed mindset’ types, who when faced with a problem they can’t solve, feel like they’ve failed. “I cannot do this, and therefore I won’t try it again.”
2. Then there are those ‘growth mindset’ types, who when faced with the same problem think: “I haven’t solved the problem…. YET.”
In their minds, they see that there’s a process they could go through in order to succeed at what they’re currently unable to do yet.
It’s these people who make great seekers and, in my opinion, should think very seriously about an information business in which they monetise that quality.
This is what Dweck refers to as ‘the power of yet’.
She means that rather than judge yourself harshly for being unable to do something now, you think about how you could grow your brain’s capacity to achieve it in the future.
I think of it as one of those cartoons where someone is trying to make a decision.
They have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.
The fixed mindset devil says: “Are you sure you can do this? You don’t have the right skills or talent?”
The growth mindset angel says: “You might not be able to do this now, but you can learn how to if you give it time and you try.”
The fixed mindset angel says: “Don’t even try this, you’ll look stupid.”
The growth mindset devil says: “People will respect you for trying, and imagine what they’ll think when you succeed, finally.”
And so it goes on.
One mindset focuses on how you are now, and the other is about what you could become.
Think about it…
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks when setting up a business, because there are things you cannot do?
“I lack the technical skills to have a website.”
“I cannot write blogs, emails and sales copy, I am terrible at English.”
“I lack the motivation to succeed.”
“Nobody will be interested in what I have to say.”
“I don’t have skills or knowledge to share.”
“I don’t know enough.”
Any of these ring a bell?
If so, maybe it’s time to change your mindset from obsessing over the ‘now’ to believing in the ‘yet’.
To get some inspiration, here’s a link to Carol Dweck’s TED Talk.
Don’t worry, it’s short and to-the-point and it could be the best 10 minutes you spend today.
Click here to watch: Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve.
As for my tuppence-worth on this matter…
How to get out of a fixed mindset
The truth is that everyone – even the most confident – have experienced that nagging devil voice on their shoulder that tells them they can’t do it, that they shouldn’t try, that they’ll fail.
The successful people simply understand it’s a negative, useless voice.
They ignore it.
Instead, they listen to another, superior voice that says:
- You don’t know how to do this… yet.
- You can always learn what you don’t know right now.
- Mistakes and set-backs are a necessary part of succeeding – not a reason to give up.
I have seen many people turn their lack of knowledge into a strength.
There is huge information publishing potential in the journey of seekers – amateurs with passion, ambition and a willingness to learn and share their findings with others.
Just think of the power of a product recommendation from someone who is just like you, who is out there trying things on your behalf.
And on that, I’ll leave you with a quote from Dale Carnegie: ‘Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.’