How to have the right mindset for growth (when you can see so many businesses struggling)

Contrary to what many of us believe, a recession doesn't mean that business stops. Sure, there are job losses and money is tight and clients are being more cautious about where they put their money, all of this is true. What isn't true, however, is that businesses have to stop growing. This can be hard to believe when we see so many businesses struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, but it is not the recession that is stopping you and your firm from growing right now. The only thing holding you back is you. 

To help you move your practice forward during a recession, here is how to develop a growth mindset.

*This blog is an extract taken from our virtual workshop - How to confidently and profitably scale your practice in a recession. To listen to the full recording, download it for free here.

Think about the ROAD ahead, not the DEAD END

It all starts with you. If you want your firm to grow during the recession, you have to demonstrate the right leadership behaviours and you have to develop a growth mindset. If you don't - and you treat this pandemic and the recession like a Dead End - then it will be. It really is that simple.

a long bumpy road to symbolise how to develop a growth mindset

There has never been a time where being decisive and taking action is so important. Everything we know, our lives, the economy, the market, it's all changing so rapidly. There's no time to sit on the fence. Not only will that not do us any good, but it could result in potentially irreparable damage.

So, we need to make fast and effective decisions, that's a given. But how do we do it?

To put it simply, we need to avoid negative leadership behaviours that will lead us to a DEAD END, and replace them with positive ones that will illuminate the ROAD ahead.

Avoid...                                                                                              Start taking...

D= Distractions                                                                                 R = Responsibility

E= Excuses                                                                                         O = Ownership

A= Attack and denial                                                                        A = Action

D= Dictatorship                                                                                 D = Decisiveness

E= Ego

N= No Control

D= Drained

The accountants who get distracted and make excuses; who go into attack and denial or blame the government, who may be let their ego impact their financial decisions or who burn themselves out trying to firefight through their new reality, these accountants are driving their business towards a dead end. It's just fact. This finger-pointing and inaction is not sustainable.

On the other hand, the accountants who made quick decisions back when lockdown begun, e.g. getting their staff set up to work from home and transitioning to a virtual business, they are now thriving during the recession. And that really is the message here. Anyone can grow during a recession, they just have to accept reality, think positive, and start taking responsibility for their own inaction.

Read: How to recession-proof your accountancy practice (part one: choose the right mindset)

Develop a growth mindset

a pair of glasses on a notebook that says if you can believe it, you can achieve it, to represent how to develop a growth mindsetIf you take responsibility for your own inaction and take ownership of your decisions, you can start to shift your mindset to one that will grow you and your firm. Yes, even during a recession. Mindset really does have the power to do that. Just take these 3 famous quotes as an example:

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right! - Henry Ford

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great" - Zig Ziglar

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Rita Mae Brown

What these 3 quotes have in common is that they are saying that results come down to YOU. If you think that you can't, then you won't. If you don't take action, then it's not going to happen. When you keep doing what you've always done, nothing is going to change.

If you want to do more than just survive the recession, you need to take control of your situation and think about how you can adapt so that you can thrive.

Here are 7 things that you need to do to develop a growth mindset:

1. Make peace with reality

Suffering is what happens when you resist what is already happening, so confront your new reality. Find a way to accept it so that you can start putting that energy towards things that will help you move forward.

2. Be 100% accountable (ROAD)

As we said with the ROAD acronym, if you want to grow, you need to be willing to accept responsibility for where you are now. Once you've done this, you then need to start being decisive, taking action, and holding yourself accountable to get what you need to done.

3. Do not compare yourself to others

Don't let struggling businesses plant that seed of doubt in your mind. The same goes for firms that may be doing better than you, don't compare your situation to theirs. This creates unrealistic expectations and takes your focus away from your purpose.

A woman on the phone with a laptop4. Become the Go-to-Expert to your clients

Concentrate on delivering the best service that you can to your current clients. After all, they are the blood of your firm. If you focus on what you are good at and you strive to deliver a truly exceptional service, you will stand out and will start to grow organically.

5. Focus on doing the work you love and the people (not your failures or money)

By all means, take ownership of your mistakes and have financial goals in mind, but don't make these your prime focus. Learn and grow from your mistakes and focus on your principles and values. If you know why you do what you do and what this hard work is all for, you will feel a strong sense of purpose that will drive you towards success.

6. Achieve your outcomes quickly

As we said in the quote above, you need to actually start to be great, so stop being a perfectionist and get what you need to done. You need to be decisive and take action quickly if you're going to adapt to the changes caused by the pandemic! If it helps, start thinking that getting there first has more value than being perfect but getting there last.

7. Practice gratitude and reflect

Being grateful for what you have and being self-aware are crucial components for a growth mindset. If you understand your purpose, you are passionate about what you're doing, and you're grateful for what you have and what you will achieve, this creates an energy that genuinely attracts people to you. Not to mention, it is great for your own mental health too.

Read: 11 mindset shifts you need to make or risk sabotaging the growth of your small accountancy firm

Accept your current reality (so you can move past it)

We meant what we said at the start of this article: businesses do not stop growing during a recession. It's the business owners; they drive their firms towards a dead end because they resist the current reality and keep doing things the same as they always do. As the quote from Rita Mae Brown highlighted above, you will never get different results if you keep doing this.

If you want to do more than just survive during a recession, you need to start adapting and changing how you do things. You need to take responsibility for any inaction or mistakes and start making fast and effective decisions followed up with immediate action. The rules of the game have changed (thanks Covid), so try to mix it up. Confront your new reality, accept it, and move past it. Only when you do this can you get your new business plans out of your head and written down to pave the road forward.

Learn How to confidently and profitably scale your practice in a recession

Download (for free) the workshop recording of 'Scaling your practice during a recession' and you will discover:

  • How to gain the confidence and clarity to grow your practice
  • A solid 3-step process for converting high-value clients every month
  • How to find the value in your current client base
  • How to reduce your overheads, but increase your practice efficiency
  • How to find the time to work ON the business rather than IN it

Ready to kick-start the growth of your firm?