Growth Mindset: The Effect it Has on Your Success

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Dr. Carol S. Dweck was one of the first to discuss the comparisons between a fixed versus growth mindset, she revealed that it doesn’t matter whether someone is gifted or not when it comes to predicting success. The most important factor is a person’s belief in their ability to succeed.

Your type of mindset has such a significant impact on the success of your startup. It can rub off on your employees in both a good and a bad way.

What are the similarities and differences between the following questions?

  • Is this person qualified for the position?
  • Do we have the best approach in place?
  • Is it true that I’m an excellent leader?

Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset — that is, a mindset that considers abilities and talents are given, limited, and only slightly subject to change — is often the impediment to success. This individual believes that they were born with specific characteristics, both favourable and negative and that these characteristics are essentially fixed throughout their lives.

While they normally understand the need for training and education, when it comes to broadening their views and seeing a bright and dramatically different future, they frequently fall short.

With regards to startup founders, a fixed mindset can harm the growth of your business. By not having the ability to adapt and change, you will struggle to find solutions to overcome the problems you will face along your startup lifecycle.

Cons of Having a Fixed Mindset

Because learning circumstances directly confront the ego, those with a fixed attitude are more prone to shun them. Attending a class, for example, becomes less about learning and more about seeking an opportunity to show that they already know all the answers as the stakes of success and failure are substantially raised by the ego’s urge to protect itself.

A founder with a fixed mindset is more inclined to shun problems and not face them head on, give up easily at the first sign of hardship, and find no reason to put up effort toward achieving a goal. 

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset - Believe in Yourself

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one that is constantly evolving and working to improve, develop, and refine all innate qualities and gifts, as well as those gained along the way. With time, effort, and practice, those of us with a growth mindset can acquire and enhance skills and talents to accomplish things previously believed unattainable. 

You don’t simply believe it, you live it with a true growth attitude. “Whether you feel you can do a thing or not, you are right,” Henry Ford is reputed to have stated.

People who have a growth mentality are more inclined to accept difficulties, utilise feedback, and learn from their errors and mistakes rather than dwelling on them. These traits are so vital when succeeding in the startup environment.

As a founder, they will embrace obstacles, persevere, and be motivated to attain their objectives. They are more creative as a result of this since they are more likely to pursue solutions with zeal.

Someone with a development mentality will not feel threatened by the brilliance and success of others since they are focused on improving themselves rather than protecting themselves. Being able to analyse other startups to see what you can learn from and asking for support from those who you respect, shows investors your growth mindset and makes you an attractive founder to work with.

What is a Binary Question?

Question Mark - Growth Mindset

A binary question is one that has only two possible answers, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ The implicit assumption in the question is that the subject can only fall into one of two categories: good or evil, right or wrong, and so on. 

This is caused by a fixed mindset

‘Am I a good leader?’ for example, indicates that there are two categories of leaders: good and bad, and that I must be one of them. Because reality is always more nuanced, binary questions can be potentially deceptive.

Binary questions are not helpful for startups. It gives no indication into what the next steps are for you to take and provides no reasoning as to why you got to this conclusion.

Practical Steps To Develop A Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

Believe in Yourself

To begin, you must believe in yourself. Use a mantra or other comparable device on a daily basis. Persuade yourself that you are capable of any change you desire. It may take some effort to establish this in yourself, but you can do it by reminding yourself of the benefits – growth, and accomplishment.

Keep Focused

Don’t put too much focus on outcomes. Sure, outcomes are important but don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your efforts. Self-congratulation for a valiant effort might keep you going for a long time. 

Being the founder of a startup is not an easy ride, remembering that this is all just the process and don’t forget to appreciate the hard work you have put in just to get to the stage you are at. Many do not make it as far as you have.

Jealousy Kills

Be wary of jealousy, the green-eyed monster. When confronted with someone else’s accomplishment, think to yourself. Make use of adoration to help you on your way to achievement. A growth attitude will force you to venture into areas where you are less at ease, less accomplished, and more fearful. 

If you want to succeed in business, you must be willing to confront your ego, limiting beliefs, and perceived constraints. And use others’ successes as motivation to do the same rather than question why it is them and not you.

Outside the Comfort Zone

Get comfortable functioning outside of your comfort zone. For many of us, the comfort zone is a haven, a place where we may be free of stress. “Free from problems” does not, however, imply “free from growth.” 

Push yourself to new heights. Those looking for change must be open to trying something new. You’ll be amazed at how much you didn’t know. 

Avoid blaming your inadequacies on circumstances or others. You must accept responsibility for your own destiny and for maximising your natural talent and abilities. Take a step back the next time you find yourself blaming something or someone, accept responsibility, discover the lesson, and move on. 

It’s Okay to Fail

Give yourself permission to fail. It’s critical that you attempt and fail, and then try and fail again, as difficult as it may be. Every setback is a stepping stone toward achievement. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the numerous notable people who failed badly at first before going on to become leaders, influencers, and role models. We learn the most valuable lessons through failure.


Try transforming a binary inquiry or a false dilemma into an adaptive question or a solution-neutral problem statement the next time it comes up in the team. We frequently underestimate how much a little effort can accomplish. That small voice in your head is the same way. When it asks if you’re doing a good job, remind yourself that you can improve with effort.


Amit Khanna

Amit Khanna, 7startup Founder


Amit has 18 years of experience in the industry and an MBA. He supports entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business including concept and product development, investor presentations, and fundraising. Amit & 7startup assist startups in the pre due-diligence process and help connect them to our vast network of investors. Reach out to us today and see if we’re a fit!

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