Why do some business owners succeed but most don’t

business owners choices blog showing street signs

I am writing this having just finished a coaching session with one of my Business Owners Taking Action clients.


We got talking about why some business owners seem to always succeed whilst other always struggle. It was a conversation I have had many times with people over the years.


For 10 years I had a leadership and management training business and often got into discussions about why some business owners, managers, leaders made great changes and got great success from our development programs and others didn’t.

I now believe the psychologist, Dr Carol Dweck, discovered the answer. Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. You can hear Dr Dweck explain the different mindsets and her research HERE.

Over the years of working with business owners as a coach and mentor helping turn their businesses into valuable and saleable assets, I was able to quickly pick up if an owner had a fixed mindset or growth mindset. I could tell from their language and the actions they did or didn’t take. With fixed mindset business owners it was all about ‘lay blame and justify’ for what happened in their business and life. For growth mindset people it was about taking responsibility and learning and growing.

A friend and informal coach of mine many years ago often said “You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” I now realise he was saying the same thing as Dr Dweck. Green and growing shows a growth mindset whilst ripe and rotting means a fixed mindset. The follow up saying is “There is no standing still. You are doing one or the other!”

Think about it! Whatever got you to where you are today will not keep you there. Is your business green and growing or ripe and rotting?

The choices we made in the past were made based upon our mindset at the time. Where we end up in the future will depend upon the choices and actions we make today, based upon today’s mindset. Are you a fixed mindset business owner or a growth mindset owner?

We can’t change our past but we can change our future.

The things that determine our success are:

  • CHOICES – the decisions we make in life and business
  • ACTION – nothing happens or changes until we take action

Are you exposing yourself to new inputs and new situations, and challenging yourself to find more interesting ideas?

Are you pushing the ideas you have further, making them more complete, turning them from hunches to notions to ideas to theories?

Business Owners Taking Action members are a confidential group of ‘non competing’ motivated business owners supporting each other to achieve greater success in business and life. Members meet once per month to review the performance of their own business and assist fellow members to review and develop theirs.

All this in a support group of like-minded and positive business owners.

If you are a growth mindset business owner and want to grow your business, consider becoming a Business Owner Taking Action. What separates people who build life-changing businesses from those who never seem to make progress? MINDSET AND ACTION

Attend your fits Business Owners Taking Action group meeting at no cost. FIND OUT MORE

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John Denton

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