The Growth Mindset: When Sitting Still Really Means Moving Backwards

I get to speak with a lot of contractors about how to grow a construction business. After all, our system is perfect for those wanting to add to their top-line revenue by taking advantage of their existing knowledge, manpower and connections. So it makes sense that existing contractors are by far the most common lead-type with whom I speak.

After meeting with many owners of small and mid-sized construction companies, it’s clear that most fall into one of two categories: those with the growth mindset and those with the stagnant mindset.

In this post I’ll describe each and make the case for why the growth mindset is the only mindset built for long-term survival.

The Stagnant Mindset

The stagnant mindset is content with things “just the way they are.” Owners with this mindset are typically too busy putting out fires to focus ON their business, and instead work IN their business almost exclusively. In a sense, they own a job and not a business. You’ll hear them say things like “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “I’m just fine with what I’m doing.”

The biggest driver of this mindset is how the individual processes fear. We all have fear, it’s how we process it that makes the difference. Those with a stagnant mindset react to fear by building a moat, then a wall, then posting archers at each embrasure, ready to shoot. They go on the defensive, striving to protect what is theirs, afraid at every turn that it will all go away.

In the stagnant mindset new technologies, processes or simply ways of conducting business are seen as a risk and only adopted after 99% of their competition are using them successfully. There’s no chance the stagnant mindset gets the benefit of being an early adopter. Nope. They’re always a step or two behind.

The Growth Mindset

In contrast, the growth mindset is always pushing the envelope. They respond to new opportunities with a “yes, and” instead of a “no.” They’re constantly on the lookout for new opportunities and embrace the challenge of being first to respond. By nature they are learners, soaking up knowledge through thoughtful conversation, reading and engaging on social media.

Those with the growth mindset react to fear in a different way, by first acknowledging it for what it is (often a fictitious monster in the closet) and then using it to motivate them to action. In the “fight-or-flight” scenario, they fight.

Lastly, they live life with a glass-half-full, blue-ocean outlook. They view opportunity as vast instead of scarce and they try new things, knowing full well that some will fail but in the end, the life-giving energy of exploration will drive them to success.

You Know Which One Wins, Right?

After reading the above, you can probably guess which one “wins” at the end of the day, right?

Yes, the growth mindset.

But it doesn’t win for any reason other than it doesn’t lose. Wow, that’s deep!

Let me explain: the stagnant mindset paralyzes, and pretty soon the growthers have put the stagnanters to the back of the pack.  In essence, you’re either changing and growing or you’re dying.  You’re either pursuing better ways of doing things or you’re eroding. And that’s sad.

So when I talk to contractors and they tell me they’re fine with where they are, they’re content with their current revenue, they’re happy with their current sources of lead generation, I feel a bit bad for them. Because I know that by the time we’re off the phone they’ll be an hour further behind their growth-oriented competition.

So let me challenge you to push the envelope, explore new opportunities and, for the love of all things good in this world, live life with boldness and excitement, free from the fear of the invaders.

CRATE Franchise Systems helps existing contractors explore new opportunities and become part of a network of growth-minded individuals.  We’d love to talk with you about a CRATE Franchise in your location.  Click here to download our complete CRATE Information Guide, or click here to schedule a phone call with me at a time of your choosing.

Scott Monday is Co-founder + CEO of CRATE Franchise Systems, the franchisor of the kitchenCRATE & bathCRATE remodel products.  You can follow him on Linked-In or email him at scott[at]cratefranchisesystems[dot]com.