What is the first step before starting any business venture?
No, it’s not designing a logo or building a website.
It’s not registering a domain name or getting a business license.
It’s not even finding clients.
Step one is to set your intention and define your purpose.
Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of creating a service business whether full-time or as a side-hustle, you have to get your mind right by getting clear on what your intentions are for starting this venture.
The purpose of this article is to understand why adopting The Service Mindset is the single most important thing you have to do whether you have been in business for years or you are just starting.
This involves making two paradigm shifts in how you approach your business.
If you are just getting started, simply being aware of these paradigms from the outset will go a long way in your business journey.
So going back to the earlier point about examining your intention, before you ask yourself “how” and “what” you must ask why.
Why do you want to start this business?
Why do you want to provide this service to others?
What are the reasons?
What is the outcome or final result of providing your service to someone?
Of course, it’s to make money, do what you enjoy doing, being your own boss, or whatever other on the surface reasons you might have. All of these are great motives but you have to align with a much basic yet crucial intention when it comes to being in business:
The most fundamental concept to understand when it comes to business is that all businesses exist to solve problems. This is the holy grail rule for all businesses. Whether it’s a global conglomerate with thousands of employees or a business of one, a business’s purpose is to solve problems.
At a basic level, businesses solve problems by helping people:
This takes us into the first identity shift within the Service Mindset.
As a service provider, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of viewing yourself as purely as a hired gun. This is a mistake because it will cause you to fixate on the actual technical actions you are performing when providing your service instead of on the intention of resolving someone’s problems. This causes you to operate your business in a way in which you believe your job is solely to perform some set of technical or specialized skills. In actuality, your job is to solve people’s problems.
This is a mindset shift that requires continued awareness and reinforcement.
Here is a quick exercise you can do to help you start thinking like a problem solver.
The key here is to understand what truly drives you to solve someone’s problem emanating from a place of goodness and service.
Ask yourself, why do I want to solve this person’s problem? What will they achieve? What will they experience when their problem is solved. What will I experience?
An easy way to generate answers to these questions is to fill in the blank of this sentence:
As a problem solver, I ____________________________
In the blank fill in some action or final result that will benefit both you and the person you are serving once their problem is resolved.
Here are some are ideas you can use:
As a problem solver, I:
My suggestion is to make your own list of motives as many as you can come up with, reflect on them, and read them often.
The bottom line is you are a problem solver so start thinking like one immediately.
So what does the problem solver do to resolve someone’s problem? They create!
Solutions are the byproduct of creativity. The identity of the creator is the next core paradigm of the Service Mindset. This means connecting with your natural state of being a creator.
We are all creators. This is a basic universal truth. Whenever you are resolving someone else’s problem by providing your service you are being a creator. Whether it’s creating something tangible they can use or providing them with a desirable experience, you are being a creator. Start thinking of yourself as one.
How do you connect with the creator within you?
This all ties back to the earlier section about defining your why.
Make it a habit to answer these questions every time you are about to start a new project for a client. Connect with how you want to feel at the end of the project before you start it.
Whether good or bad, the end result is always a reality of your creation. Again which therefore makes you a creator.
To recap, adopting the Service Mindset involves:
Let these ideas sink in, hold them in your mind at all times and set the intention that you will take on this identity of solving other people’s problems by being a creator.
Operating from this space will have profound effects on the way you conduct your business and the quality of service you render. Make a point to consciously work on combining these two identities into who you are not only as a business person but as a human being.
To do this, remind yourself while you are in the process of rendering your service to someone that you are performing this action and delivering this service to solve this person’s problem and create a better end state for them.
You might be surprised by how this tiny shift in mindset can transform the way you show up in your business and deal with clients.
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