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From zero to hero: a growth mindset for aspiring entrepreneurs

Picture of Matt Ainsworth
Matt Ainsworth
// // Aspiring entrepreneurs can unlock the secret to startup resilience and long-term success with the transformative power of a growth mindset...

Let’s chat about why having a growth mindset is a game-changer for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Through the platform I’m building locally in Perth, Startup Founder Mindset, we do workshops, networking events, coaching and more. And I can’t stress enough, even spamming people’s LI feeds, how crucial this mindset is for kickstarting a solid entrepreneurial journey.

Ditching the Fixed Mindset

Generally, we start off with the ‘growth versus fixed’ mindset debate – it’s a bit like thinking traits are either set in stone or can be molded. For startup founders, the ‘growth mindset’, the term coined by Carol Dweck, is all about taking on challenges, bouncing back from hiccups, and valuing the hustle.

That’s why we’ll explore this mindset as a game-changer for founders, helping them tackle hurdles, roll with the punches, and set the stage for long-term success.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

If you dare enter the world of startups, you’ve already committed yourself to a rollercoaster of twists and turns. But for those with a growth mindset, challenges aren’t roadblocks, they’re a stairway to heaven. These folks thrive on uncertainty and aren’t afraid to get out of their comfort zones to find creative solutions.

J.K. Rowling is one example of someone who faced dozens of rejections before launching one of the biggest literary franchises ever. Even if you’re a Harry Potter cynic, you can’t doubt her resounding success.

From zero to hero: a growth mindset for aspiring entrepreneurs
By Matt Brown from London, England – Harry Potter sculpture in Leicester Square, CC BY 2.0,

Pushing Through Tough Times

If you’re someone who embraces trial and error, startup land should be almost like a walk in the park. A growth mindset gives founders the mental muscle to power through setbacks. They see setbacks as detours, not dead-ends, and believe they can overcome anything with grit and adaptability.

Take Ruslan Kogan for instance, who heard “no” over 200 times from potential investors, before finally getting that one big “yes.”  And even then, in the face of continued criticism, he kept pushing, showing us all what sheer determination can do as he has successfully built his eCommerce platform.

Never Stop Learning

Having a growth mindset means you’re hungry for knowledge, and always up for learning something new. Founders who keep expanding their skills and know-how are better equipped to steer their startups. They understand that success depends on riding the waves of change in markets, tech, and what customers want.

James Dyson, for instance, faced many obstacles as an inventor including legal battles and broad rejection of his initial inventions. It wasn’t until he tested over 5,000 versions of his vacuum technology that he finally nailed it. Talk about dedication!

Embracing Feedback and Teamwork

Founders with a growth mindset are all ears, even when it stings a bit. They know that feedback is gold, not a hit to the ego. Plus, they’re all about teamwork and value different perspectives. They get that mixing it up leads to fresh ideas, greater innovation and progress.

Dean Foley from Barayamal, the Indigenous business accelerator, is a stellar example. He’s all about working together and listening hard to understand what’s needed, even his own venture started in the Air Force when a friend offered him a book on entrepreneurship. This inspired him through stories from pioneers like Richard Branson.

From zero to hero: a growth mindset for aspiring entrepreneurs
Dean Foley. Source:

Putting it into Practice

How to Get that Growth Mindset Going:

  • Know yourself: Admit where you’re at and be open to change.
  • Be your own cheerleader: Replace negative self-talk with positive vibes about effort, learning, and progress.
  • Keep the knowledge train rolling: Read, hit up workshops, and get a mentor or coach. Keep that learning curve steep.
  • Set those goals: Short-term and long-term, align them with your vision, and keep on trucking.
  • Toughen up: Turn failures into lessons, and get your resilience game strong.

In a startup world that’s wild and ever-changing, a growth mindset isn’t just talk – it’s a whole philosophy that can steer a founder’s journey.

Embracing challenges, bouncing back from tough spots, and keeping the learning spirit alive aren’t just traits of a growth mindset, they’re the fuel that powers startup success. As coaches, it’s on us to equip founders not just to navigate the storms but to thrive in them.


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Picture of Matt Ainsworth

Matt Ainsworth

Matt - Founder and Startup Coach of Startup Founder Mindset. Helping aspiring entrepreneurs find their pathway to freedom.
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