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To start an online business, you must see the world differently than most. It’s not a journey for the faint of heart, but completely worth the ride if you’re willing to take it.

Time and time again I see there’s one major ingredient that leads to sustainable success when people start an online business or any entrepreneurial venture. The secret sauce to online selling success is a positive mindset. It doesn’t have to be learned overnight but something you continually practice day in and day out. Cultivating a positive mindset gets easier and easier if you keep at it.

When I first dove into the world of online business, I had no idea that I would also get a major lesson in self-development. We need to be the best versions of ourself in order to reach genuine success. There’s no doubt about it that you are going to face some major challenges along with some massive wins during your time as an entrepreneur. Becoming relentless while facing your challenges is what will set you apart from the rest. In order to thrive you must see the world and your business with a glass half-full mentality.

Having a positive mindset not only creates success, but also makes the ride way more enjoyable than seeing the world, yourself, and your business negatively. When you start an online business with a positive mindset, you also will attract like-minded customers and clients.

There may come times where everyone around you will think you’re crazy for believing in the impossible, but persistent, big dreamers make the best entrepreneurs. This is how you will find solutions to what seems to be unfeasible at the time. It goes beyond thinking outside the box.

Bad sh*t can happen but it’s how you look at it that will make you move forward in failure or success. Nothing is ever truly a failure unless you believe it to be. Setbacks or downfalls are simply information you can use to move onward and upward. I’ll cover this more later in this post so stick around.

A positive mindset isn’t where you cover up your problems with rainbows and butterflies, but a mindset that you can believe in the bigger optimistic picture where you can conquer, authentically serve your people, and sell the crap out of your product. It is important to be honest and genuine with yourself while cultivating this new positive way of thinking. This way you can release your limiting beliefs that are holding you back from that juicy selling success instead of painting over it with a faux positivity paintbrush.

How to Start an Online Business: Acknowledging and releasing your limiting beliefs

The first step to start an online business with an authentic positive mindset is acknowledging the beliefs you have been carrying around with you that have once protected you, but are currently no longer serving you. These ideas about yourself and the world around you have been acquired from life experiences that have shaped your conscious and unconscious beliefs about business, success, and putting yourself out there in an influential way.

We pick up lessons through our life events that we carry with us every day. These lessons turn into beliefs that can either help us or limit us from our fullest potential. Usually the ones that don’t serve us are there as protection. We carry them along to protect ourselves from rejection, fear, shame, or displaying too much vulnerability to the world around us.

An example of a limiting belief that could be holding you back is that you don’t put you and your business out there because you are scared of becoming too visible to the world. With success you can open the door for people who disapprove of what you are doing whether you like it or not. Because of your fear of success you play it small in your marketing so you keep the nay-sayers away. When you lead with this kind of fear or limiting belief then you keep away the people who need your product or services the most.

One can pick up a lesson like this either having a bit of success early on in life (maybe in sports, academics, or even social status) and saw how it negatively impacted them in a small or large way. These consequences could be imprinted on your motivation still to this day. You could have made an unconscious decision to play it small in everything you do so you don’t face this type of negative reaction. You could be not reaching your selling capacity in your business because you are scared of the negative reactions you will get from your colleagues, friends, family, or even strangers.

Don’t worry or become overwhelmed about having these limiting beliefs. It’s a part of life and breaking through them is well worth the effort. We are wired to carry these beliefs as protection so that we don’t become rejected by our tribes (social circles or family). As humans, our survival literally depends on being accepted by those around us. We are social beings, so we grow up learning what behavior gets rewarded or penalized by our parents, friends, classmates, teachers, or colleagues. These beliefs once served you in some way, but it’s time to break through them to reach your fullest potential.

Maybe you fear leaving the life that you feel you’re supposed to be living, so you create roadblocks that keep you from quitting a job you hate, launching your online business, or you keep telling yourself you are not talented enough to get paid to do something you love doing.

The ONLY way to release these beliefs about yourself, your business, and your selling capacity is to acknowledge them. You cannot move on from something if you are unaware of what it is, how it got there, and why you chose to pick it up along the way. We carry these beliefs because we felt like we needed protection from something that was too painful to face at the time. When we start seeing these beliefs as that then it is easier to release them and move on.

How to Start an Online Business: Shifting your “failure” perspective

Things don’t always go as planned. When a potential client decided not to hire you or you didn’t meet your sales goal for the day, month, or year it can get you feeling like a Negative Nancy. If everything were to go perfect all the time we wouldn’t ever have the space to learn and grow. I know that when we face challenges negative thinking can take over and you can start feeling like a big fat failure.

To be completely honest, I have had product launches that I thought were going to be a huge success so I poured everything into them and they ended up being a complete dud. I’m far from the only one who’s faced disappointment like this in the world of online selling. I know many other people that have had very similar experiences. The difficult part of this is that businesses rarely highlight the downfalls so when it happens to you, you feel like a singled-out disastrous failure.

Staying in this negative mindset thinking can keep you in a rut. If you focus on the failure you are building yourself a major roadblock to getting unstuck with your future product launches, selling your services to new clients, and increasing your online sales. In order to move past these yucky feelings you need to acknowledge them (do not cover them up with faux positive thinking!) and use this information to learn, grow, and expand.

What you resists persists and what you embrace dissolves.

A large misconception is to not deal with and cover up your negative thoughts with perfect happy thoughts. Doing this can make your negative thinking persist more loudly than before. This means whatever you hide, deny, or cover up will come out like an annoying monster under the bed.

Acknowledging your fears and embracing them is the only way to send them on their way. Being honest with yourself and facing your negative thoughts will help you build a mindset filled with true positivity and success.

There’s a fine balance between facing your negative thoughts and wallowing in it for far too long. When you start thinking, “My online store sucks so I’m never going to meet my sales goals.” or “I’m never going to book this client because I’m way too unqualified, untalented, etc.” then acknowledge that you are currently holding these thoughts to be true. You are the one who’s in control of how these beliefs affect you and your business. You have the power to let them go. So send them on their way while you shift your perspective to what you have working for you whether that is an awesome team supporting you, a brilliant website that shows your skills in the best light, or simply that you, your skills, your products, and your business are enough.

How to Start an Online Business: Adapting a growth selling mindset

Another way to shift your mindset is adapting a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. This ideology comes from Carol Dwek who is a leading researcher in motivation, psychology, and success. She came up with these mindsets to classify the way people view themselves and their success.

A fixed mindset is where you believe your intelligence, talents, and gifts are static. When start an online business with this mindset you avoid challenges like the plague, give up easily, and don’t really grow as an individual or business. A growth mindset is where you believe these traits can be developed. Here you embrace challenges, persist in downfalls or setbacks. This is where the magic happens and we can adopt this to a growth selling mindset, instead of a personal view of ourselves.

When you start an online business, adapting a growth selling mindset means that we believe that our success of selling our product and service has no limits. We thrive in the face of our challenges and fears that arise when we don’t hit our goals or hit a dry spell with booking clients.

Start seeing yourself with a growth mindset and naturally this will be implemented in your business as well. This can also mean that you are open to learning new techniques to take your business to new heights. The online world of business is constantly changing and we either grow with the changes or get lost along the way. Adapting a growth selling mindset opens you up to new adventures, tools, and avenues to continue to grow your business and increase your sales.

How to Start an Online Business: Shifting focus and kicking bad habits to the curb

Now that you have a good idea of how to release your limiting beliefs you are on your way to cultivating an authentic positive selling mindset. Shifting your focus from negative thoughts to a positive mindset will not be something you conquer once and forever. This is daily practice to implement and doesn’t always come naturally at first which is completely ok. Don’t let yourself get down if can’t seem to shake off your negative thoughts. Acknowledge them and keep shifting focus to what is working and helping you succeed in your online business.

Starting an online business is not always the easiest job or journey but if you’re willing to take it the freedom and success are well worth it. Remember that your negative thoughts that are holding you back can be discarded. You can be in control of where your business takes you, not your negative thinking. Be conscious of the thoughts that are guiding your actions and planning out your next move.

Stay tuned because in the next post in this series, I’ll get you on your way to truly standing in your worth, practicing gratitude to grow your business, and how to go all in with your marketing efforts without fear and limiting beliefs.

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About the author

Jessica Safko

Jessica Safko is a Berlin-based photographer specializing in lifestyle, branding, and event photography.