Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset: What’s the Difference?

How Perception Impacts Your Ability to Change

Mindset is everything in business and life. I have come to believe that the greatest distinction between people who follow their dreams and those who do not is how they view their own potential. A growth mindset can lead to unlimited possibilities, and a fixed mindset will restrain you.

My career is predicated on the principal that skills are malleable. One can grow abilities, knowledge, and interests. Indeed, the belief that one can do many things – with support, training and effort – is a driving force in all change.  

I help people decide if franchise ownership is a good path for them. I ask many questions to understand and appreciate my client’s unique perspective on life, career, motivations, and values. Refining, altering and adapting, I continually improve my process and client outcomes. Additionally, I enjoy stretching myself and learning.

Consequently, I chose to reinvent my career several times, each time going further beyond what I was before. I was a financial advisor and trainer in financial services. I ran the training department for a large bank. I ran HR and sales teams in real estate. I taught graduate classes at two universities. I have been a columnist for various publications for over 25 years and in career coaching for almost 20 years. For my career to evolve successfully, I embraced disparate roles, industries, skillsets, and support structures.

Types of Mindset

Some people view their abilities as so deeply ingrained that they cannot be changed. This is a mindset perpetuated by the corporate world where people stay on career “paths” or “tracks.” The confluence of this fixed skill mindset, corporate structures, and inertia limit the belief that change is possible.  

This perspective causes people to accept unhappy situations because they cannot see themselves succeeding outside their narrowly defined purview.

But it is wrong.

Thinking that skills are set in stone is a self-limiting belief. Your abilities and capabilities are elastic and proficiencies can be learned and grown. 

On the other hand, a growth-oriented mindset is a necessary starting point for evolution or perhaps a revolution with respect to your relationship with the world. The growth mindset is predicated on knowing that you can get outside the stifling walls of comfort zone and be, or do, much more than you have previously done. You can nurture your skills through learning, work and support.

To be clear, it is true that we are imbued with different aptitudes, attitudes, and approaches to life (and the ability to embed alliterations). And, this is the key: We can all grow from our starting point. There are no limits. This is one of the hardest concepts for my clients to understand.

Mindset and Franchising

The beauty of franchising is that it provides everything necessary for someone to launch and scale a business successfully. There is a proven business model and plan, training, and support. However, even a franchise cannot provide the most important factor: The belief that they can succeed. That comes from the growth mindset. 

During the Great Re-evaluation we witnessed millions of people so bitterly unhappy that they left their corporate jobs without acquiring another one. I hear the individual stories. Bad bosses. Lack of respect. Daily negative emotions. My clients regularly describe their current work experiences by using words like “miserable,” “unhappy,” “frustrating,” and “humiliating.”

If you choose to stay in a suboptimal spot, you are accepting your lot.

Life is full of choices but choosing to accept a bad situation and not envisage a way out is unfathomable. This choice is an inflection point. If you choose to stay in a suboptimal spot, you are accepting your lot. The seminal truth is that nothing in your life will ever be different if you do not change. Let that sink in. If you are unhappy but choose not to do anything about it, nothing will change.

On the other hand, many choose to join a franchise, and very few of them ever regret it. I believe the vast majority of individuals who do choose to change their lives have growth mindsets. For these people, change is success, and failure occurs when they cease to grow. Curious, they reach beyond themselves to where they want to be — and guess what? They achieve their potential.

As a franchise consultant, I can provide my clients with brand matches, information and guidance, but I cannot provide them with what they need most: a mindset that enables them to believe they are capable of much more. If franchise candidates believe that they can change, develop, and stretch themselves, they can change their lives.

Belief in your abilities and the mindset growth is a choice. Make a wise one!


Previous ArticleNext Article
Mark Schnurman helps aspiring business owners across the country fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams through franchising. One of the top franchise consultants in the country, Mark’s book The Perfect Franchise is available here! Mark is the owner of Franchisingforce.com and a member of The International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG). Mark can be reached at mark@franchisingforce.com or 973-452-4558.
Send this to a friend