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Mindsets That Hold You Back in Your Business

I recently spoke at the first Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Small Business Success session for 2024. As part of my presentation, I anonymously polled attendees on the mindsets that they believe most hold them back in their business. Here are the results:

  • Mindset of Helping - 29%

  • Mindset of Comparison - 29%

  • Mindset of Inadequacy - 17%

  • Mindset of an Imposter - 12%

  • Mindset of Scarcity - 6%

  • Mindset of Binary Thinking - 6%

Mindsets That Hold You Back in Your Business

While there are others, these are the mindsets I discussed at length in my book. 

It's not surprising to me that the mindsets of helping and comparison are top choices. The mindset of helping ("I want to help everyone") is quite understandable in a room full of entrepreneurs and business owners. They wake up every morning, ready to serve. The comparison mindset ("I'm not as good as...") coming out on top in a social media-soaked world is hardly a surprise, either.

Here are some ways the mindset of helping shows up:

  • "I'm on a mission to serve everyone I meet."

  • "I'm a digital marketing consultant. A great client for me is anyone who is on social media."

  • Taking on all clients who come your way.

  • Regularly discounting because you see clients that "need the help."

The mindset of comparison is revealed in examples like these:

  • "I have to charge a lower price than my [larger/better-looking/longer-tenured] competitor."

  • Constantly shifting your well-conceived business strategy based on what you see others do.

  • You're eager to offer a discount so you can "one up" a competitor you envy.

The problem with these thought patterns is that they obscure the focus of what you, as a business owner, should be obsessed with: the value clients perceive, both tangible and intangible, in the transformational outcomes that you deliver.

What I call The Generosity Mindset™ sharpens your focus on client-perceived value. It's ditching the pitch and focusing on the needs, hopes, and frustrations of clients first. In turn, you'll better understand what clients are best suited for you, and the value those clients see in your work. You'll be able to price more effectively.

"Others first" is the antidote to your self-limiting mindsets.


Are you frustrated by your pricing? Need help articulating your value? Do you need a better way to identify and close your best-fit clients? Do you want to restore the joy you used to have for your business? I may be able to help you.

The Generosity Mindset

I’m John Ray, a business consultant and coach, author, and podcaster. I advise solopreneurs and small professional services firms on their two most frustrating problems: pricing and business development. I’m passionate about how changes in mindset, positioning, and pricing change the trajectory of a business and the lifestyle choices of a business owner. My clients are professionals who are selling their expertise, such as consultants, coaches, attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners. Click here to learn more or contact me directly.

I’m the author of the national bestselling book, The Generosity Mindset: A Journey to Business Success by Raising Your Confidence, Value, and Prices. The book covers topics like value and adopting a mindset of value, pricing your services more effectively, proposals, and essential elements of growing your business. The book is available at all major physical and online book retailers.


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