How Your Mentality Impacts Your Business
with John Soforic
with guest John Soforic #MakingBankS5E1
In this time of COVID-19, many small business owners face financial crisis. While many entrepreneurs had to unfortunately shut down their work, others have survived through online orders, the opening of some states, and federal aid. Yet as they continue to face new obstacles, whether COVID related or not, they may find themselves asking the difficult question any owner asks—is it worth it? Should I continue or am I just wasting my time? Am I doing this wrong?
Any career person experiences doubt such as this. While you may feel they affect your mental state, they can also affect the outcome of your business. As both fear and hope seep into your mind, they will externalize themselves in your business. In order to strength your business, you must first strengthen your mind.
On a recent episode of Making Bank, chiropractor and author of the best-selling book “The Wealthy Gardener,” John Soforic discusses his struggle towards financial success. He particularly focuses on the many mental difficulties he faced and how he began to overcome them.
When Soforic graduated from chiropractic college, he had $200,000 worth of student debt, a wife and a growing family. He found out quickly that the chiropractor business had great clients, but poor margins. He turned to real estate to build a retirement fund and income, landing on the number $240,000 as a goal. However, he didn’t know much about real estate. As he says, “I went for 240 at a time when it was absurd. It’s absurd to think about from my position.”
Although absurd, it was attainable. The road to success was a bumpy one, filled with just as many failures as successes, Soforic reached his goal. He started a business and grew closer with his family. How? He paid attention to his mentality just as much as his work.
Changing Your Mind
Soforic touches on how his mental flexibility—or inflexibility—impacted his business. He thought flipping houses would be a certain way. Despite his research, he found out he had a steep learning curve ahead of him. At first, he didn’t want to get his hands dirty, quite literally, on project sites. He states, “I started this off saying, ‘Okay, this is how I do it without picking up a paintbrush.’ Well, never say never. Eventually, I picked up the paintbrush.” He goes on to list other jobs he originally believed someone else would do that he eventually did, such as driving the trash to the dump. His involvement stems from the realization that the more time he spent on a site, the faster things got done, and ultimately, the more money he got as return on his investment.
Now, you may not be flipping houses, but you may have preconceived notions of what your career life will look like. Everyone has an idea of how things will be, sometimes incorrect ones. Those notions aren’t your fault—you can read about writing a bike as much as you like, but you won’t know how to do it unless you try.
Assumptions begin out of ignorance but can be shattered by experience. Perhaps you start a business and don’t understand how long a task may take. You complete the task, check the time, and realize that instead of 2 hours, it’s been 7. The great aspect about starting your new venture is that through exposure, you will be taught what works in practice and what does not. The first step is to not blame yourself for not knowing, and the next step is to learn. At the end of each day, you will have learned something new, whether you listen to that lesson is your choice.
The issue doesn’t derive from not knowing, but rather, not improving. As you expand your knowledge, you will have a better understanding of your business, which will allow you to expand it as well.
Reaching Out to Others
Another aspect of the mind that Soforic focuses on is the need for support. Like many others, Soforic still worked full time as a chiropractor in addition to single-family real estate on the side. He had to pay the short-term bills, but still needed to pursue what he believed would land him long-term financial achievement. While some books may advise entrepreneurs to just quit their day job and dive straight in, they miss the reality of many people’s situation. If you are starting out with a new venture, there’s no shame in maintaining that day job, in fact, it may allot you some extra cash to dedicate to your idea. However, Soforic stressed the importance of his family in this time. “I was vulnerable” with them, he says, very open and vulnerable. He had to rid himself of his ego and express his concerns—and they were receptive. As Soforic tried his best to financially support his family, they emotionally supported him. He spent much of the podcast discussing his relationship to his family, particularly his kids, and how open communication kept him going.
It’s tempting to want to do it all on your own, especially in the beginning. Working two jobs takes a lot out of anyone—it can run you down both physically and mentally. Even working one job, filled with many challenges, can wear on you. Soforic advocates for reaching out to family or friends. If you show vulnerability to those who care about you, you’d be surprised what you may get in return. They may offer support, whether it be their time, money, or empathy. Perhaps an act as simple as a coffee date with a close friend is enough to boost your spirits and get you motivated again. Perhaps you will receive a financial investment. Perhaps not. You never know unless you ask.
Paying attention to your mental state may feel like an excuse at times, but it’s necessary. Ultimately, your mind feeds your business, so you must first feed your mind.