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Successful Business Development Begins with this One Thing

The client was prepping me about his group before I started the workshop.  I learned about the young guns who would someday be the firm’s big rainmakers . . . and those who really needed the help. “Oh,” he said, “and the biggest rainmaker in the firm is here.  He wanted to sit in on your program.”

At the conclusion of the training, an unassuming, very soft spoken, senior gentleman approached me.  He introduced himself as Bob and went on to pepper me with sales strategy questions.  He graciously thanked me for my time and left.

As I was leaving, it occurred to me that I never figured out who the firm’s big rainmaker was.  So I inquired of my client to which he said, “you were just talking to him.  It’s Bob.”  After decades of business development, Bob continued to educate himself and work on his craft.  Bob had a “growth” mindset.

Mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities.  Think about your intelligence, skills, personality and talents.  Are these immovable and fixed at the same point forever?  Those with a “fixed” mindset believe that their traits are set for life and unchangeable.  You are who you are and there is nothing you can do about it.  They tend to resist further development and avoid personal improvement.

But successful people, or over achievers like Bob, have a different mindset.  One that renowned Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck calls a “growth” mindset.  According to Dweck, “there’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with.  People with a growth mindset see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort.  Successful people tend to focus on growth, solving problems, and self-improvement, while unsuccessful people think of their abilities as fixed assets and avoid challenges.”

Like Bob, great rainmakers have a growth mentality.  They’re always learning, evolving and trying new things.  What’s your commitment to growing your practice?  Do you have a “growth” mindset?


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