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Business Growth Mindset: Motivation vs Discipline

business growth mindset

Written by Richard Mawer

Richard is the Amazon #1 best selling author of the book "Remarkable Business Growth" and has an obsession with helping small business owners to build remarkable businesses that are capable of doubling revenue every 12 months and leave visitors and customers wowed at every touch point.

April 17, 2024

One thing I am fascinated by is the business growth mindset that we all need to embrace as entrepreneurs. When I am working alongside owners to grow their businesses, there are certain things I know we need in place. I would say that discipline is definitely one of the most important, doing what they need to do each day. I talk about this in my book “Remarkable Business Growth” and it is a core principle for success.

In the video below, Steven Bartlett explains how he balances the filming a series of Dragon’s Den with running four multi-million pound businesses. If you skip to 4m 40secs into the video, it is 6am and he is up and getting ready to go to the gym. He has a discussion about the difference between motivation and discipline and it really struck a chord.

The last thing Steven wants to do is go to the gym, but he knows he has to. He is tired and lacks the motivation, but discipline makes him do it. He says:

“These moments in my life are all about discipline and not motivation because I really don’t feel like going to the gym today but I know in these moments to act on my knowledge not my emotions.”

Steven Bartlett – Entrepreneur & Dragon

Embracing Your Business Growth Mindset – Being The Business Builder

We are all human and every day we face these battles in our mind. So as a busy business owner how do you deal with it? Especially because it is how we are wired as human beings.

If you look at the human brain, it has three distinct areas:

  1. Cerebellum – The Reptile Brain – This is the oldest part of our brain. It is the instinctive fight or flight area of the brain that is there to protect us. It is a scarcity mindset that gives us out survival mode. A limited resource mentality that we fall back on when we feel threatened. If you have ever felt stressed and panicked in a situation, this is what is controlling you.
  2. Limbic System – The Monkey Brain – The largest part of the brain is very task oriented, functional and a good worker. When you are operating in this part of the brain you are getting work done and comfortable. If you ever just turn up for work and do functional low-value work, you are feeding the Monkey Brain.
  3. Cortex – The Business Builder – As our brains have developed, this is the newest part of the brain. It is your creative brain, it shows empathy, compassion and is highly strategic. The business builder sees the world as full of resources and full of possibilities. When you are thinking creatively and strategically, you are in this part of your brain and anything is possible.

Motivation vs Discipline

So motivation is very instant gratitude, its about the here and now, it feeds the Monkey and Lizard brains. But discipline is what the business builder relies on to get get sh*t done. When I talk with clients about the importance of developing a structured growth strategy, this is exactly what I am doing. I want them to be in the business builder part of their brain as often as possible in the day. When their strategy drives their tactical execution, they have to be in a business growth mindset.

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