It’s January, which usually heralds a collective desire to eat healthily and the inevitable flood of new gym memberships that are entirely well-meaning but ultimately doomed.

However, the start of a new year also marks the perfect time to begin training your brain, for as much as your body needs exercise and healthy food, your mind needs regular servicing to ensure it’s in the best possible form. And, if you’re a small business owner, it’s vital you treat your brain to a serious workout as regularly as possible.

You’ll doubtless have heard the phrase ‘positive mental attitude’ (or ‘PMA’, if you’re into your acronyms), but before dismissing it for being nothing more than whimsical advice, it’s worth considering how it can help anyone become ultra successful in their chosen sector.

With the right mental attitude, your start up will quickly become the disruptive social enterprise you’ve dreamed of, and it’s all down to one person – you.

Here’s how to train your brain for business success.

1. Talk to someone new every week

When starting out alone or building a micro business, it’s easy to get lost in your own world. You created your social enterprise because you deeply believe in the good your company can bring to its field, but don’t forget there’s a whole world outside of your immediate colleagues, customers and partners.

Every week, make it your mission to speak to someone with whom you’ve never had dealings. This can be achieved via networking events, on Twitter or by simply picking up the telephone, but whichever way you choose to speak to strangers, keep it up.

The social economy is a vibrant, inclusive one, so dive in at every opportunity and expand your mind.

2. Keep fit

Wow, we’re back at the gym again, aren’t we? Absolutely! Or, at the very least, a regular jog around your local park.

A fit body fosters a fit mind. The more air you can get into your lungs and the faster you can set your heat rate pulsing, the stronger your brain will become.

Keep a regular fitness regime and ensure you schedule in time to work on your body and health alongside the daily grind.

3. Focus on the vision – not just the vocation

Days whizz by at an alarming rate when you run a social enterprise. In fact, they disappear so quickly that it’s often easy to loose sight of the bigger picture.

To avoid getting caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and your daily to-do list, add to the latter a regular check-in with your overall vision. This is vitally important, because the vision of a social enterprise should change and mould with the world in which it inhabits, and with your growing confidence and experience. Keep an eye on it and ensure the vocation never overtakes the vision.

4. Focus on what you can influence

There’s little you can do about political turmoil or exchange rates, therefore if you often spend time worrying about situations that are beyond your control, you’d be far better off focussing your thoughts on the things you can influence.

Your business plan is entirely within your control. Put everything into it and you’ll be successful, no matter the prevailing conditions.

5. Treat yourself

We all love a treat, and if you’re running your own business, you’ll occasionally deserve one – from yourself!

Don’t be afraid to give yourself mini-rewards whenever you reach a goal or hit a particular commercial milestone. It’ll make the hard work all the more worthwhile and ensure you fully appreciate your own efforts.

Final thoughts

Nothing quite beats a positive mental attitude in business, and while the above tips won’t offer a quick-fix for business success, if they’re adhered to day-in, day-out, your commercial enterprise will stand the absolute best chance of being successful.

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