Cultivating a Successful Mindset
Being an independent developer is one of the best ways that I know of to get to know yourself. Especially when you’re working solo. You are out there and no one is going to make things happen if you don’t do it. You may not need to actually do the work yourself but you are certainly the initiator and the driver. It’s easy to get in the moment hurtling towards a goal and forget to take a look around to see if the landscape is still the same. Especially if the goal is far off in the future. This can be a tough inner challenge. Focusing and then stepping back to look in from afar to introspect. Can you remember to do this? How often should you step back? How long to focus for? Am I on the right path? Was I ever? Constantly questioning yourself isn’t good either. It’s tough. Keeping yourself in a productive mental state is a constant balancing act. You get better at it with practice but no one can be on-point all of the time.
Success is as much if not more so a mental game as it is tactics and strategy. Anyone can learn about the tactics to build a product and launch it. Information on how to do this is plentiful and the eager learner can immerse themselves in blogs, ebooks, videos, and podcasts covering the subject. But what is often not acknowledged is that unless you have the right mindset knowledge of tactics is useless.
Mindset is how you see the world around you and how you see yourself within that world. World-view and self-image are determined by your subconscious beliefs which can be either limiting or empowering. A limiting belief is one that keeps you from obtaining your goals or your dreams. The key to cultivating a successful mindset is to identify and change your limiting beliefs.
I see limiting beliefs all of the time while out in the wild-lands of the internet. Phrases such as, “I can’t do anything about it”, “it’s not possible to succeed on the App Store”, “only free apps have a chance” or “developers are at the mercy of Apple for promotion”. These are all limiting beliefs. Sure, they might seem to have the ring of truth but it is your attitude in how you approach those obstacles that will determine your success and ultimately your personal happiness. Can you change consumer behavior around app pricing? Not likely. But, you could consider a different target customer such as businesses, pros, or high-value niches. You can be held captive by your limiting beliefs or you can see new opportunities. The attitude and willingness to consider alternatives is a mindset that leads to success.
So, to any aspiring indie developers, beginning entrepreneurs and even the seasoned among us I suggest that the first thing you need is to cultivate the correct mindset. Pay attention to your feelings and attitudes towards obstacles. Identify limiting beliefs and work to correct them. This will provide you with a firm foundation from which to tackle challenges. With the correct mindset everything else will fall into place including that next great product.