Startup Mind Power: Turbo-charge your venture

Startup Mind Power

Startup Mind Power is about understanding your mind and using that knowledge so your business functions at a higher level. By using startup mind power you can achieve meaningful ‘beyond expectation’ results quickly.

We all have startup mind power, but most people don’t know how to access and/or use it. Using 2 examples, I want to show you how.

In this post, I’ll share how you can use startup mind power to boost both your communication with prospects as well as customers. And I also want to share how you it is possible to acquire new skills at a much faster rate.

And if you apply the thinking, the results are not short-term. Expect significant and lasting impact from the get-go.

Applying startup mind power will change your business thinking and business performance – exponentially.

How startup mind power impacts your marketing communications

First. Clear your mind.

Now, think about a time in your life when you’ve been able to absorb information much more quickly than usual. Think about the moment when information seemed to flow into your mind, like music.

The clue here is the word – ‘music’. But why?

Music assembles audible information in a manner that makes sense to us. We grow up liking music. Music chimes with our mind and all of us can typically recall and reference songs and soundtracks extremely quickly.

Now think of the opposite. NOISE.

Listen to noise and you will tune out quickly. You will not remember the sequence of notes, the pitch or emphasis. Your mind is tuned to ignore noise because too many brain cells are required to make sense of it.

What’s the lesson?

According to the book ‘Building a Storybrand’ by Donald Miller, most businesses provide prospects and customers with way too much information. Too much NOISE. As a result, people quickly tune out.

His book explains how you should sift, select and structure information you present so people are drawn to what you say.

Donald emphasises the need for STORY because stories ‘make music out of noise’. Telling stories effectively gives you startup mind power. Or as Donald Miller says it’s ‘The secret weapon that will grow your business.’

But how do you tell stories effectively?

Thankfully Mr Miller explains that your business story must adhere to the strict laws that underpin successful movies. The 7 story steps are as follows:

  • A Character
  • Has a Problem
  • And Meets a Guide
  • Who Gives them a Plan
  • And calls them to Action
  • That ends in Success
  • Or helps them avoid Failure

The key here is not to position your problem-solving business as the hero. Your customers are the heroes. You are the guide that shares a plan that allows your customers to find success and/or avoid failure.

Decoding what your customers want to hear (and how they want to hear it) gives your startup mind power. It also ensures your brand messaging is excellent.

You could invest much hard-earned money buying a brand consultant. Or you could spend about £10 and invest a few inspirational hours reading the compelling common-sense ‘Building a Storybrand’.

How startup mind power can impact your learning

As part of this blog’s Startup Survival Podcast, I discovered (thanks to Joshua Anthony) that Startup is the ‘Ultimate personal development program’.

Startup is a tough course to crack. But why is it that some startups can take years to achieve (or never learn at all) what other startups achieve in a year or two?

More importantly for you, how can your startup accelerate learning and achieve much more in less time?

The answer is myelin.


You may have heard about the 10,000 hour practice theory which is rooted in a 1993 paper by Anders Ericsson, called ‘The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance’.

In short, practice for 10,000 hours and you get extremely good at something.

In his book ‘The Talent Code’, author Daniel Coyle explains that as we practice a new skill so the critical nerve fibres in our brain become increasingly insulated by myelin.

Myelin is a protective membrane or sheath that prevents memory leakage. The more we practice, the stronger the myelin gets.

Neuroscientists have proved out the myelin theory and Daniel Coyle uses examples from music and sport (Futsal) to make his case.

How to Speed up Learning

Critically, Coyle’s work shows that if the learner is fully aware of their imperfections and mistakes and is able to put them right as they practice, so the pace of skill acquisition can be increased at a remarkable rate.

Coyle’s book opens with a chapter entitled ‘The Girl who did a month’s worth of practice in 6 minutes’.


Unlike the Brazilian Futsal players, who practice and practice to master trick after trick, or the piano-playing girl (referenced above) so many startups are often not aware of or do not wish to admit to their own imperfections. Or they think they have the perfect product that is utterly ‘unique’.

And this mindset impacts learning badly. I mean, really badly.

Common startup stumbling block

I don’t need to listen. My product is Perfect!

When strong emotions (ego and fear) impact our decisions or we choose to live with false beliefs or in denial, learning is severely hampered. As a result we typically move forwards far more slowly or worse head off in the wrong direction.

And this state of mind is the complete opposite to startup mind power.

Here is an example of how this adverse thinking affects so many startups.

As an Entrepreneur in Residence at 2 London Universities, one of the most common learning stumbling blocks I witness is early startups not wishing to engage with potential customers to get market feedback.

Startups resist asking questions and learning quickly about how to improve their product or service because they think their work is perfect (egotistical denial). Or they resist asking questions and learning quickly because they sense potential rejection (fear).

And when startups fail to engage with authentic learning opportunities the individuals involved typically go onto make mistakes and further bad decisions.

And when this happens myelin wraps itself around the wrong nerve fibres.

And as a consequence, learning important skills takes far more time.

Neurologically speaking, this is a key reason so many businesses never really get off the ground or fail altogether.

However, real speed is achieved when you combine ideas, curiosity and other people. As long as you are not afraid to ask and can listen to what people say, you will learn at a speed many rarely experience.

And the next post focuses on the actions and steps startups shouldn’t take in the early stages and how bad decisions ensure myelin envelops the wrong nerve fibres.

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