Feb. 2, 2020

Which of These 3 Mistakes are Keeping You From Scaling as Fast as You Could Be?

Which of These 3 Mistakes are Keeping You From Scaling as Fast as You Could Be?

Wish you knew the secrets to work smarter not harder? 

HINT: It starts with cultivating a real entrepreneur mindset.

To take your business to the next level, you must first cultivate a true growth mindset and let go of the belief that "hard work and hustle" are key ingredients for success.

I’ve spent the last 6 years researching and discovering the answer behind why we believe that hard work is just what it takes to be successful. I've pushed the limits to see if it's really possible to work less and make more. The results are astonishing, and if you've been searching for a way to grow your business faster without working harder, then you'll love what you hear inside today's episode.

"Work smarter not harder" is no longer just a cliche. It's a real possibility when you put these key strategies into place and learn the steps you need to develop the entrepreneur mindset of a true visionary leader.


  • Three massive mistakes that prevent you from developing a true entrepreneur mindset
  • How to avoid these mistakes so you can work smarter not harder and create the freedom and impact you want
  • Why maintaining a growth mindset is tough, even when you're working toward your goals and dreams
  • Where stress and overwhelm really come from (hint: it's not what you think!)
  • The revolutionary new way to work smarter not harder and really move that needle in your business

Listen closely, because if you’re making any of these three mistakes, you'll continue to struggle to reach the next level in your business and it feel impossible to cultivate the growth mindset you need for real success.

It is possible to work smarter not harder. Here at The EffortLESS Life®, we're on a mission to show you how. One of the first essential steps is learning what you need to develop a true entrepreneur mindset, and inside today's episode, I'll show you how to do exactly that.

Are you ready? Let's dive in!

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode #2!

Want to know the secret to work smarter not harder and cultivate a successful entrepreneur mindset? It's simple: learn to avoid three massive mistakes that keeps you from having the growth mindset you need in order to be successful.

This episode is for you if… 

  • You feel like you’re working hard, with little to show for it
  • You want to understand what it means to work smarter not harder (and how to do it)
  • You want to discover the secrets to cultivating a 6 and 7-figure entrepreneur mindset
  • You’re ready to feel clear, focused, and in control of your life and growth mindset so you can experience real success without the overwork and exhaustion

Inside this episode, I'll show you where stress and overwhelm come from, how they keep you from cultivating a growth mindset, and why burnout happens to people who are working on things they’re passionate about and pursuing their goals and dreams.

HELLO and welcome to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast! I’m your host Courtney Elmer, and as a Wellness Entrepreneur and Stress Expert, I’m dedicated to showing busy entrepreneurs like you what it REALLY means to work smarter not harder and how to cultivate a true entrepreneur mindset, so you can grow your income, influence, and impact without overworking and easily maintain the growth mindset you need to succeed in business. 

Like one of my own mentors says, “Hard work and hustle are not key ingredients to success.” Cultivating an entrepreneur mindset, a real growth mindset, is exactly what I’ve spent the last 6 years researching. I wanted to understand WHY we believe that hard work is just what it takes to be successful, and to find out if it’s possible to work smarter not harder and grow faster by doing less.

That’s what we’re diving into today: three of the deadly, massive mistakes I see smart entrepreneurs making that prevents them from cultivating an entrepreneur mindset and keeps them playing small in their business no matter how many hours they spend working.

If you’re making any of these mistakes, chances are you haven't developed the growth mindset you need to work smarter not harder, and aren't growing as quickly as you could be. Don't worry -- this is exactly where I found myself for many years, thinking I was cultivating a growth mindset, a true entrepreneur mindset, and doing all the things the experts were telling me, but not ever realizing how I was sabotaging myself in the process. And I'm going to show you what to avoid so you don't waste time and energy on the wrong things.

Despite popular opinion, it’s not just a cliche to work smarter not harder. Learning to adopt the entrepreneur mindset you need for success is easier than you might think. To work smarter not harder is something you really can learn how to do. Unfortunately, it's something not many people are showing you how to do. That's why in today’s episode I’ll teach you the exact steps you need to create a true growth mindset by avoiding three massive mistakes most entrepreneurs make, and show you how to work smarter not harder by developing an entrepreneur mindset so you can hit your biggest goals faster.

I was on the phone the other day with a friend of mine talking about why it’s so critical to have an entrepreneur mindset, and why most people struggle to cultivate the growth mindset they need for success. Then she said something shocking. “I’ve been to way too many funerals of people in their 40s who had their whole life ahead of them. People who had a bucket list of things they wanted to do, a long list of dreams still to come true. People whose dreams and lives were wasted, because they never learned how to cultivate a true entrepreneur mindset and learn to work smarter, not harder.” 

It’s sad. I’ve seen it happen too much. After my own life and death experience, this is one of the main reasons why it’s my mission to support busy entrepreneurs in taking the steps to level up their business and create a greater impact with a real growth mindset and a simple new approach to work smarter not harder -- so that they can step into their power as the EffortLESS CEO™ their business needs by thinking bigger with an entrepreneur mindset and recognizing they’re worth more than how much they “do.”

What we’re going to cover today about developing an entrepreneur mindset, cultivating a true growth mindset and learning to work smarter not harder, is so important. It’s an episode you’ll want to come back and listen to so you can make sure these three mistakes aren’t keeping you stuck and causing you to spin your wheels in your business.

Let’s dive into these three massive mistakes so you can learn how to avoid them and gain the growth mindset you need for success so you can begin to work smarter not harder. 

I’ve made every single one of these mistakes myself in the early days of my business, because they’re incredibly easy to make, but also incredibly easy to fix and that’s what we want to do so you can work smarter not harder now instead of later. 

Mistake #3: Not cultivating a growth mindset and chasing after your goals with no clear plan in place to achieve them.

The personal goals and dreams that you’re working toward for themselves is not the problem. The problem is chasing after them willy-nilly without a clear plan in place to achieve them, being willing to give up the life that’s in front of you today thinking it will help you reach the life you hope to live “one day” more quickly. 

Our culture tries to convince you that the best way to cultivate a growth mindset and measure your success is to compare where you are now with where someone else is on their journey. You look at other people’s social media and think, “what am I missing?!” They seem to have it all together! They have the growth mindset, they know how to work smarter, not harder, they're acting and thinking like a successful entrepreneur, and I want that too.

But the message our culture sends you every single day is that “hard work and effort” is the price of success. 

Trying to grow your business faster by working more is the exact opposite of what it means to work smarter not harder. It’s also the fastest way to burn yourself out. When you’re bogged down by all the busy-work, you’re not taking time to develop an entrepreneur mindset, and when you lack the growth mindset you need for real, long-term success, it costs you business, it costs you potential clients, and worst of all it costs you the possibility of operating your business any other way. 

If you think the only way to have the success you want someday is to overwork yourself today in order to get there, you’ve got another thing coming. It's going to be impossible to grow if this is the "growth mindset" you are operating from.

When you step back and learn the key strategies you need to develop an entrepreneur mindset, work smarter not harder, and learn the key strategies to move the needle in your business, your goals become easier to reach (and you no longer feel that constant pressure to get it all done so quickly). You quit wasting your time on the busy-work that keeps you stuck and stressed, and you free up your time to start investing it where you really want to: on yourself, in your growth mindset, with your family, and with the people who are most important to you. Most importantly, you’re able to find self-worth in who you ARE, not in how much you DO.

Stop measuring your success based on whether or not you’ve achieved your dream life. Stop wasting your time and energy focusing on the tasks that don’t move the needle, the ones that are preventing you from being able to work smarter not harder. Start cultivating a real entrepreneur mindset and learning to think like 6 and 7-figure CEOs.

If you fail to develop a growth mindset, it’ll lead you directly to massive mistake number two: the urge to brag about how busy you are. 

Let’s be real, no one has ever said there’s an official competition to see who is more exhausted at the end of the day. But to see the way most people work, you’d think that there was a million-dollar prize! 

One of the major reasons so many entrepreneurs like to brag about how busy they are is because their self-worth is currently tied up in how much they DO. They think to work smarter not harder means the more or harder they work, the more productive they can be, and the more productive they are, the faster they’ll reach their goals. They believe the faster they reach their goals, the more successful they’ll be, the stronger their growth mindset will be, and when they’re finally successful, then they’ll feel fulfilled. Real 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs with a true entrepreneur mindset don’t think like this.

More work does not equal more impact. More work just equals more work.

If you don’t have the success you want, it’s natural to pile more and more on your plate, which deep down feeds your innate human need to feel purposeful, feel productive, to cultivate a growth mindset, and feel significant -- like you matter.

But when you’re too busy being busy, it’s going to take you longer to be successful. In reality, all this “doing” just clogs up your calendar and sucks your time! 

If you... 

  • Complain about having NO time on your calendar, but are always finding ways to add to your schedule
  • Find yourself saying 'yes' to all sorts of commitments you don’t want to say yes to
  • Have zero “me time” because you’re giving up their own happiness in order to focus on everyone else’s needs first
  • Want to cultivate a growth mindset but carry a heavy mental load because you have so many balls you’re juggling at one time
  • Crave quality time and want to slow down and enjoy life more, but are worried that if you do, it’ll mean you’re not making progress toward your goals and dreams

It’s no wonder you can’t figure out how to work smarter not harder! Let’s be real -- for most entrepreneurs who struggle with any of these things, the real belief is that if you’re not working, not growing or cultivating a growth mindset, then you won’t achieve anything. And since your achievements are the benchmark by which you currently measure your success, not achieving causes you to choose to feel insignificant and unsuccessful -- the exact opposite of how you want to feel! 

So most entrepreneurs who find themselves in this place overwork themselves and burn themselves out, failing to develop the entrepreneur mindset they need to overcome this trap.

Know this: You’re worth so more than how much you DO.

When you realize that success does not come from busy-ness, your calendar frees up. You’re able to identify and focus on the high-payoff activities that make you money, not just the tasks that feel urgent and suck your time. When you have the right strategies in place to work smarter not harder, you can take more downtime for yourself without feeling guilty, and developing a growth mindset feels effortless. 

You'll finally feel balanced, and instead of drawing from an empty well of exhaustion trying to take care of everyone and everything around you, you’ll have an abundance of energy to give from and giving feels good, not like it’s taking something away from you.

The final deadly mistake is this: believing the lie that working harder is the only way to achieve success, while failing to define what success even looks like for you.

If you feel like you’re only as good as the amount of things you can get done in a day and think that “working hard” is the only way you'll ever have a chance at living the successful lifestyle you want to live, you’ll never be able to cultivate an entrepreneur mindset or the growth mindset you need to get your business where you want it to be, because you’ll keep burning out. 

If you keep living for the day when you’ll be able to take a deep breath, it will keep you from realizing that with a few simple tweaks, you could work smarter not harder starting now and experience more freedom, clarity, and inner peace today. 

Our culture preaches a work smarter not harder mentality, while simultaneously praising busy-ness and overwork. Mixed messages like these get you nowhere. Addiction to being busy is a very real problem, but there’s no recovery program that exists for an addiction to busy-ness like there is for drug or alcohol abuse.

It breaks my heart to see so many entrepreneurs suffer like this, abusing themselves with overwork and overwhelm. Their mental health suffers; their physical health suffers; their families suffer. Everyone feels the effects of a person who is stressed to the max, and who can’t help but take it out on everyone around them. Worse, the entrepreneurs who are stuck in this cycle don’t realize that it costs them money, time, and freedom to live this way -- the things they’re working so hard to have more of. 

Unfortunately, few people out there are teaching you how to develop the entrepreneur mindset you need to work smarter not harder. Life will keep passing you by until you wake up and realize that there is a different way, and that it is within your power to take back control of your life, learn a new approach to work smarter not harder, and develop your entrepreneur mindset so you can experience the influence, income, and impact you deserve. 

Wondering where to start? Start by defining WHAT success looks and feels like for you. To work smarter not harder, you don't need more focus. You need clarity and a growth mindset. 

When you give up the belief that hard work and hustle are the keys to success, that’s when you can begin to work smarter not harder, and that's when you'll start to see real growth. That’s when you take back control of your calendar. That’s when you begin to scale your business sustainably without burning out.

You must take a look at your current entrepreneur mindset, assessing if it’s a growth mindset or a limiting mindset that’s keeping you stuck, and learn the simple new approach to work smarter not harder, which is what I’m here to show you how to do here and in the episodes ahead. 


When you research the different motivations why people work for themselves, it’s usually because they simply want more out of life. From the outside, many of these people appear to have an entrepreneur mindset and appear to be successful. But 9 times out of 10, on the inside, they don’t feel successful at all and they've failed to cultivate any sort of growth mindset along the way.

They start overworking, chasing after their goals and spending late nights working at their desk to get more done because they haven't learned what it means to work smarter not harder. They’ve failed to cultivate a true entrepreneur mindset, because no one has shown them how. They only see what’s in front of them, focusing on what feels urgent and important, instead of stepping back to see the bigger picture of where they're headed. Their mind races when they go to bed because they feel anxious about how to juggle all the many tasks on their plate, which stagnates their growth mindset because they're too busy thinking of other more 'urgent' things. They rarely take time off because they feel guilty whenever they're not working. Their relationships start to suffer because of their overworking, and they compare themselves to others' success and often feel like a failure and a fraud in their own business.

Until they learn the new approach to work smarter not harder, the best-case scenario is they continue doing what they’re doing, working hard without paying any attention to the health of their entrepreneur mindset and not seeing much progress. The worst-case scenario? They begin to suffer from all kinds of mental, physical, and emotional distress. It shows up in their work as a lack of focus, low energy, and lack of motivation. It causes tension and strain in their closest relationships. It might even show up in their body through illness, anxiety, depression, even cancer. 

They mistakenly think these problems are a result of being too stressed and overwhelmed, but stress and overwhelm aren’t the problem. Stress and overwhelm are the red flags alerting you that something deeper is going on! 

Think about it! Your body’s fight-or-flight response is the built-in mechanism that alerts you to danger. Stress and overwhelm are indicators that if you keep working the way you’re working and never learn how to cultivate a real growth mindset and work smarter not harder, it’ll lead to danger. Danger for your business, your health, your relationships, and your life. 

Since overcoming cancer at 25, I learned that working harder is NOT the fastest way to reach your dreams. It is possible to level up your business and work smarter not harder, by cultivating an entrepreneur mindset and implementing a simple approach to create the bigger income and impact you want without overworking. 

That’s why I’m here and it’s the whole purpose behind this podcast: to teach you the surprising truth behind what’s keeping you from reaching your goals, to help you optimize your growth mindset, and equip you with the tools you need to overcome the challenges standing in your way of you and your biggest dreams. It starts with evaluating your current entrepreneur mindset, reorienting it toward growth, and learning a simple, step-by-step approach to work smarter not harder. 

CAUTION: Knowing that you should work smarter not harder and cultivate an entrepreneur mindset doesn’t mean you understand how to do it. That’s the problem with so much of the info out there today. Everyone’s blasting you with WHAT you need to do, but not teaching you how to do it. That’s why in anything I do I am always sharing the growth mindset and the strategy behind it, because you need both for true success. 

Let’s look at the first steps you need to take to work smarter not harder, so you can think like a successful entrepreneur by developing a real entrepreneur mindset and level up your business to experience the greater freedom and impact you deserve. 

First: you must realize that stress, overwhelm, and overwork don’t come from having too much on your plate or too long of a to-do list. Even more importantly, stress and time cannot be “managed” (we talked about why in Episode 01)  

Overwork and overwhelm are symptoms of a problem that’s much deeper than poor time management, lack of focus, or lack of self-discipline and willpower. There’s nothing wrong with YOU. The thing that’s hurting you most is not even necessarily the way you’re doing things. What's hurting you is the way you’re currently looking at your business. It's not enough to say you need a growth mindset. What you need is to learn how to cultivate the entrepreneur mindset of a true CEO. The entrepreneurs who have crossed the 6 and 7 figure marks in their businesses know this. They’ve taken time to assess what’s not working, look deeper into their entrepreneur mindset, and learned how to work smarter not harder, and if you want the same kind of success, you need to do this too. 

You must realize that you only have so much time, energy, discipline, and willpower to go around. Hard work and effort are limited resources. Which is why you’ll be unable to work smarter not harder and develop a real growth mindset if you’re relying solely on these limited resources to grow your business.

There are thousands of books on stress and time management, but we’re still searching for answers to work smarter not harder and get more done. That’s because the “solution” of time-management isn’t a solution at all -- it’s just a Band Aid for a gaping wound. Worse, that these temporary "quick fix" bandages only continue to perpetuate the real problem. 

Until now, you might have been thinking: hard work and effort is just what it takes to be successful! One day when I’m successful I’ll have time to focus on strengthening my entrepreneur mindset and have more time to focus on ways to work smarter not harder. But you’ve got it backwards. Growth that depends on YOUR EFFORT will always be stunted. 

If a “hard work and hustle” mindset is what got you here, feeling stuck, frustrated, and like you’re spinning your wheels, then trying to fix that mindset with MORE hard work and hustle is like slashing your other three tires because you have a flat! To cultivate a true growth mindset, you need a REVOLUTIONARY new approach that cuts through the noise and gets to the root of the issue that’s really happening in the first place. 

IMAGINE the possibilities that’d open up for you if… 

  • Your personal and professional growth didn’t depend on your time or effort
  • You weren’t inundated with to-do’s and overwhelmed by all that needs to get done
  • You had a clear plan in place to evaluate your current entrepreneur mindset, and make sure it's primed for growth
  • You had the focus and clarity you’ve always wanted and knew what activities to focus on to bring in more revenue and create true leverage

To fully step into your role as a true Visionary Leader, you need three things: an entrepreneur mindset, the right strategy in place to free up your energy and give you back your time, and the commitment to learning what it really means to work smarter not harder and strengthen your growth mindset.

For the sake of time today,  I’m going to clue you in on one of the first secrets to work smarter not harder and gain the growth mindset you need for success.

You first have to define what success looks like for you. What does it mean to you? It’s different for everyone, so there's no one right answer. Defining what success looks like for you (and how you'll know when you've achieved your version of success) is one of the first key steps to cultivating an entrepreneur mindset. You have to know where you’re going so you can get there. You wouldn’t get in your car and drive aimlessly without first punching the destination into your Google Maps app, would you? Growing your business is no different.

Overwork, overwhelm, and exhaustion are not normal. When you feel stressed, it’s an indicator! It shows you where you’re off track. It shows you where your growth mindset isn't actually growing.

Today on the show you heard me talk about how to cultivate an entrepreneur mindset so you can work smarter not harder, and why it’s so important to step into your power as the true Visionary Leader your business needs you to be.   

Thank you guys for tuning in, and we’ll see you all here next time on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast! Make sure you’re subscribed so that you’re the first to know as soon as a new episode drops, and take a second and leave us a review. Your reviews really do help people find us, people who need to hear this message. When you leave us a five-star review, we might even feature it on an upcoming episode and give YOU a shout out! 

Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®!