Are you an entrepreneur? There isn’t some magical gene that some people have, and others don’t. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a business, you’ve already committed an entrepreneurial act. You just have to develop an entrepreneur’s mindset to be a successful one.
What Is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
A mindset is a framework for thinking and acting that governs the way you behave. A business mindset is a foundation for thinking that enables you to see what needs to be done for business success and to take ownership and implement appropriate actions.
An entrepreneurial mindset is a business mindset and more. It’s a creative mindset that’s always looking for new ideas and new ways of doing things. It’s a mindset that has confidence in itself yet is always trying to find ways to get better.
Most importantly, an entrepreneurial mindset can be developed. There is work you can do to build it. To succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll need it.
Without the right mindset, it’s hard to put in all the work that entrepreneurship demands. When obstacles arise, it’s easy to give up. With an entrepreneur’s mindset, however, you can keep your goal in mind and continue to take the steps to reach it.
Critical Mindset Characteristics
Entrepreneurship starts with a dream. But unless you nourish the characteristics you need to succeed, it will remain just a dream. Here are six important traits to grow within yourself.
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The first requisite is to care about what you’re doing. You need to be pursuing something that will improve people’s lives or make the world better. The passion to earn a lot of money or become famous will take you only so far. Your passion has to be something beyond pleasing yourself, yet it should align with something that resonates with who you are. You’re more likely to succeed as a restaurateur if have a passion for food and for people to enjoy eating it.
Passions can be developed, and they need to be nourished. Learn all you can about your passion. The more you know about your goal and how it will improve lives, the more passionate you’ll become. Read about it, discuss it with people and champion it. Like romantic love, it needs nourishment to flourish.
Late President Harry Truman summed up accountability when he said, “The buck stops here.” You have to take the attitude that everything that happens in your venture is your responsibility and that you are the one who determines success or failure.
It may not be your doing that your funding falls through, that a vendor fails to supply a part or that there simply isn’t enough time to get things done. That doesn’t matter; it’s up to you to fix it.
Decision-making is a big part of accountability. You may not have as much information as you’d like, but when the time comes to act, you must go ahead and make a call. You may make the wrong decision. In that case, you have to own your choice. No one cares that you would have chosen differently “if only you had known.”
You can start practicing accountability in your life today. If you’re late, don’t blame it on traffic. If you can’t deliver what someone expected from you, don’t point the finger at the person who let you down. Fix what’s happening upstream of you.
Don’t make excuses. Just tell people you’ll fix it. And do so.
Creativity goes beyond making marginal improvements to the way something is done. It’s finding entirely new ways or even scrapping what’s been done and doing something different.
Always be looking for new opportunities and ideas. Frequently step back and ask “what if.” What if it didn’t take a week to do a process, what if people could communicate in an entirely new way, what if consumers could get something directly rather than acting through an intermediary. What if we ignore a long-standing rule or disbelieve what everyone knows to be true.
You can start building creativity in small ways. It can be as simple as engaging both sides of your brain by, for example, operating your computer mouse with your non-dominant hand or finding as many routes as you can to get to work. You might keep a journal of oddball ideas.
Another key: always be actively listening. Not all of your creative ideas will originate inside of you.
This characteristic may be surprising because there’s a stereotype that great entrepreneurs are egotistical. And some certainly are. But humility – the ability not to be full of oneself and to admit one’s shortcomings and learn – goes a long way toward building an entrepreneurial mindset.
There is always going to be someone smarter than you or better at what they do. An entrepreneurial thinker isn’t threatened by such people. Instead, they see an opportunity to learn.
Humble people listen to others. They’re willing to collaborate. They don’t despair when they make mistakes, because they recognize that they’re not always going to be right. People with humility don’t focus on themselves and don’t get puffed up over what they may have accomplished.
Anyone can cultivate humility. Don’t speak up just to let people know how smart you are. Don’t tout your experiences or accomplishments if they’re not relevant to the discussion at hand. Reduce your focus on “I” and let others have their share of the spotlight.
Fortunately, a person can be humble and confident at the same time. You can be confident even when you don’t have all the answers and aren’t entirely sure what you’re doing. It’s part positive mental attitude, part getting used to feeling uncomfortable about your knowledge level and partly the attitude that you’ll learn what you need to know as you go. Whether it’s giving a presentation, negotiating with a vendor or carrying out a marketing campaign, the entrepreneurial mindset is this: other people figured out how to do it and I can too.
You need confidence because no one else is going to launch your business for you. You may get help and coaching, and you may contract for some tasks, but you yourself have to ride herd on everything that’s important.
To develop confidence, start proving to yourself that you can do things you don’t entirely understand. If you’ve been wanting to blog, just jump in and throw your first post out there. If you want to go camping but never have, make a list, grab your supplies and head for the woods. Confidence grows by leaps and bounds when you figure things out on the fly.
Every entrepreneurial venture begins with a vision, but it won’t go anywhere if that vision remains vague. A visionary mindset actively imagines how that vision can become a reality. It’s important to write that vision down and articulate it in as much detail as you can. Once you’ve done that, you can start naming the steps to get there.
Those steps come in the form of goals or milestones. They are specific, they have a date and they’re measurable: you can know whether you’ve achieved them.
A vision and its goals will sustain you when the going gets tough and you’re mired in details. It reminds you that you’re not just ordering supplies or making a phone call. You’re improving people’s lives and making the world a better place, and in a way that no one else is doing.
You can start being a visionary today, even if you have a full-time job that you can’t quit right now. What’s your dream? How do you get there? What can you learn, which skills can you develop and what steps can you take while you’re still working?
What Are You Waiting For?
If you have a dream, you have it in you to be an entrepreneur. Only you can decide if you’re going to do the work to develop the mindset that fosters success. Some people say that entrepreneurs have innate traits that you have to be born with. Don’t believe it. Others contend that you need to be a computer whiz or to have some other special skill. Not so; you can learn what you need as you go.
What is required, however, is the mindset of an entrepreneur. You’re not going to wake up some morning and find an entrepreneurial mindset under your pillow. You need to make specific efforts to develop your passion, accountability, creativity, humility, confidence and vision. Other people have done it, and you can too.
Articulate that vision, start planning how to get there and dedicate yourself to the tasks the will build the winning mindset. Get going and good luck!
Company Bio:Tailor Brands makes it easy for small business owners to launch and grow a business. Through a suite of automated tools for logo design, website creation, LLC formation, and branding, business owners can build their online presence in a few clicks.