Entrepreneur mindset? You need it if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs are the same. They have a distinct entrepreneur mindset which adds to their success. This entrepreneur mindset may have a link with their personality. It might also have to do with their chosen field of work.
When you’re determining your approach to the hurdles of entrepreneurship, consider learning from others’ experiences.
What Is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
The entrepreneurial mindset is the specific state of mind that angles human behavior toward entrepreneurial activities. People having an entrepreneurial mindset are more inclined toward innovation, opportunities, and value-creation.
Traits include the knack of taking calculated risks plus the ability to embrace the realities of change.
12 Signs You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset
If you’re asked to describe a typical entrepreneur, how would you describe him? Optimistic? Dedicated? Passionate? Yes, these qualities do apply. But troublemaker and insecure are more apt, as per ‘treps. The ‘treps know a success when they witness one. Do the following characteristics, quirks, and traits describe you? You may well be an entrepreneur.
- You Believe in Taking Action
Barbara Corcoran is the founder of The Corcoran Group and also co-stars TV’s Shark Tank. She claims, “people who have an idea but not essentially an elaborate strategy, are likely to have entrepreneurial je-ne-sais-quoi. I dislike entrepreneurs with detailed business plans.”
So what does Corcoran suggests? “Invent on the go. Don’t waste time to write a beautiful plan.” She feels that those who examine business tend to overanalyze situations. They fail to take timely actions.
- You’ve Your Fears
Corcoran says, “Many entrepreneurs whom people think of as ambitious are very insecure within.” When assessing potential investments, she says, “I want a person who’s scared to death.” People who’re nervous about failing may become hyper-focused. They’re then ready to do anything it takes to succeed. So, if you’re insecure, use that feeling to anchor you to attain your business goals.
- You’re Resourceful
Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Las Vegas-based company Zappos. He says, “When I was growing up, I just loved watching MacGyver. Because he never had the resources, but somehow he’d find a way to make everything work. Eventually, I think this is what being an entrepreneur means.” It does not have sufficient resources instead of being resourceful with what we have.”
- You’re Concerned About Cash Flow
Brainshark is a Mass.-based sales productivity software provider. Its founder is Joe Gustafson. Before founding Brainshark, Joe bootstrapped a project called Relational Courseware. Joe admits, “All I ever cared about was liquidity and cash-flow. There were seven instances in the history of the company when they didn’t have enough cash to make payroll.”
What was his response? “In earlier times, you could put expenses on your card. But one good only go that far. You ought to have cash.”
- You Don’t Seek Permission
Stephane Bourque is the CEO and founder of Incognito Software. As per him, real entrepreneurs are more likely to seek forgiveness than permission. They forge ahead to deal with the issues or opportunities they spot.
“Entrepreneurs don’t ever get satisfied with status quo,” claims Bourque. He discovered very early on that he wasn’t meant for the corporate world. Bourque’s boss saw his better and new ways of doing things as unwanted criticism. This was when he understood where his destiny was. Now, he asserts, “I want my employees to get into more trouble. This shows that they’re searching for new opportunities to improve company operations.”
- You’re Bold
Robert Irvine is a chef and hosts the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. He says, “Where most see risk, entrepreneurs realize potential.” Real ‘treps aren’t afraid of leveraging their houses and extinguish their card balances to get funds. He says, in some ways, entrepreneurs are ultimate optimists. Because they think that their investment of money and time will pay-off.
- You Embrace Change
“If you’re flexible about the outcomes, you’re less likely to make it,” says Rosemary Camposano. Rosemary is the CEO and President of Halo Blow Dry Bars, a Silicon Valley chain. According to her, one should be ready to listen. Because your clients can tell you which of your services/produces offer maximum value.
Her initial vision for her company was part gift store, and part blow-dry bar. She explains, “this was to help busy ladies multi-task.” But she learned quickly that there was too much confusion because of the gift-shop. People didn’t understand the nature of the business. So, she removed the gift shop. And she added an extra blow-dry chair. Things then took off. Wise entrepreneurs constantly evolve, tuning their business in response to customer feedback.
- You Love Challenges
When faced with problems, many employees try to shift the baton. In contrast, entrepreneurs rise to the occasion. “Challenges push them to perform better,” claims Jeff Platt. Jeff is the CEO of Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park franchise. He further adds, “An entrepreneur doesn’t see anything as impossible. He looks danger in the eye and continues moving.”
Sprinkles Cupcakes founder Candace Nelson agrees. Despite many people questioning her idea of a bakery during the carb-fearing early 2000s, she didn’t budge. And now she is the owner of many locations in 8 states. She was also among the initial entrepreneurs whose business became a craze. It sparked several copycats.
- You See Yourself as an Outsider
Entrepreneurs don’t always get accepts, says Vincent Petryk. Vincent is the founder of J.P. Licks, a chain of ice-cream shops. They’re considered to be demanding, opinionated and quirky. But this isn’t a bad thing. Vincent adds, “they’re often unaccepted as they’re different in some way. This makes them work even harder.” Case in point: Instead of copying the other ice-creams shops, Vincent created his path for his company. While others were buying from popular suppliers, J.P. Licks, made desserts from scratch in bold flavors.
- You Recover Fast
It’s a common thought that successful entrepreneurs fail often and fast. As per Corcoran, the trick lies in the pace of recovery. When you fail, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Avoid wallowing. Instead, immediately move on to the next thing.
- You Listen
Actress Jessica Alba is the president and co-founder of Santa Monica based “The Honest Company. This company sells a home, baby, and personal care items. Alba says, “it’s vital to have those people around you who’re smarter than you. You should listen to ideas which are not yours. I’m very open to ideas of other people who know what I don’t. I believe success takes collaboration, communication, and at times, failure.”
- You Focus on Important Things
“Entrepreneurs fall and get up until they are at it,” claims Micha Kaufman. Micha is the CEO and co-founder of Fiverr, a fast-growing online freelance marketplace. During the launch of Fiverr, there were innumerable potential challenges. But, Kaufman and his team were focusing on the single biggest challenge all market have: creating liquidity. If there is no liquidity, then there’s no marketplace.”
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Nine ‘Mindsets’ You Need to Move From Being an Employee to an Entrepreneur
Mindset is a significant factor contributing to success in every stage of life. In simple terms, how you think throughout your life, dictate the results you get.
But, not all situations need the same mindset. Mindsets should change depending on the circumstances. People who want to quit their jobs to become an entrepreneur must always remember this thing. But sadly, not every potential entrepreneur understands the need for dramatic mindset changes. And in the absence of this, business success is unlikely.
So how should you think differently to be a successful entrepreneur?
- You’re Accountable for Every Decision – Both Good and Bad
Entrepreneurs have an excellent opportunity to build something from absolutely nothing. But this also means taking huge decisions about how, when, and what to do. You can’t waste time waiting for things to happen. Or for someone to instruct you what needs to be done. Instead, you should make things happen. Successful entrepreneurs also know that opportunities can be temporary. Hence, they create a sense of urgency to help them attain their goals.
- You Need to Have Both Long and Short-Term Visions Simultaneously
When working for others, your main task is to ensure that the delegated work is done. But, as an entrepreneur, you need to look beyond the current. You must develop forward thinking to know the potential opportunities and pitfalls. Then make decisions around all the uncertainty. This requires you to understand that what you do/don’t do today, will impact on your business later.
- The Feeling of Being Uncomfortable Is the New ‘, Comfort Zone’
As an employee, you mainly think inside-the-box, instead of outside it. But, in the life of an entrepreneur, there isn’t any box. Your strength lies in seeing what others can’t. You test new ideas, take risks, grab new opportunities. This demands boldness, thick skin, and being able to continue despite rejection.
- Learning Is a Constant Journey
When working for others, you have a set job-description, needing specific skills. But, as an entrepreneur, you need to keep learning. Only when you have the funds to outsource areas you lag, can you stop learning a specific thing. Else, you can’t afford to learn. Because what needs to be done should be done. There’s no space for excuses.
- Numbers Don’t Lie
Where numbers come into play, as an employee, it’s enough to know the inflow and outflow. But, as an entrepreneur, you need to learn to love numbers quickly. Because it’s your cash flow that’ll either keep you in or out of business. Eventually, it’s the cost, sales, profit, and loss, which either give a desirable lifestyle or sleepless nights. But, without numbers, your business will be heading nowhere.
- Love Your Business, but Be Practical
As an employee, you may do something you don’t like just for the salary. But, as an entrepreneur, you’ve to love your business. This is because it demands long hours and significant efforts. But you should never think and act like an employee in your own business. Hence, don’t work ‘in,’ and instead, work ‘on’ the business. Only then will you become the person to steer your business forward.
- Enjoy Breaking Rules
If you break the rules as an employee, it may mean dismissal. In contrast, entrepreneurs don’t care about the status quo. They always seek new ways of doing things. This means developing a global mindset, always looking beyond the horizon to find the next big thing.
- Time Is Not Linear
As an employee, you follow a timetable. But, as an entrepreneur, though you may not be glued to your desk 24/7, you’ll always think about the business. For example, what needs improvement, what’s going well, and so on. You’ll have no respite. You’ll be living and breathing your business.
- Begin Now
Most people don’t understand how much time it takes to become an entrepreneur. Hence, it’s only wise to start changing your mindset while you’re still on the job. Maybe, set-up a business to run simultaneously. This can provide you the chance to build skills and experience while still making your salary.
So, what do you prefer now? Entrepreneur or employee? Is it the right time to switch? Well, it’s entirely your choice.
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Best Read for Today’s Entrepreneurs
One of my best reads is a business book which isn’t overtly about entrepreneurship. It’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Most of the successful people I know and even the famous successful people like Warren Buffett attribute most of their success to this book. We understand why.
The lessons in this book are timeless. Plus, it’s an easy read. You can finish it in a few small sessions of reading every day. Every time I re-read it, I get embarrassed. Because it covers the mistakes, we tend to make over and over. As human beings, we move back to the “I” orientation. But this book pushes us to rethink, “How may I serve you?”
Here’s an overview of some of the main principles.
- Put Yourself in the Shoes of Other People
Since grade school, we’re taught to be empathetic. But, hardly any of us put it to work in the business world. It needs the discipline to see ourselves as someone else in a situation and think things from his perspective. This approach helps whether we’re trying to handle a situation from a client or an employee’s perspective.
- You Can’t Always Be Right. But Never Try to Prove Others Wrong
I’d never thought about this principle until I read the book. It’s said that a person convinced against his will, still holds the same opinion. Hence, there’s no gain if you forcefully try to impose your opinion on someone. You lose when you want to make the other person wrong.
Still, most people do this. Let’s think of our average interactions with others. How many times do we aim to be correct? Think of a disagreement on how to improve a product. We should ask ourselves, do we want to improve the product or win the discussion? One should always be open to feedback.
- Try to Get Along with People You Work With
People know if we like them or not. Who’s the most popular person around? The family dog, who smiles at everyone as he walks in the door flapping his tail. We must learn something from the family dog. It won’t hurt us. Animals can teach us a lot.
- Don’t Get into Arguments
Find common ground – always. It’s often there. Although points like these may seem childish, they’re just as true today as they were when Carnegie wrote them. The main difference? Most people who’re successful live such stuff.
- Use First Names When Addressing Someone, and Don’t Forget Them
People are fond of their names. Such orientation toward others is often mentioned in the book. Even in samples on how to write a letter by focusing on the concerned person. For example, don’t start a letter with, “We were considering a solution to your problem.” Instead, pay attention to the other person. Write, “you’re going through a difficult time.” This is the part of seeing everything through “How may I serve you?” lens.
Many entrepreneurs suggest reading this book. It is a must-read. Carnegie writes in stories and parables. He demonstrates precepts in a manner, easy to remember. Mix the lessons of this book with our knowledge in our sectors. By doing so, we’ll have the necessary tools to begin any business correctly.
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