“Entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and new value creation.”~ Financial Times Lexicon
Starting your own business, whether you are aiming to leave your day job or wanting to work at home as a stay-at-home mom, is a big step to take. It can be intimidating, for fear of the unknown, self-doubt and wondering if you can make it on your own.
Am I cut out to be an entrepreneur? What if I fail?
These are all legitimate concerns and questions that you should ask yourself. However, you should also know that you can develop and cultivate the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
Carol S. Dweck, author of the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explains that you can develop a growth mindset, learn new skills and change your life for the better.
“When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world–the world of fixed traits–success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other–the world of changing qualities–it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.”
― Carol S. Dweck
What is an entrepreneur?
According to businessdictionary.com, an entrepreneur is:
“Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced. An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture.”
You know that you want to pursue your entrepreneurial calling but you need to overcome the thoughts and feelings that are holding you back so you can achieve your goals.
So, how do you develop an entrepreneurial mindset?
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” ~ Jim Rohn
Books and reading can open you up to a world of knowledge.
We live in a time where we have access to millions of books through the internet in ebooks and audiobooks as well as physically in print.
“To learn how to lead – or to learn about anything – nothing beats simply getting out there, giving it a go and picking it up as you go along. But another useful and enjoyable way is to read what others have done, take what works for you and adapt it into your own life.” ~ Richard Branson
Not just books, read blogs, magazines, articles, websites; but be selective with what you read. Find valuable information that will contribute to increasing your knowledge, skills and even motivate you towards success in your business.
Make time to read every single day. Top entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet and Brian Tracy make time to read every day even while running their businesses. Oprah Winfrey is also known as an avid reader.
Someone once asked Buffett the key to success. He pointed to a stack of books and explained:
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
One way to find time to read is to listen to audiobooks while you commute or do housework.
Any topic you think you may fall short at or want to develop a particular skill set in, read books by knowledgeable authors and entrepreneurs.
Write lists, set goals
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Entrepreneur.com defines goal setting as:
“Establishing short- or long-term objectives, usually incorporating deadlines and quantifiable measures”
Continuously writing out lists and goals will keep you focused and on track towards building your business. As you achieve one goal you move on to another. That is how you make progress.
A list keeps you organized and acts as a great tool to get your ideas out of your head to make space for new, innovative thoughts.
Lists can help you to be more creative and eliminate anxiety as well.
Get a dedicated planner to set your goals, plan your days for maximum productivity and advance on your entrepreneurial journey.
Think outside of the box
Thinking outside of the box starts with having an open mind. Be open to new ideas, cultures, opinions.
Read books in genres that you are not familiar with. Visit places that you would not ordinarily go to, eat foods you have not yet tried.
When you do this, it enables you to see the world from different perspectives and therefore, when the time comes to solve a problem or create new products, you have a wealth of information from which to fashion and build your own creativity and ideas.
Learn to think outside of the box. Be innovative in your thinking. What can you do that is different? You do not need to re-invent the wheel, but how can you put your spin on things or add your special touch that will make a difference in the lives of others?
Wake up every day with a plan as to how you will move forward. Network with like-minded individuals, research, reach out to customers, find suppliers, whatever you need to do to advance your business. Refine your hustle. A hustler is relentless and gets things done!
You need to prioritize what is important in achieving your goals. Set goals and be diligent in seeing them through. When others doubt you or try to pull you down, keep at it. Do not let failures make you quit.
We live in a time where there are more distractions than ever. From email notifications, instant messaging, social media, television or even people.
If it is steering you away from doing what is necessary and important to achieve your business objectives, then let it go. Reduce, or even eliminate it, from your life.
Spend your precious time focusing on building your empire brick by brick.
Develop good habits
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a habit is;
“A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
Brian Tracy, entrepreneur and motivational speaker says, “Form good habits and make them your masters.”
Habits are critical to determining the outcomes of your day and your life. If you spend your time cultivating negative habits (like binge drinking) they will become a part of you and can eventually lead to your ruin.
Good habits, on the other hand, help you to succeed and prosper in life. Examples of good habits are waking up earlier in the morning to exercise, staying hydrated throughout the day or daily reading.
Learn to be more productive
Learn to spend your time doing the things that are important to advance you in achieving your goals. Eliminate unproductive endeavours or even outsource or delegate other activities that should be done so you can free up your time to work on your business.
Create your personal productivity schedule and strategy to ensure that you are optimizing your time by getting more done with the time you have.
Eliminate life clutter
Mr José Silva, a pioneer in mind science, in one of his programs, spoke about life impediments.
Impediments are obstructions in life that hold us back and prevent us from spending precious time and energy focusing on the things that are more important.
Clutter, whether physical, mental in the form of stress and worries, or negative people can hurt your wellbeing and this can cause delays in making progress when you have all these things to deal with.
This is life clutter. Remove them so you can fulfil your purpose. Actively work on finding solutions to the problems that are plaguing you.
“Everything is figureoutable.” ~ Marie Forleo
Have a vision
Know where you are going. What is your why? Why have you chosen this endeavour? What is the expected outcome?
Create a vivid mental picture incorporating your aims and intentions for your business, know who is your ideal customer and how you will change the world in your own way.
Create a vision statement and stick to it to keep you on track with your mission.
Keep going even when you fall
“Being an entrepreneur is simply going from one mistake to the next. You must have the fortitude to continue on.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
Successful entrepreneurs have experienced failure.
Failing at any endeavour never feels good. It is easy to feel defeated and want to give up.
The unsuccessful entrepreneurs quit and those who embrace failure as a learning experience, move forward and continue to build with renewed ambition.
Overcoming obstacles and challenges help you to grow. The lessons learnt will increase your strength in being able to deal with problems and knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
You just need to find the tenacity within yourself to keep going and be and do better.
See the bigger picture
This is all part of having a vision. How will you change the world? What is your contribution?
The product or service you offer, how will it change lives? Entrepreneurship is not just about money, but about making a difference – through the customers you serve or simply by giving back to your community through philanthropic endeavours.
Release self-limiting beliefs
“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ~Brian Tracy
Self-limiting beliefs are not real. These are the negative stories that we convince ourselves are our truths and they hinder our growth.
Overcoming these beliefs entails firstly recognising them, acknowledging that they are not true and do not serve us and then releasing them, affirming to ourselves what we do know to be true.
We all have the power to do great things in this world. Just set your mind to it and work at becoming the best version of yourself. Through coaching, books, educational videos, courses etc. do what you need to do to realize your value and make your contribution.
Keep growing and learning
Learn something new every day. Do not become stagnant and always aim for positive growth. Make personal development a part of your lifestyle and continue to invest in yourself.
Use your newfound skills and knowledge in your business to improve and stand out from your competitors.
Take care of your health
Mental, physical and spiritual health – it is important to keep yourself in as healthy a state as possible.
You cannot cultivate a positive entrepreneurial mindset if you are depressed or anxious or constantly thinking about your bodyweight issues, for example.
You need to take care of yourself as best as you can so you can focus on helping others.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~Eleanor Brown
Get enough sleep to keep your body well-rested and ready to face the challenges of the day. Eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Implement stress management techniques to find healthier ways to deal with stress that comes your way and incorporate time in your life for rest and relaxation.
Embracing simplicity helps eliminate decision fatigue.
Influential people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and even Barack Obama have been known to stick to a particular type of uniform in their clothing to eliminate having to make the decision of what to wear. Some entrepreneurs have extended this to meal planning and following an exact daily routine.
Eliminating these basic daily decision-making tasks can free up thinking space to allow to work on more pressing issues.
Spend time with other entrepreneurs
Jim Rohn said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with; so examine who you spend your time with.
Find mentors, people you can learn from who are willing to share their failures and successes with you and support you while you build your business. Learn from those who have experience and can offer advice and motivation.
“While arguments abound on why entrepreneurs do not need mentors but should only follow their own instincts and gut feelings, most successful tech titans have founders who had mentors. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs. Jobs was mentored by Mike Markkula — an early investor and executive at Apple. And Eric Schmidt mentored Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.”
Be the MacGuyver of the business world. Use tools and resources that no one thinks about in new and inventive ways.
Question old methods and embrace change.
Use your imagination and ask hard questions. Be prepared to find answers to those questions and use those answers to do great things.
Patrick Betdavid, the founder of PHP Agency, has a great article on 16 Ways to Think Big as an Entrepreneur.
Believe in yourself
Know that you have creativity within you that you can tap into to bring anything that you set your mind on to life.
People around you may not understand your vision or your motives for starting your entrepreneurial ventures, but you cannot allow that to deter you.
You know why you are doing it!
Believe in yourself and your abilities.
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
~ Les Brown
Having a vision, passion, knowing your why, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, embracing failure; these are all a part of the journey.
You have to find your motivation. You are making a difference in the lives of the people you serve while building a legacy. Your self-motivation is what will keep you keeping on even in the toughest of times and encourage you to stay on track.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey by any means, but developing an entrepreneurial mindset will keep you on course towards building your empire and doing your part to change the world.