Developing an “Entrepreneurial Mindset” is important to the success of any entrepreneur. Many people have dreams of making impactful changes in the world and in their lives. Although the decision to venture out into the entrepreneurial world can be incredibly rewarding, prospective entrepreneurs should not get too caught up by the glitz and glamour portrayed around entrepreneurship.
The truth is, is that there is an incredibly high mortality rate among small businesses partly because prospective entrepreneurs set out on their journey, without developing first, an “Entrepreneur Mindset”.
What sets the successful entrepreneur apart from the dormant dreamers, is the ability to turn those dreams into action with a “mindset” that is fueled by a burning desire to make changes and embrace new opportunities.
Entrepreneurs are always told that they need to be passionate enough about their ideas in order to transform them into viable, sustainable, profitable businesses. Whilst passion and a burning desire is important for entrepreneurs, it is not enough. These elements often mask several other elements that are vital to an entrepreneur’s success.
The “entrepreneurial mindset” involves much more.
There is no isolated set of characteristics that suggests an entrepreneur’s success is assured, however, developing an “Entrepreneur Mindset” will allow an entrepreneur to become resourceful and adaptable in the face of adversity or any other given situation.
A “mindset” is not any one characteristic, but a whole group of thoughts, attitudes and reactions that come together to create a ‘frame of mind’.
In my book, The Timely Entrepreneur, I identified “Entrepreneurial mindset” as the set of attitudes, skills and behaviours that one needs in order to be resourceful and create value.
If you look at many of the start-up businesses today, you are likely to notice a lack of entrepreneurial spirit. As the world rapidly changes, there is that increasing pressure to be seen as successful. This mounting pressure has created the largest skill-gap of all – entrepreneurs who are able to react and respond quickly enough to the manifold opportunities created from the almost daily changes around us.
Thus, differentiation of a successful entrepreneur is in the way in which they think and react. This aspect of an entrepreneur I refer to as the “mindset”. A clear and achievable vision, initiative and self-direction, flexibility and adaptability, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, self confidence, self motivation, a willingness to take calculated risks, a willingness to listen to others, a lack of fear of failure and a willingness to work hard are all necessary in fostering the right Entrepreneurial spirit and culture.
The disciplines involved in developing an “Entrepreneurial Mindset” include those discussed below
A clear, conscious understanding of one’s own psychology, mind, sensitivities, purpose, and desires has so much to do with an entrepreneur’s habits and mindset. Having a clear knowledge of who you are is the first and important step in developing yourself as an entrepreneur.
Successful entrepreneurs not only have a clear vision based on need and a problem that needs solving, they also have a clear vision of themselves. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of their skills and they must know their limitations so that they can work well with others, listen to what others are saying about their business constructively, and reshape their vision in the light of such discussions.
Your business relies upon you, the entrepreneur, and proficient knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses will help an entrepreneur to align his or her strengths to the business’ key objectives.
While that burning desire may lead you to starting your own business, it is your level of commitment to yourself and to your dreams that will keep you going and allow you to persevere despite all the difficulties inherent in the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Successful entrepreneurs are able to identify what they value, what matters most to them and prioritize their commitments. When you commit yourself to the entrepreneurial life, you will be better prepared for the tough journey ahead.
A successful entrepreneur sees an opportunity when everyone else sees a problematic situation.
The right attitude will allow an entrepreneur to never obsess or stay stuck in the past and in the rejection moment and be distracted from their vision; they will instead learn from the past and move on to new and innovative ideas for improvement. The right attitude makes a lot of difference to your predicament.
EMBRACE CHALLENGE AND CHANGE
Nothing endures but change. There is nothing like change; it might well be the only sure thing in your business and it satiates an entrepreneur’s hunger. Creative minds usually prefer chaos and work well then; only in such robust uncertainty do great minds perform the unthinkable.
Wherever there is great change, there is great opportunity. Understand that and take advantage of the changes ahead. Great entrepreneurs seize the opportunity, quickly adapt, and become creative in order to survive and thrive. Take up challenges that scare you. Unexpected challenges and problems appear constantly. Successful entrepreneurs rise to the occasion since a challenge helps them to deal with calamity as it comes.
Becoming a better version of yourself is the ultimate aim of self-improvement.
Successful entrepreneurs never think that they have it all figured out and that they don’t need to learn any more. They are not know-it-all nor do they claim to be. On the contrary, they are highly motivated, they are excited and eager to learn, they anticipate opportunities that will help them improve their skills and they never stop trying to become better at what they do and who they are.
They see growth as opportunities that will lead to eventual success. Successful entrepreneurs believe that they should grow as professionals and are always seeking to improve their skill sets. Challenge yourself to learn something new everyday.
LACK OF FEAR OF FAILURE
Successful entrepreneurs are not afraid to fail! As a matter of fact, they learn to Plan for Failure. These entrepreneurs are well aware of the challenges entrepreneurs face and they accept that failure is indeed possible despite having the best marketing plan or the ideal location.
The newness of entrepreneurial activity may lead to failure and the creative entrepreneur has to be able to rise up and try again. This is certainly one of the core characteristics of the “Entrepreneurial Mindset” that can and must be developed, if an entrepreneur is to eventually succeed.
Every business will have at least a few failures and as you venture out into your entrepreneurial journey, you should expect that not everyday will be a good one. The key is to churn your failure into an opportunity for improvement; something most successful entrepreneurs learned to do.
A lot of prosperous entrepreneurs failed on numerous occasions before they had their first success story. When a problem arises, a successful entrepreneur sees it as a chance to learn something new about themselves and their business. The lessons an entrepreneur takes away from any given situation are then used in consecutive iterations of the entrepreneur’s ideas to either further develop, or refine them.
Instead of being embarrassed by your difficulties and failures, learn to embrace them. When you finally get it right, you would have successfully tested what would work and what wouldn’t for your business.
Failure is but a dead end on the wrong road on your journey to success. Turn around, set your focus back up, find another route and continue your journey.
Setbacks will hurt both the entrepreneur and their business, but the successful entrepreneur is self-disciplined enough to keep focused on what he or she has to do. The ability to hang tough through repeated rejection, turndown, rebuff and disappointment is a crucial component needed on an entrepreneur’s journey.
They don’t fall at the first hindrance when they reach an obstacle. Instead, successful entrepreneurs are able to remain undefeated and take lessons from rejection, and not allow it to damage their confidence. Disappointments are difficult to deal with, and entrepreneurs must be able to avert the setback and rejection away from themselves, and use it as motivation to resolve the issues in their business.
They could also see these moments as chances to learn and absorb the most.
There is no power like perseverance. Entrepreneurs should train themselves to become immune to criticisms and learn to treat success and rejection in the same way and persevere in spite of it all.
Successful entrepreneurs often exude confidence; not to be confused with haughtiness, but rather the obvious outlook that they believe in themselves and their business. These entrepreneurs understand that in order for anyone to believe in them, in their ideas, or in their business, they have to believe in themselves first.
They must have the confidence to lead and they must be able to converse with confidence when dealing with others. The creative entrepreneur is able to reach for more opportunities and challenges because of confidence. Those who are fearful and insecure about themselves and their business, lack confidence and quite easily let once-in-a-lifetime opportunities pass them by.
Successful people who have enough self-belief and belief in others aren’t deterred by obstacles and they are able to resist the knocks that will usually come and still pursue their vision, which is how they rise up in the first place. Choose not to take everything personally.
Successful entrepreneurs choose their battles carefully and they do not waste any time stressing about things that they cannot change. Instead, they look for opportunities within their control and reach.
Developing an “Entrepreneurial Mindset ” is important for the success and future of any entrepreneur. The mind of an entrepreneur is drawn to new opportunities and challenges, persevering in spite of difficulties, taking great risks, welcoming change, taking action persistently, pursuing initiatives, focusing on what matters and seeing the big picture.
To survive and thrive in a volatile entrepreneurial economy, entrepreneurs need to cultivate, nurture and sustain an entrepreneurial culture and having the right mindset will allow entrepreneurs to recover quickly from setbacks.
Cherise Castle-Blugh is the Author of THE TIMELY ENTREPRENEUR & the Key Educator at Downer’s Educational Institute in the field of Business and Entrepreneurship.