For the longest time I had this idea that after I graduate form university I would apply for a big-shot corporate job and that entrepreneurship was only for people with great product ideas. As I learned more, I realized that the whole entrepreneurial concept is a lot different than I first thought. In fact, every individual has the potential within themselves to be a successful entrepreneur. Each and every person has something unique to offer – the trick is unlocking that valuable contribution that only you can give.
So what exactly is an entrepreneurship mindset? In today’s highly competitive business world training yourself to think, act, and dream like an entrepreneur is actually a strategy to give yourself a competitive advantage. Now, although lately the term “entrepreneur” has been loosely tacked onto almost any person, I believe that if you have a dream, and idea, and the hustle to get there, then you are well deserving of the title. The important thing is that you are passionate about what you’re doing, you achieve success, and you are truly making a difference in the world around you.
Everyone is created with such a unique blend of talents and ideas that a world without the sharing of those amazing features would be dull and unfulfilled. However, often times those gifts and ideas never see the light of day because we get stuck in a rigid mindset that doesn’t allow us to pursue the careers we were truly designed for. This is such a loss for everyone.
Marie Forleo says it best here:
“Entrepreneurship is a mindset that every person on the planet needs.” – Marie Forleo
There are so many different kinds of entrepreneurs – the product developers, the business builders, the venture capitalists, and more. However, there is a certain mindset that each of these possess. Here are 10 key differences that I find specifically important when creating your own successful business.
1. Focus On Finding The Solution, Not The Problem
If we pour all of our time and energy into the problem itself, there will be nothing left to solve it. By starting out seeking that perfect solution, you will be half-way to victory before the other guys have even started. A solution-focus also brings you into a much more positive space, which opens up your mind and stimulates your creative juices to get you even closer to solving that pesky issue.
2. Use Failure To Fuel You
As an entrepreneur you are bound to walk into failure, sometimes more often than you’d like. The key here is not the failure itself, but how well you get up and what you were able to learn from it. Each failure should be seen as a building block that only gets you a step closer to reaching your goals. Drowning yourself in pity and self-doubt over each time you miss the mark is not helpful and will only set you back. Instead, use this failure to fuel you and to really motivate you to go above and beyond next time.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill.
3. Build Your Support Network
How do you become wildly successful? Do you take on every journey as a solo-adventure? Do you climb that mountain all by yourself? Definitely not! As an entrepreneur it is all about building a strong support network and harnessing the talents within to not only make you a better person, but to make your business overall more successful as well. As you may have read in Spark Idea #4, it is okay to ask for help. In fact, it is a prescribed business strategy! You will be able to achieve much more than you ever thought was possible if you have the right supports in place.
4. Seek Opportunities To Indulge Your Creativity
Creativity is like a muscle – the more you practice and stimulate it, the better you get! Sure there are times that we are so inspired that nothing can stop our creative flow, and that’s great. But what about those times when motivation seems to have fallen off the map, and you are left with a blank canvas? That’s when indulging in creative opportunities often really pays off. These times will teach you to think in new ways, and establish mental pathways that allow you to tune into your creative side more easily, even in the face of “writer’s block” (or whichever block you are faced with). So get out there and connect with others during events. Celebrate these creative opportunities and use them to de-stress and really have fun as your indulge your creative senses.
5. Do Something You Are Passionate About
This is so key to your business success. Most people who leave their corporate careers do it because they feel “stuck in a job they hate”. So why then would you try to pursue a something that you are not passionate about. Building your own business gives you the freedom to focus on your passion, and as an added bonus, this gives you the drive you need to make it a huge success. Without this drive, this core mission will propel you towards your goals and motivate you when the going get’s tough.
“If you can’t stop thinking about it, then don’t stop working for it!”
And this is exactly why it is so powerful to pursue a business and life that you actually enjoy.
6. Take Responsibility For All Your Decisions
Shifting blame when something goes wrong is exactly the opposite of a path to success. You are in charge of your business and your life. You are the author of your journey, so it is all up to you. When it comes down to it, you are the one who decides if success will happen or not. Now, this may sound like a lot of weight to carry, but look at it as a way to take responsibility for all aspects of your business and life. That way you know exactly what got you to your goals, and you will definitely learn a lot quicker from your mistakes, without allowing yourself the quick exit of blaming someone else. So in the end this mindset works in two ways: One, you will learn from your failures and force yourself to grow beyond your wildest dreams. And two, no one else will be able to rob you or take the credit for the hard work that you’ve put into getting to success.
7. Hold Both Short and Long-Term Goals
Long term goals are great for creating vision and crafting a well thought out path to achieving your big-time life and business goals. However, these can sometimes be overwhelming and can leave you feeling like there is a huge mountain before you and you don’t even know where to start. This is where short-term goals are so effective at breaking these mountains into smaller, more achievable milestones. It also helps you to remain focused, keep track of your progress, and re-evaluate where necessary. Each milestone gets you closer and closer to that big dream you’ve set out to conquer. As an added bonus, reaching a milestone allows you a time to celebrate the smaller, yet critically important victories along the way.
8. Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Yes, I know. This is so much easier said than done! I constantly find myself getting outside of my comfort zone, turning into a comfort zone, and then freaking out again when I leave that newly formed comfort zone. It can be exhausting. But the sooner you change your mindset and embrace the challenges of stepping out instead of trying to control and change everything around you, the faster you’ll be shaped into a strong individual built for success. So get out there, even if you have to start with small little baby steps at a time.
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson
9. Love Your Business, But Be Objective
Yes you must love your business, and yes you must be passionate about what you’re doing and enjoying the life you are building. However, it is so very important to remain objective. If you find it hard to keep an objective outlook on your business and you feel that perhaps you are too close to it, then it is a good idea to either take a step back and re-evaluate or ask someone on the outside to give you their perspective. This is crucial to maintaining that continuous improvement and to see whether or not you are actually strategically achieving success. This is probably one of the hardest mindsets to have, yet can save you from a lot of damage to your business and overall brand.
10. Don’t Wait. Start Now!
Have you ever heard about the guy who had this amazing idea and spent 4 years working on perfecting it? No? Neither have I. So many people think that they need to have their product or service perfected before they can send it out into the world. But this is not the mindset you should have as an entrepreneur. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t but any work into your idea, but once the core functionalities are in place it is best to get your idea out there. Feedback can be one of the most important learning and shaping tools for your business because it is based on what your customers really want and how helpful they find it. IF you’re not delivering what your customers need, then you will have a hard time finding success. And the only way to know this for sure is to get your idea out to them. So don’t wait. Start now!
I trust that you’ve been enlightened by these distinct entrepreneurial mindsets, and that perhaps you were able to identify them in yourself.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
- What other mindsets do you find crucial to the entrepreneurial lifestyle? Share them in the comments below.
- How have you changed your mindset, and what tips can you give others?
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As always, desire to inspire.
Featured image: Unsplash