If you begin to question yourself as to whether you have an entrepreneurial mindset, which qualities would you assess? Your level of determination? Your sales skills? Your ability to negotiate? While all of these are applicable skills for running a business, there are specific mindsets that separate true entrepreneurs from the rest. Which of these mindsets describe you best? Depending on your answer, you may or may not have what it takes.
Take Action or Afraid to Take Chances
When it comes to being an entrepreneur, having a plan or idea is not enough to start a successful business. The idea is not the totality the business, nor is the product. In fact, most successful business owners do not spend a lot of time thinking about how to approach their endeavour. Those that do are often afraid to take chances, so they get stuck in the thinking mode. They overthink everything, attempting to get every detail written down during company formation.
But those with an entrepreneur mindset understand that there is more value in taking action rather than trying to predict every possible outcome before getting started. Successful business owners take action without a complete game plan. They trust their knowledge and experience to guide them during navigation. Entrepreneurs are innovative enough to go with the flow, spending more of their energy taking action rather than standing still in fear. Action is what cultivates business, and business owners with the right mindset understand that in a distinguishing way.
Risk Taker or Afraid of the Unknown
Starting a business is risky enough. The creation and survival of your brand depends on approaching revolutionary ideas from innovative perspectives. The strategy, reception and outcome are all unknown – and that in itself is intimidating. What distinguishes true entrepreneurs from those who strive to be is how that intimidation is handled. Those without an entrepreneurial mindset allow intimidation to paralyse them. They are afraid of taking chances, petrified of the outcome, and resent the unknown.
The most successful entrepreneurs are risk takers who dare to challenge the unknown. Instead of relying on their idea to carry them from company formation to a thriving business, they depend on their confidence. They do not expect everything to be easy or comfortable; they welcome uncertainty. Instead of focusing on their fears and being insecure about their abilities, successful business owners employ feelings of fear and insecurity to fuel their drive towards achievement. Hard decisions are not something they stray away from – entrepreneurs welcome them.
Passionate About Success or Motivated by Money
While it is important to make money when operating a business, entrepreneurs with a successful mindset do not allow money to be the focus. Those who are solely motivated by money enjoy only a short-lived experience. Money is not enough to get you over the finish line. In fact, if money is the sole motivating factor, your business will surely fail.
But profitability is a short-sighted goal – and entrepreneurs understand that. They are determined to redefine success, converting the meaning from an achieved social status to a path of ultimate virtue. They live and breathe prosperity as a means of breaking down barriers, not holding a title. They may consider liquidity as a means to an end, but their passion for success is empowered by long-term goals that include longevity and sustainability.
Focused on Objectives or Discouraged by Obstacles
Any business endeavour involves a list of objectives that need to be accomplished. The journey of entrepreneurship includes milestones that mark progression from one phase to another – and there will be many obstacles along the way. Aspiring business owners who lack the proper mindset will come across obstacles in their path and become discouraged. The obstacles become bigger than their ambition, leading them to quit prematurely or succumb to a feeling of defeat. They view obstacles as roadblocks that are difficult to manoeuvre, and without the tenacity to be resilient, those roadblocks end their career.
But strong-minded entrepreneurs understand the obstacles are actually steppingstones that propel them through each phase of the journey. Instead of letting a complication defeat them, entrepreneurs are steadfast about remaining emotionally detached. They use setbacks as leverage that strengthens their business, not halt it. Entrepreneurs are resourceful and use any tools at their disposal to regroup and redirect their energy in order to create solutions. No problem is too big to be solved and no unforeseen complication is too overbearing to overcome. Entrepreneurs do not need special provisions in order to succeed. Their problem-solving mindset gives them the foresight needed in order to minimize the effects of an upset, not exacerbate it.
Take Initiative or Stay Content with the Status Quo
Being bold and fearless is a character trait of a business minded entrepreneur – in every way imaginable. Those who are content with the status quo will not challenge it, nor dare to reconstruct it. In fact, it is hard for them to develop innovative ideas that go against the grain because they are unable to discern the aspects of an industry that need improvement. Instead of revolutionary ideas that reshape a niche or business sector, they look for ways to fit in with what already exists. Their contention blinds them from considering alternative perspectives , which leads to ineffective leadership. In the end, their business fails because they lack:
- the fortitude to lead by example
- the boldness to take initiative
- the mindset to identify their competitors’ inefficiencies
- the innovative ideas to improve the industry they are in
On the other hand, the mindset of an entrepreneur who is most effective at being a leader is one of bold initiative. Not only are they leaders who are constantly in motion, they have no intention of blending in with the crowd. When formulating an idea, they scrutinize the status quo. They look out for the shortcomings that leave room for improvement. Instead of accepting the options currently presented, they purposely make themselves uncomfortable with them. Those unforgiving perspectives are what allow companies like Airbnb and Uber to exist. Without original thinking, those conceptual ideas would have never been created, and without initiative those ideas would have never come to life.
Flexible Learner or Resistant to Change
There are very few business owners that succeed on their first attempt. Even more, most successful businesses do not operate the way their owners originally intended. There is a lot of trial and error involved in turning an idea into reality – and just as many failures. As a business owner, you must be prepared to fail multiple times before you succeed.
The breaking point for many business owners comes when failure happens and they refuse to change or adjust. Immature business owners are adamant about their idea coming to life exactly as they have it planned, remaining resistant to modifications. While there are some instances in which it is best to stick with your guns, that attitude is mostly reserved when combating thoughts of quitting.
But when it comes to the success of your business, you must always remain flexible enough to learn new skills and go in new directions. When assembling your business and moving it from one phase to the next, it is best to remain open to recommendations and advice that may restructure your business or how you operate. That is why entrepreneurs with a flexible mindset surround themselves with professionals with more knowledge and expertise than them. By doing so, they have access to constructive criticism and feedback that will strengthen their brand. Instead of ignoring other perspectives, entrepreneurs evolve their business in response. As a result, flexible entrepreneurs find that as their business grows, their skillset must expand – and they allow themselves to be flexible enough for that to happen.
Curious Thinker or Tunnel Vision
Business owners who are focused on sales and profits for social status are only motivated to take action when it has a direct effect on those materialist goals. That prevents them from realizing the big picture and putting forth effort towards seemingly unrelated goals. This leads to oversights and inefficiencies within the operation of the business. That tunnel vision causes the business owner to miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with their customers and improve their services. In the end, their brand, product and business remain inferior to competitors.
Successful business owners are thinkers. Even more, they are curious thinkers who remain detached from the bottom line because their source of encouragement is derived from unlimited possibilities. Their curiosity empowers them to explore their competitors, not judge them. Instead of obsessing over sales quotas, their attention is focused on serving other people. They are constantly striving to enhance the customer service experience by seeking new information and data. They’re consistently researching their industry and uncovering their competitors’ shortcomings. And once identified, they create innovative solutions that not only eliminate those shortcomings within their own business, but distinguish them from their competitors. Business owners with a curious mindset perform far better than their counterparts because they keep an open mind instead of allowing tunnel vision to limit their potential.
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Entrepreneurs expect that there will be obstacles. As an innovator, you charter into unknown territory that is not dictated by statistics or planning. As a leader, you are charged with the responsibility of thinking on your feet while still making sound decisions. There is no amount of preparation during the company formation stage that can replace instincts and outlooks. That is why it all comes down to your mindset. Either you have it or you don’t.