In this ever-changing world of ours we are constantly forced to reinvent our businesses and ourselves. This reinvention process requires an entrepreneurial mindset.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is all about perspective. It’s the view that no matter how long you’ve been in business, you’re starting it anew today. It’s about the process of diagnosing issues and symptoms to find root problems, framing options that may serve as possible solutions, clarifying data that you have and seeking information you need, and developing viable options and alternatives.
Being entrepreneurial in our work is essentially a mindset of thinking and doing something that we have not done before, in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome. It is about assessing a situation, designing alternatives, and choosing a new way — or perhaps a combination of ways — that we hope will lead us to something better; however we happen to define “better” at that moment.
Here are some key areas you can focus on to build your own entrepreneurial mindset:
Shape your Life Experience
Entrepreneurial thinking is about where we place the responsibility for our experiences. Although it’s not realistic to think that we have complete control of all our experiences, it’s martyrdom to think that we have none. An entrepreneur is someone deeply engaged in his or her experience of life and willing to do the daily work of transforming it.
Very successful entrepreneurs take the time to analyze their lives, to look closely at their vision and their purpose in life. They put their lives on paper. They take the time to construct mental images that guide them on their journey. While most people are winging it, they put their life mission and business vision and goals on paper. Then they go to work executing their plan.
When we constantly work on ourselves, we develop a greater understanding of and a greater belief in ourselves. This mindset is what allows us to become an expert in our chosen area. If we don’t understand and value ourselves, neither will anyone else. I have also found that those who understand and value themselves have a greater ability to understand and value others.
Don’t fall into the trap of blaming others for what they could have done or should have done. Look at life’s trials as a blessing to learn from. Never give up control of the journey.
Think Pragmatic Idealism
To adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, we must be both an idealist and a pragmatic. We must be sensitive to the world we wish to see, and conscious of the world as it is. The entrepreneur’s work, then, lies in connecting the two.
When we are able to thoughtfully connect our dreams with our skills and a market opportunity, we are ready to begin our own entrepreneurial journey.
An entrepreneur is a great strategist and a master at getting others excited about helping them grow the business. They know how to make the most of every opportunity to bring in new prospects, convert them to paying clients, and get them to buy repeatedly. That means carefully planning, strategizing, measuring results against expectations and re-adjusting. It means taking calculated risks and learning from the ideas that fail; there are always ideas that fail.
Most people make their decisions about their life and careers from emotion and assumptions. Successful entrepreneurs base their decisions from fact-based thinking.
Act Purposefully with Vision
Vision is what we’re to do with the time that we have.
Have you known anyone who is absolutely driven to succeed? No matter what the obstacle, they keep going. And in most cases it is because they have extraordinary clarity of their vision. They took the time to clearly define what it is that they wanted to do. They stopped and thought about their life, and what it was that they wanted to accomplish. They have the drive to see the task all the way to its outcome.
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Time is our most scarce resource. When we realize, not as an intellectual construct but as an emotional conviction, that our time here is finite, we act purposefully.
Successful entrepreneurs protect and manage their time. The most valuable asset you have is your time. Thoughtfully plan your days, weeks, months, and years. Think about both how and with whom you spend your time – it’s likely an indicator of what you are to become.
Understand the Ecosystem
James F. Moore defined a business ecosystem as “an economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals.” These ecosystems encourage companies to co-evolve their capabilities. This comes in several flavors. Sometimes an ecosystem can sprout up around a product (think the cases, headphones and chargers for mobile devices). A company can sprout whole economic worlds (as was the case of the App Store – the App Store itself was a new platform for Apple). Amazon also sprouted a marketplace from which third party vendors offer their wares, creating an ecosystem.
These ecosystems are the structure that surrounds and supports our businesses. They build stakeholders out from the business and into society.
Learn to Focus Your Energy
This characteristic is what I have found to be the most important when it comes to entrepreneurial success. Once we have been awakened to the possibilities of success, we also realize the how many other opportunities abound. It is easy to become scattered and distracted.
Successful people develop the ability to focus and concentrate to maximize their resources and effort.
Individuals who actively work to develop an entrepreneurial mindset are transformed, rarely resembling the person that they once were. They are constantly educating themselves and gaining experience that will lead them to the goals they desire. They truly understand the importance of acquiring greater skill sets, which in turn gives them greater self-worth. They live by the Biblical injunction to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is one of the best self-growth initiatives we can undertake. Who we are, what we think, our personal habits and beliefs absolutely determine the results we get. We (and our businesses) must challenge ourselves to overcome and change what’s not working or we become irrelevant.