If you want to be an entrepreneur, you don’t need to behave like one. You need to think like one.
Research has shown that successful entrepreneurs don’t necessarily behave in the same ways, but they do tend to think alike.
Successful entrepreneurs are remarkably similar in how they reason and think about tackling obstacles or pursuing opportunities. For more on this intriguing insight please check out the book, Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future, by Leonard A. Schlesinger who discusses this discovery by researchers at Babson College.
If you can master the way entrepreneurs think, this can help you get clarity on what you should do next. Once you have clarity, you will go down the right path seen below in which one thing leads to the next and soon you’re seeing results:
Clarity –> Focus –> Action –> Results
Overview of the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Below is a quick over-view of some of the ways that entrepreneurs think and how this is different from those that are not yet entrepreneurs.
|Traditionalist Mindset||Entrepreneurial Mindset|
|I’ll wait for the perfect opportunity.||I can start taking some action now.|
|How much money can I make from this opportunity?||What’s the most I could lose by pursuing this opportunity?|
|I’ll be a failure if I don’t accomplish my original goals.||I can succeed by being open to new goals as I go along.|
|I will create success using my own resources.||I can succeed by asking for help from other people & organizations.|
Entrepreneurs Tell Us How They Think
To add to this discussion are the responses from entrepreneurs as to what they believe are core elements of how they think.
Q) Given your experience, what do you believe an entrepreneurial mindset consists of?
Rick Chapman, author of SaaS Entrepreneur: That’s an interesting question! Entrepreneurs are “world builders,” people driven to take an idea and create a new reality around it. They want to make money, drive fast cars, and live in fancy houses of course, but at their core, system building is their primary driver. Stephen Levy, in his book Hackers, describes this mindset well. (Anyone who wants to understand the world-builder mindset should read it.) And I think everyone in high-tech has read about Steve Jobs’ famous “reality distortion field.”
Anders Hasselstrøm, co-founder of Startuptravels: Having an entrepreneurial mindset is first of all about looking for opportunities in problems instead of only stating the problems. When the problems have been identified it is the creative spirit of an entrepreneur to do something about it. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is also about accepting and facing the obstacles but keep smashing through the challenges until you succeed.
Faisal Hoque, founder of Shadoka: It’s a few lines from my favorite poet, author Tagore …. “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door — or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” – Nobel Laureate Bangali Poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question: Rather than run from a failure or try to forget it ever happened, hold it to the light and inquire, “Why did this effort fail? What if I could take what I’ve learned from this failure and try a revised approach? How might I do that? And, in this failure, what went right?”
Bill Morrison, author of Bootstrap Selling The Sandler Way: Three big questions for any entrepreneur are: where are we now, where are we going and how do we get there? Entrepreneurs do not focus on being busy, keeping the calendar full, or doing lots of presentations, but on finding the clients that will take them and their business to the next level.
Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out: For me, the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset is that you don’t expect to be handed anything. If you’re literally an entrepreneur, you know that you can’t sit back and wait for customers to come to you. You have to take action and get noticed, to attract them to you…You aren’t entitled to money; you need to hustle and prove your worth and value to your customer.