How to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset in 5 Simple Steps
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Starting a business has never been as easy as it is in this fast-paced digital world. Technology has turned the world into one small marketplace where entrepreneurs can easily develop and market their products to anyone anywhere in the world. However, the flip side is that competition has also become stiff – especially for startups and small businesses.
So it’s important that you develop an entrepreneurial mindset – a success mindset.
Success Mindset – What Does it Even Mean?
What is a success mindset and why is it important?
A success mindset is a mentality that drives one to succeed despite the challenges and obstacles in the way. Having this kind of mentality is important as the path of entrepreneurship is a minefield of challenges and setbacks.
Having a success mindset is crucial to the success of every entrepreneurial endeavor.
3 Reasons You Need to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset
You’ve got the knowledge, skills, and connections to make it a successful entrepreneur. That should be enough to ensure you become the next big thing in your industry, right?
Success is more a matter of your mindset than anything else.
One aspect of the entrepreneurial journey that is set in stone is the fact that the journey will always be fraught with challenges. And when they come, it’s not a fat bank account or your connections that will ensure that you make it out victoriously. Sure, they are good to have and will certainly be helpful but your biggest asset in times like this is your mindset.
Besides being your anchor in stormy seasons, here are 3 other reasons to develop an entrepreneurial mindset:
1. Fuels Innovation
A couple of years ago, success in business depended on a good idea and good market research. Today, business success comes through innovation. The ever-changing landscape (and people’s needs) demand that you be able to adapt quickly. And that’s where developing the mindset of an entrepreneur will help you.
Entrepreneurial minds are always a step ahead of the trend. This helps successful entrepreneurs ride the waves of success – they always anticipate a need before it arises. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset fuels innovation, leading you to start, grow, and run a successful business.
2. Keeps You in Motion
As an entrepreneur, your vision is the map that directs you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, that map has some gaps – it doesn’t show you the parts of the journey that will be filled with discouragement. Or the times when you’ll seem to be hitting against the wall.
This is where the entrepreneurial mindset comes in.
Developing the mindset of an entrepreneur will help you keep moving despite all the surrounding negativity. Because entrepreneurs, like Dory from Finding Nemo, know the ultimate secret to success – just keep moving.
3. Gives You an Edge
Let’s be honest here. We’re living in times when the business environment is highly competitive. A dog eat dog world. One of the biggest elements of an entrepreneurial mindset is not just how to run a business – it’s more about how to discover opportunities in the amid a problem. Take Netflix, for example. They saw a storm brewing in the entertainment sector (people’s discontent with traditional TV and movie rental). Instead of seeing the dark clouds, they saw a silver lining. And boy did they capitalize on it, leading to a multi-billion dollar empire.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset gives you an edge that helps you intuitively carve out solutions out of what many would term problems.
Now that you know why it’s crucial for you to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, let’s look at how you can do so.
5 Ways to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset
So how can you develop a steely mindset that will help you weather all the storms you’ll face on your journey to success?
1. Believe in Yourself
One of the key ingredients to developing a success mindset is believing in yourself. Self-belief is the foundation for success in every arena of life. For a tough venture like entrepreneurship, it is vital.
Fear of failure is one of the biggest reasons many people never take the leap to be their own boss. After all, there are so many uncertainties involved in starting and growing a business. The best way to overcome the fear of failure is to build up self-confidence – the belief in oneself. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
- Realize that failure is not final. Failure is never final. If anything, it should be embraced as a learning curve of how to better execute your plan. Coming to this realization is a great way to help you overcome self-doubt and build up your confidence.
- Read inspirational stories. Nothing builds confidence as much as reading the stories of others who have gone ahead of you. This is especially true if you can find motivation from someone in the same industry or niche.
- Remember your past victories. No matter how small, always remind yourself of past victories. Use them to boost your self-confidence as they are signs that you are well able to tackle any challenge – and overcome.
Belief in self is one of the biggest assets you can have as an entrepreneur. Never allow self-doubt to rob you of your destiny.
2. Have Faith in Your Vision
Next to believing in yourself, faith in your vision and mission is the next most important ingredient to developing a success mindset. The spirit of entrepreneurship is a visionary spirit. Simply put, entrepreneurs don’t view the world the same way everyone else does – they see solutions where others see problems.
Many times people scorn visionaries for their out-of-this-world thinking, resulting in them being discouraged – yes, even by their peers. Take Steve Jobs, for example, who’s idea of the iPhone was mocked by Steve Ballmer (then CEO of Microsoft) in 2007. Fast forward a couple of months later and the iPhone was a hit (and it remains one of the best-selling smartphones).
While it’s important to get feedback on your idea, never let other people direct your vision. Believe in your vision enough to fight for it. And if you’re wondering, here are the hallmarks of a good vision:
- Value-driven. Your core values should drive your entrepreneurial vision. In other words, your entrepreneurial journey must be based on what you truly believe in. This will give you the resolve to stand for your business when faced with challenges.
- Purpose-centered. Purpose is the reason for the existence of something. A good vision encapsulates the purpose of the existence of your business.
- Goal-oriented. A good vision is goal-oriented. In other words, you should be able to break down your vision into bite-sized goals that you can achieve.
Developing the mindset of an entrepreneur will help you clearly define, develop, and doggedly pursue your vision.
3. Develop a Growth Mindset
We are all meant to be growing and developing ourselves in every area of life. Failure to do so results in you being stuck at the same level.
That’s why you must develop a growth mindset as an entrepreneur.
What is a growth mindset?
To fully understand what a growth mindset is, let’s first look at what a fixed mindset is. A fixed mindset (the opposite of a growth mindset) is the limiting belief and attitude that your current skill set, talents, and intelligence are enough to help you succeed as an entrepreneur.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is the belief and attitude that you can develop your natural talents and skills can be developed by putting in the required work. No matter how good you may be at something, even running your business, there’s always room for improvement. Having this kind of mentality will help you remain relevant when your customers and industry change. It will help you have a success mindset.
How do you develop a growth mindset?
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Dwell on the lessons learned, not the mistakes you make. The biggest factor that cripples many people in life, especially those on the entrepreneurial journey, is that they give up when they make a mistake. Embrace your mistakes and use them as learning curves.
- Savor the journey. Many times people are hung up on results they forget to enjoy the journey that gets them there. A growth mindset values the process over the end result.
- Stop seeking other people’s approval. While acceptance is a basic human need, don’t let it control you to the point of needing people to approve of everything you do. One thing that sets entrepreneurs apart from other people is that they think (and act) out of the box. The average human being won’t understand what you plan to do, let alone approve it.
The key to developing a growth mindset is to give yourself the room to explore life – and allow yourself to fail gracefully.
4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Running a business, glamorous as it may seem, is fraught with challenges. One of the best ways to help you mentally prepare for those unexpected challenges is to deliberately push yourself beyond your limits by stepping out of your comfort zone. Start with small personal challenges like trying a new sport or project.
Why is this important to your entrepreneurial journey?
No matter how small the victories may be, they help you develop a “can do” attitude and mindset. And when life throws a wrench in your business plans, you’ll be able to navigate through the storms successfully. Need ideas on how to push yourself out of your comfort zone? Consider these 3:
- Take risks. One of the best ways to venture out of your comfort zone is by taking risks. Succeed or fail, the experience will help you develop your character and make you wiser.
- Break your routine – deliberately. More often than not, our routines are a safety net that keeps us in our comfort zone. Once in a while, break your routine and do something spontaneous.
- Face your fears. What are some of your biggest fears? Make a list of them and challenge yourself to face and overcome them one at a time. Doing this will expand you in ways you never thought possible. As a result, you’ll have an indomitable entrepreneurial mindset.
If you only do things you’re comfortable doing, you’ll only go so far on your entrepreneurial journey. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you develop the mindset of a successful entrepreneur.
5. Find a Coach
For most entrepreneurs, the path to running a successful business is a new territory. With so many unfamiliar challenges and opportunities, your success depends on making the right decisions at each corner. One way to ensure you’re always on the right track is to find a business coach.
Getting a business coach is one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your business. Here are a few reasons:
- Tap into their wealth of experience. This is vital as a coach can point out pitfalls and help you identify opportunities.
- Hold you accountable. While being your own boss has a lot of perks, it has one big danger – lack of accountability. This is where a business coach comes in handy. Because they hold you accountable, you are better positioned to succeed.
- Expand your network. Because of their (usually) long time working in business circles, coaches have built a large network of contacts that you, as a mentee, become privy to.
Apart from these (and other) benefits of having a business coach, your business coach will also help you develop a success mindset.
Entrepreneurial Success – It’s More of a Mindset
Your success as an entrepreneur depends more on your mindset than anything else.
It’s for this very reason that you must constantly develop a success mindset as an entrepreneur. While the 5 tips above are just scraping the surface, they are more than enough to help you succeed on your journey. So go ahead and develop a winning mindset – and you’ll definitely win in business.