When analyzing the success of certain businessmen, politicians or leaders, we often hear that they have an ‘entrepreneurial mindset.’
What does it actually mean, and how can we develop our own set of skills to reach this same mindset and hopefully succeed more in life?
What Does Having an Entrepreneurial Mindset Actually Mean?
Plain and simply, it is having a set of skills that allows you to identify and make the most of opportunities that come your way. It is being able to learn from setbacks in your life and overcome them, and most importantly, bounce back to eventually be able to succeed in multiple settings.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is an extremely positive trait that makes you a valuable asset to any company or organization you join, and it’s a trait that’s valued by employers.
You may be surprised to discover that few people are actually born with this skillset. So rather than being something innate, an entrepreneurial mindset can be learned, developed and honed. In many educational facilities, these skills are taught towards career and college-readiness. Students are taught non-cognitive skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.
If you’re keen to develop your own entrepreneurial mindset, it’s never too late to learn.
Start off by keeping these three important things in mind:
1. Recalibrate your Thoughts and Understand that ‘Risk’ is Not a Dirty Word
Being entrepreneurial means being able to take the plunge, no matter how risky that step may seem. It goes without saying that risk taking comes with an element of adventure. Of course, such risk taking should also have a conservative amount of caution attached to it.
Additionally, you should not mistake being risky with fickle decision making. Think of it as being willing or more open to taking a ‘calculated risk’, a challenge, even.
It’s akin to placing a bet: when sports enthusiasts wager a sum on one of their favorite matches, there’s a high probability that those funds will be lost. After all, it is called gambling! But one cannot negate the fact that this is a growing business in the UK and its popularity soars in the millions across the globe because there were few individuals who, you guessed it – took a risk!
This bottom line is this: When you take a risk, you’ll either win or you’ll learn from your mistakes if you don’t. Don’t think of a failed attempt as a loss, but rather, a learning experience. And one which will help nourish your growth. Use such an opportunity improve on already existing skills and learn new strategies so that once you get back up on that horse you’ll be the first one at the finishing line!
2. Get out of Your Comfort Zone
You need to expect to feel ‘uncomfortable’ when trying new things. No one’s ever perfect the first time round. If you never bring yourself to a situation where the outcome may be embarrassment, criticism, failure or rejection, you’re not in the right mindset.
Place yourself in situations that may be unfamiliar or outside your comfort zone. Take the plunge and do something that you know will almost certainly result in rejection.
These are the perfect opportunities to learn how to overcome an anxiety you may have over rejection, to grow a thicker skin and to develop skills of persuasion.
Do away with those invisible boundaries that you built yourself as a means of protection. Don’t let your discomfort keep you from advancing in life.
3. Think Like a Game of Chess
Founder of The Improv Effect, Jessieie Shternshus, knows a thing or two about this. Her company helps people develop a competitive edge through creativity, collaboration and effective communication. Shternshus once said you should embrace every opportunity like a game of chess, in which you think three steps ahead in every possible direction.
Essentially, you should be asking yourself whether the opportunity is good for you, not just now, but three steps from now. Ask yourself whether the decision you make now not only benefits you (your business, your life, your relationship) at present, but will do so in the long run.
Consider the long-term effects of the decision you’re making right now like you would if you were playing chess. If you move to the right, you may very well take the pawn and enjoy the moment, but you’ll be exposing yourself to a bishop moving in your direction to gobble up your piece from the board.
It may be an honor to land an exclusive deal with a lucrative partner and you may get that fat paycheck as a result, but what if you want to grow larger and sign up with other companies? Could you be blocking your dreams and limiting your scope with the deal?
Don’t just read about how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The most important thing is to implement these hacks into your business or lifestyle.
If they seem overwhelming to you, try implementing them one at a time. As you move forward, you’ll develop more confidence to embrace new changes and endure changes or hardships that may have shut you down in the past. The important thing is to move forward and not tread water.