The entrepreneurial mindset

The entrepreneurial mindset is one of hunger, fearlessness and perseverance

You have a brilliant idea that you just know is the next “big thing.” So you register an LLC, order top-of-the-line business cards, design the perfect website. You even write a 50-page business plan. But months and months go by and you still haven’t made that first dollar.

Sound familiar? It’s the story of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs who never truly put their ideas into action, and, in turn, never get any further than where they started. In fact, all they really ever achieve is the title: “wantrapreneur.”

What is a wantrapreneur?

A wantrapreneur is anyone who spends their time and money on everything else except creating a real business. They focus on the external factors – the business cards, the logo, the website – which may be necessary components of the business down the line, but none of which will make that first sale. 

Real entrepreneurs, in comparison, care about one thing: building a product or service that people want.

That doesn’t mean they won’t build the website or worry about marketing; they just aren’t focused on that. The entrepreneurial mind is concerned with addressing pain points, providing real customer value propositions and creating a scalable, profitable and sustainable model.

What is entrepreneurial mindset?

The entrepreneurial mindset is all about turning obstacles into opportunities. Entrepreneurs look at setbacks and mistakes as challenges to improve their skill sets and do better the next time. They know that the end justifies the means and they’re willing to jump in and put all their effort behind their business without fear of criticism or failure.

The entrepreneurial mind focuses on progress

It’s a common misperception amongst wantrapreneurs that merely thinking about an idea means they are doing something constructive about it. But mentally chewing over a to-do list doesn’t get you any further toward your goal. The same thing goes for reading books, learning the jargon and telling everyone and their mother about your “business.”

Those with the entrepreneurial mindset make progress a priority. They strive to take a step forward – no matter how small a step – every single day. Because they know that if they don’t act on their ideas now, someone else eventually will. Even if their website, funding, prototype or product is not yet complete, they know they must take a leap of faith – because no idea is unique until it is executed.

The entrepreneurial mind does not live in fear

Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Oprah, Tim Ferriss: If you look at most successful people in the world, they’ve failed at some point – and you will, too, if you are going to grow a business. Failure is just an inevitable part of the learning curve. The variable is, what will you do with that reality?

Entrepreneurs respond to risk in starkly different ways than those who never get a business endeavor off the ground. Entrepreneurs do not live their lives in fear. Though they may have worries or anxieties about what they are doing, they don’t let it influence their actions and behaviors. They don’t make excuses – no funding, no resources, too difficult to break through – because they know if they don’t try, they have already failed.

The thought of not giving everything they have to bring their idea to fruition would be the ultimate failure, and this moves them to action, no matter what.

The entrepreneurial mind is resourceful

Those with an entrepreneurial mindset know that they will never have all their ducks in a row – and they don’t care. They understand that the perfect day when the timing is right, the economy is ideal and the market is ready for their idea will never come. Instead of focusing on checking off all the boxes, they take massive action.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t get caught up in or preoccupied with details. They adjust and adapt to the big picture. They do not wait for the funding or additional resources to start up and hit the ground running. They will bootstrap their company, finding ways to get the funds they need. They are scrappy, bringing out their inner ingenuity to find a creative solution to whatever obstacle comes their way. For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, there is no such thing as a dead end; there are only new opportunities for growth.

The entrepreneurial mind perseveres

Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Building a business is not for the weak. There are extensive moments of doubt and chaos, minimal hard-won successes, countless lessons learned the hard way, crushing amounts of pressure and stress and prolonged periods of struggle and financial instability.

Entrepreneurs have what it takes to weather the storm of a startup. Their hunger to succeed destroys their fear of failure and fuels their drive and dedication.

Entrepreneurs are driven by their passion for their business and are clear about why creating this business is a “must” for them. Their business is an extension of who they are as a person – it’s the encapsulation of their beliefs and values. That gives them the emotional juice to keep them going when the challenges show up. And because they have a big enough “why,” they will figure out a way to make anything happen.

The entrepreneurial mind constantly innovates

Those who have the entrepreneurial mindset are always thinking about what’s next. They know that the market is constantly changing and they are ready to change with it. Entrepreneurs focus on fostering an environment of constant strategic innovation so they can be the disruptors, not the disrupted. They’re willing to take chances on new forms of tech, shift workforce demographics and continue to educate themselves so they can keep their business on the cutting edge.

Those who fail to launch a business are often afraid of change or stuck in their ways. Instead of looking to the future, they get stuck in the present and lack the flexibility needed to pivot.

You can develop the entrepreneurial mindset

If any of the above sounds familiar, you likely have the entrepreneurial mindset needed to be successful. If not, don’t lose hope. Entrepreneurs aren’t always born that way. Some develop an entrepreneurial mind after experiencing setbacks or committing to learning about themselves and the changes they need to make to unlock an extraordinary life.

Ask yourself: Are you ready to start making progress part of your daily ritual?

Is the thought of never trying more frightening to you than the potential that you may fail? Is your “why” strong enough to give you the hunger, drive and dedication necessary to get through the challenges?

If the answer is yes, you are already well on your way to developing the entrepreneurial mindset. Make the decision to stop focusing on the minutia and start building your business. Commit yourself to what matters. Dedicate yourself to overcoming the challenges and find any way you can to learn from your failures. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak and it’s not for those with a “good idea.” It’s for the cut above who have no choice but to build their business, because of their passion, their drive and their belief that a life without trying is a life not lived.

Header image © uber images/shutterstock

Team Tony

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