Do You Have the “Entrepreneurial Mind-Set”?Rieva Lesonsky
Do You Have the “Entrepreneurial Mind-Set”?
Starting a new business is always full of surprises. One of the lessons all new business owners quickly learn is not everything goes as planned, no matter how determined you are to control it all. As an employee, those blips are someone else’s problem. As an entrepreneur, the challenges and hardships are hurdles to overcome by “Smart Hustle.” Doing so can and will make you a smarter and better business owner in the long run. Aside from being the person who’s ultimately responsible for your company’s success—or failure, there are other significant differences between the mindsets of entrepreneurs and almost everyone else. Here are a few:
- Entrepreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo. Most employees want to get the job done and then head home to relax. Like Mick Jagger famously sang, entrepreneurs “can’t get no—satisfaction.” They’re always thinking about how to “shake it up.” If you have employees, ask them about which systems need improving and how you can help them do their jobs better. Get input from your customers, too. Use social media as a virtual suggestion box and find out what your customers like and don’t like about your business.
- Entrepreneurs are optimistic by nature. No matter how bleak things may seem at times, you have to stay positive if you want to keep your business growing. Everyone knows into each life some rain must fall; but Smart Hustlers think like Dolly Parton who said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!” To stay positive, make time to do the things that replenish you, whether that’s taking time off, exercising regularly or constantly thinking of new business ideas. Hang out with other optimists; avoid negative people who drain your energy.
- Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, but they don’t make risky decisions. That’s an important distinction. A recent Kauffman study shows 80 percent of early-stage business owners use personal funds to finance their companies, obviously showing their willingness to take risks, but those risks are calculated. Smart Hustlers make their moves after the risks have been vetted. Do the research and success is that much closer.
“The most important aspect of the entrepreneurial mindset is a willingness to fail. You can’t see failure as fatal. For a lot of people, failure is a traumatic event…for an entrepreneur, failure is a daily part of life—you accept it and move on. [Entrepreneurs] take the long view on everything. Individual moments, positive and negative, are great…but the long view is what matters.”
Maura M. Horton, Founder and President
“Being an entrepreneur is an elixir of creativity, tenacity, flexibility and laser focus mixed with a small part of insanity. It’s being bold with balance. It’s being creative with control. It’s being flexible with focus. It’s being tenacious with temperament. It’s being idealistic without seeing inadequacy.”
Michael Kachoeff, Founder
“An employee thinks of themselves and family first. They have mouths to feed and money to be made. I multiply that by 25-30 employees and then factor in our wonderful customers, customer service, the continuous rising cost of products, services, taxes, rent, utilities, all of those and more. I have learned that if I am not proactive, I will be forced to be reactive. And you cannot move forward or grow in any way while being reactive. ”
Angela B. Jones, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer
ViArch Integrated Solutions Inc.
“The entrepreneurial mindset is grounded by perseverance, optimism, tenacity and a basic willingness to forge ahead in the face of difficulty and continual challenges. The attitude of the entrepreneur sees adversity as a backdrop for learning new lessons that will make one a better businessperson and is always ready to problem solve rather than complain and make excuses.”