What is the Entrepreneurial Mindset?
As with many things in life, business is full of the unpredictable. You can train, practice and educate yourself on all the intricate details and best practices. Those are all great ways to prepare but if you don’t have the right mindset, it could all be for naught. An Entrepreneurial Mindset, on the other hand, can often compensate for a lack of training, practice and education. It is the best preparation for the unexpected, and it will get you through the toughest times. So what can you do to put yourself in the right Entrepreneurial Mindset?
- Don’t be Afraid to Fail
- Be Honest
- Develop an Appetite for Knowledge
- Accept Help and Delegate
- Take 100% Responsibility for Your Business.
- Make Decisions Quickly and Effectively
As an Entrepreneur you can’t afford to be too risk averse. Business ownership involves taking calculated risks and fear can be debilitating. A great way to prepare for these risk decisions is to accept the possibility of failing. This isn’t to say that you should be wreckless with your decision making either. You may hear the popular mantra, “fail early, fail often;” but don’t mistake the concept of being willing to fail with a goal or aim to fail. What you should aim to do is prepare yourself for the reality that not everything you set out to do will work out. Accept that truth and allow yourself to take those calculated risks. With this entrepreneurial mindset you won’t be crippled by fear and if you do fail, you’ll be better prepared to learn from life’s great teacher rather then dwell on what went wrong.
It should go with out saying that you’ll need integrity to run an ethical business. You should alway be honest with your customers, employees and business partners. That shouldn’t come as a surprise and most business owners don’t have an issue with this at all. What is often much harder is being honest with ourselves. Entreprepneur’s tend to self-confident and tenacious. While this is good, as a business owner you should be ready to take a step back and self evaluate. Be honest about your capabilities and your limits. Identify what you don’t know, admit that you don’t know it and then seek to fill the knowledge gap. What you don’t know can possibly hurt you and your business. Without an honest mindset about your own weaknesses you could end up blindsided.
Instead of getting blindsided, set out to learn what you don’t know. Don’t stop there either, refine what you do know. Don’t get complacent in your expertise and work constantly to improve upon your knowledge base. Business owners today have more access to information than ever before. Bookmark websites and blogs like this, subscribe to magazines and mailing lists, buy and read business, leadership and marketing books. Join trade organizations and follow industry news. Never be afraid to ask questions. This mindset, looking for lessons, will help you put failures in perspective and will ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to imporve the way you do business.
Sometimes you identify a weakness or a gap that you can’t just fill by reading a book. Be ready to seek out and accept help from subject matter experts. Also, accept help from your employees. Business ownership takes work but you’ll have to fight the tendency to make yourself a martyr. You can’t do everything by yourself. Even if you are the most qualified, – which won’t always be the case if you’re being honest with yourself – you just don’t have time for it all. Delegating frees up your time to focus on the most vital aspects of your business. A good entrepreneurial mindset is one where you are ready to use all the tools available to you in order to progess. This will require ceding some responsibility to others along the way.
Allowing others to take on more responsibility doesn’t absolve you of ultimate liability and ownership. Although you should hold your employees accountable for their individual actions and decisions (to a certain degree); never forget that in the end the buck stops with you. If you aren’t getting the results you want from your business then you should look inward first. What could you be doing better? Don’t spend valuable time making excuses or laying blame on anyone else or anything. If a course correction is needed, you will need to focus on moving forward.
Paralysis by Analysis can deal a severe blow to your business. As an entrepreneur you may not always have all the information. You’ll need to be able to make the best decision you can based off of the available information. It’s not enough to be able to make good decisions either, you’ll need to be capable of making the right decision at the right time. You’ll have to make daily decisions about operations and larger choices about the direction you want to take your company. Your employees need decisive leadership. Your ability to be decisive will enable your business to be agile and quickly responsive to the unexpected and unpredictable. Accept that you may not always get it right and focus on making the best decisions you can in reasonable amounts of time. Sometimes even the wrong direction is better than no direction.