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22 February 2022

How to Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Jairek Robbins

One of the biggest hurdles that people who wish to start their own businesses face is developing the necessary mindset to build and sustain a viable business. An entrepreneurial mindset is often the key factor to predict whether a business will survive or struggle. In this post, we focus on what an entrepreneurial mindset is and what you can do to develop this mindset.

So, what is an entrepreneurial mindset?

An entrepreneurial mindset refers to a set of thought processes, beliefs and perspectives that are the cornerstone of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. The mindset exhibited by entrepreneurs is distinct from the way other people think.

For instance, when someone with an employee mindset wishes to earn more, they are likely to consider asking for a raise or getting a higher-paying job. In contrast, someone with an entrepreneurial mindset will think of creating a new product, starting a side business or any other such approach that brings them more money.

The great news is that while the entrepreneurial mindset isn’t so common in any given population, it can be developed by those who wish to acquire this important view of the world and way of thinking.

How to develop an entrepreneurial mindset

Learn to be decisive

One of the soft skills that you need to learn in order to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset is to learn how to be decisive. This involves assessing the information available to you at that moment and then making a firm decision about the matter at hand.

People with entrepreneurial mindsets don’t wait around to have 100% of the needed information, or they don’t sit around “forever” before making a decision. Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-term investing partner, refers to the delay to make a decision as “thumb sucking.” 

Entrepreneurs know that timing is everything, so they cannot afford to sit around “thumb sucking.” As you embark on your quest to develop an entrepreneurial mindset practice being decisive in everyday situations, such as quickly deciding whether to say “yes” or “no” to a request for help rather than asking for time to think about it. A clue to easing such a decision is whether your priorities for that day can allow you to sidetrack as you offer the requested help.

Always be accountable

Entrepreneurial thinking is characterized by taking full responsibility. The buck stops with you. Entrepreneurs know that they are in charge, so you will never find them making excuses or passing blame. Instead, they take responsibility for what has happened and design ways to get back on track or fix a problem which has developed.

This way of thinking is important in entrepreneurship because it puts you on a firm footing to taking your business where you want it. Don’t blame the government, or competitors, or the economy, or even your cat! You are responsible, period.

It is therefore vital that you cultivate the ability to be accountable and hold yourself responsible for everything happening in your life. Not just the successes but the failures as well. You are responsible for them all, or at least you contributed to them in some way.

Tame your ego

Entrepreneurial thinking entails keeping one’s ego in check. For example, an entrepreneur goes out of their way to put together a team of people who are smarter than he or she is. Entrepreneurial thinking takes cognizance of the fact that you can’t be good at everything, and that’s why you have to look out for people who are smarter than you so that you can get the help you need to attain your goals. You also don’t have all the answers, so you need to be comfortable asking for help.

People without an entrepreneurial mindset feel threatened by the presence of people smarter than they are, and so they miss a great opportunity to be part of great teams working together towards a common goal.

Banish this egoistic tendency and learn to yearn for having smarter people around you. Great businesses are built this way.

Always be curious

They say that in life you are either growing, or dying. People with an entrepreneurial mindset are always learning (and therefore growing) because they have an insatiable level of curiosity. They are always questioning and learning new things, and that is how they spot opportunities they can exploit.

If you would like to develop an entrepreneurial mind, start by picking interest in everything around you and learn new things. For example, why not brush your teeth while holding your toothbrush in your less dominant hand? Why not change your route to work every other day instead of taking the same route month after month? Why not read a book on a subject that’s totally unfamiliar to you? 

As you grow your interest and curiosity in the things around you, you will begin to expand your way of thinking and you will start looking at things from different perspectives. When that happens, you, my friend, will be acquiring an entrepreneurial mindset that will enable you to find unique solutions to problems.

Always be goal-oriented

Entrepreneurial thinking is characterized by being goal-oriented and that is why entrepreneurs are laser-focused on attaining their objectives. People without an entrepreneurial mind are driven by the wind, and they drift from one project to another without really accomplishing anything meaningful.

As you may recall how a beam of light focused on one spot can cause that spot to become hot or even catch on fire, so does being goal-oriented propel you to achieve great things. 

Start setting SMART goals and keep focused on them until you attain them. It doesn’t matter whether you are currently running your business or are an employee. Being goal-oriented will serve you well as your productivity will increase in whatever you do.

Face your fears

You can also develop an entrepreneurial mindset by starting to face your fears. Do you shrink away from public speaking? Are you horrible at selling? Are you wary of sampling food you aren’t used to? Do you suck at leading teams?

Whatever your fear, it is imperative that you confront that fear as you grow your entrepreneurial muscle or mindset. Growth and success lie just outside your comfort zone, and fear is an indicator that you are moving out of your comfort zone.

By facing your fears, you are setting yourself up to keep outgrowing your comfort zone, and that is how success in entrepreneurship will result.

You are unlikely to succeed in any entrepreneurial venture you undertake if you don’t have an entrepreneurial mindset. That entrepreneurial mindset is crucial to seeing opportunities, seizing those opportunities, overcoming challenges and rapidly pivoting whenever situations demand that you quickly adapt your techniques, products, services, hiring approaches and everything connected to your business. Before you think about raising money for your dream business, think about fixing your mindset!


To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins

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