7 KEYS TO THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Are you thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Are you already one but things aren't going as well as you'd prefer? Do you have the mindset skills listed below? If not, how are you going to acquire them?
Belief in yourself. Nobody is confident in every situation; instead this is the belief that you can figure out what you don't know and achieve your goal. Setting achievable goals and positive self-coaching are the most important elements of this skill.
Passion for something other than money. I know plenty of unhappy rich people. In fact, statistically, you're actually more likely to be unhappy if you're rich. Being rich is only fun if you're actually having fun, right? One of the four major sources of this happiness is the belief that you're making a positive contribution to the happiness of others through your product/service. This passion will also come in handy when you hit the many obstacles you'll need to overcome along the way.
Willingness to take reasoned risks. Risk-taking is a skill unto itself; it requires balance. If you always swing for the fence and almost always fail, then you're taking too much risk. If you don't take any risks, then you're always doomed to failure; the world is changing whether you are or not. Gather the best data you can find and decide whether what you have in mind is a reasonable risk.
Resilience. All the reasoned risks you take aren't going to pay off the way you want; you're going to fail sometimes. However, if you don't take these risks you'll never succeed as an entrepreneur. There are plenty of noble professions that don't require this much risk; they may be a better fit for you to be happy and successful. Learn from your ideas that fail and move on to your next success. No success or failure is permanent.
Relationship building. Nothing really great ever got done by someone working alone. Working well with others is an essential skill, not only to be successful but to be happy. Especially seek advice from competent mentors all along the way; they will speed your path to success immeasurably.
Sales skills. Sales skills are really just a special case of relationship building that includes an extra dose of assertiveness. After you prove to someone that you're competent (know what you're talking about) and caring (going to treat people fairly), you need to be willing to ask for the sale.
Team orientation. This also is a special case of relationship building. It requires not allowing your personal fears and insecurities (i.e., "ego") to get in the way of achieving your goals. Think like a real entrepreneur and play the role that is the highest and best use of your time. For example, many entrepreneurs are not the person best-equipped to be the CEO or even COO of their own company (these roles require specific skill sets), but they do it anyway.
Decide whether being an entrepreneur is really a good fit for you; it's only one of many noble career paths that lead to financial success and happiness.
If it is, then commit yourself to develop the mindset skills listed above.
Always remember that after you have a viable product and business model (something people are willing to pay for and a way to get paid for it), then building a successful business becomes about building successful relationships (mentors, partners, employees, suppliers, customers, etc.).
Copyright Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.