Characteristics of an Entrepreneur Mindset

An entrepreneurial mindset is determined, creative, resourceful, and resilient in the most adverse circumstances. An entrepreneur mindset is often positive thinking and comfortable with discomfort.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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What makes a successful entrepreneur mindset?

An entrepreneurial mindset is a person who is open to risk, unafraid of failing, communicative, creative, and not afraid to ask for help. The importance of entrepreneurs in American life cannot be understated: they foster economic growth, create new jobs, and provide new services and products that change the world. To be a successful entrepreneur, an individual must be a unique thinker with big ideas. In fact, anyone can think up a concept for a business, but actually building that business into a success is the challenge that not many can conquer. To be a successful entrepreneur, a person needs to be skilled in communication, creative, and motivated, yet also prepared to handle risk and even failure.

Simply having a big idea does not determine the success of an entrepreneur. Often, the success or failure of a company is dependent on the characteristics of the business owner themselves. To create a thriving company, an individual must have a unique blend entrepreneurial qualities. So, is there a certain magical mixture of unique traits and skills that allows entrepreneurs to turn their idea into a success?

Naturally, there is no magic formula that can turn the Average Joe into King Midas. That said, aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from cultivating certain characteristics to improve their odds of success. An entrepreneurial mindset may be the difference between a money-making machine and a business that closes its doors before the first year is up.

In this article, our business startup attorney discusses an entrepreneurial mindset as follows:

A positive outlook

It is necessary for an entrepreneur to have a positive attitude, because the mindset of a business owner dictates the tone for everyone else in the company and can have an outsized impact on workplace culture.

Negative thinking can reduce forward progress and is no way to lead management and motivate employees. Positivity is part of what grants entrepreneurs the strength to weather downturns.

Of course, being positive does not mean burying one’s head in the sand and ignoring setbacks. Rather, it is about learning how to reframe one’s response to crises. Wallowing in errors serves no one. Learn from them and move forward.

One way to change one’s outlook is to examine a problem and ask, “What can I do to fix this?” By studying one’s own reaction to an issue, one may learn to develop a positive mentality around change. Positive individuals view challenges as a way to learn and improve.

When an individual is the head of a company, a positive attitude is infectious. Research shows that happy workers are better employees overall. There is a correlation between positive work environments and higher productivity. Furthermore, a positive work culture has been tied to greater business profits, higher staff retention rates, and fewer sick days. Even the smallest of changes can increase positivity around the workplace.

Part of letting go of negative energy is understanding that negative thoughts result in wasted time, money, and energy. As with all life skills, positivity can be learned. Becoming a business owner is not for the faint of heart. The demands and long hours involved in running a company can severely impact one’s mental outlook and personal life.

Therefore, one of the best ways to develop a positive attitude is to focus on the things that one can control. Diet, sleep, and exercise are easily modified to help an entrepreneur stay healthy, focused, and positive.

It is also important that an entrepreneur dedicate time to themselves – a break from all the work. Research has shown that by taking a simple ten-minute walk around the block can improve one’s mood and reduce negative thinking.

A creative state of mind

In the world of entrepreneurship, creativity is undoubtedly the mother of invention. Think about your iPhone, or the light beside your bed, or the airplane you take to go on vacation. Each of these revolutionary inventions would not have come about were it not for creative thinking and risk.

Even if an entrepreneur is not in a creative industry, creativity is still essential for success as a business owner. An entrepreneurial mind is always thinking about innovation and new ideas. The life cycle of a product may be reduced to the conception of an idea being turned into a functional service or product.

A benefit of being a business owner is that one gets to be creative every day. An owner can test different creative strategies to improve their business and institute changes. Even if a company is not in a creative field, finding ways to optimize operations in itself is a creative act. When an individual is leading their own company, he or she can use creative thinking in hiring, PR, tech, sales, and more.

The majority of entrepreneurs are naturally creative thinkers. They might otherwise not have the gumption to take the risk of creating their own business.

Communicate persuasively

A successful entrepreneur should be a persuasive person. Persuasive skills can help close a sale, negotiate, or achieve a lower price when it comes to inventory. Persuasive people are usually inspiring leaders and excellent managers. While some individuals are naturally more persuasive than others, these skills can be practiced and learned. By learning to present ideas more effectively, an entrepreneur can run their business more successfully.

Here is how to use persuasion to run a successful company:

  • Reciprocate. According to psychological research, the ‘reciprocity rule’ is an effective tactic in the business world. This rule states that when an individual does a favor for another, the second must offer a favor in return. A business owner can make a persuasive case by offering something to the individual they are trying to persuade.
  • Look to others. The concept of social proof may be defined as when people learn from others how to interact in social settings. In a business context, if an entrepreneur is trying to sell a service or product, he or she should demonstrate how others have benefited from it.
  • Use labels. A smart entrepreneur will appeal to another individual’s reputation. This method of persuasion may be used by indicating that a person should act in a way that aligns with a label. For instance, say, “Your restaurant is a classic American steakhouse, and the best steakhouses stock our quality beef.” This is well-known strategy used in marketing.

Drive and motivation

One of the main characteristics of an entrepreneur is motivation, which means that a person can push themselves to succeed and will hold themselves accountable. In general, business owners have poured their sweat, blood, and tears into their endeavor, and they may have sacrificed much in their personal lives to open their company’s doors. Putting a lot on the line can fuel motivational drive.

Every successful entrepreneur knows that to run a hit business, one must stay motivated. One way to maintain motivation long-term is to focus on the end goal, or the overall picture. Where is the business headed? What are the future plans to expand and grow? How will the business fit into the industry? Creating these long-term plans and goals can help maintain motivation when the going gets rough.

According to experts, goal setting is another way to foster motivation. The key is to create high-quality goals that are achievable, clear, and manageable. For instance, say, “I will go to three continuing education classes by the end of the month.” Or: “I will find a website designer by Tuesday.” These kinds of goals offer a feeling of motivation when the objective has been accomplished.

When an entrepreneur is the boss, they are not only responsible for their own motivation, but for that of their employees.

Determination and ability to overcome failure

When an individual starts their own business, he or she undoubtedly hopes it will become an overnight success. While this kind of success is thrilling, change and growth most often happen with failure. An entrepreneur should be open to embracing and learning from their mistakes.

The wealthiest business owners, most celebrated sportsmen, and most talented artists have all endured failure at some point or other in their careers. To be human is to be imperfect, after all. An entrepreneur should not, therefore, expect themselves to be perfect.

While failure is bound to happen, an entrepreneur should know how to react to it. It is important not to feel embarrassed or ashamed when one fails; judgment and blame are not constructive. It is best to think logically about how to improve rather than give in to emotion. Ignore negative self-talk and learn to say, “This is what I will do next time.”

An entrepreneur should view times of hardship as opportunities to grow and improve. Every new business owner is going to face plenty of firsts: first customer, first employee hire, first business lease. Some of these things are bound to go wrong at some point, and that is perfectly okay and to be expected. These setbacks should be used to develop strategies and ideas for how the business should be run in the future.

It is human to fail, which means that there are other entrepreneurs out there who have faced the same challenges. It may be helpful to share one’s experiences with mentors, staff, or colleagues to get some outside points of view.

It is important to remember that even the best plans can go wrong. This is just the nature of being an entrepreneur. One should not be afraid to adjust, reset, and begin again.

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