Regardless of your work or life goals, people want to be happy and successful. We pursue this goal in a variety of ways through education, work experience, mentoring, and gaining knowledge through reading books on how to be successful. Part of the challenge is that we must intrinsically believe that we are capable of our own success. And a lot of our potential success is based on the way we think.
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck was the first researcher to explore the idea of fixed and growth mindsets. In her opinion, and based on research from her studies, she defined a growth mentality as believing that your intelligence and talents can be developed over time. A fixed mindset means you believe that intelligence is fixed from birth. So if you’re not good at something, you might think you’ll never be good at it. Well, if that’s true, what mindset, aside from a growth mindset, do people need to have in order to become a successful entrepreneur, whether in a startup or corporate entrepreneurship?
You need an entrepreneurial mindset: a mindset that enables you to look for problems others haven’t solved, find potential solutions, overcome challenges, be determined, and take responsibility for your results. There is a constant urge to improve your skills, learn from your mistakes and continuously implement your ideas. Anyone willing to do the work can develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Here are the key characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset.
Curiosity. Entrepreneurs are more curious and engaged with the world around them. They observe the latest trends, notice products or services that could revolutionize an industry. When they notice things that aren’t working well, entrepreneurs try to understand how things actually work and then try to solve the problem. Finding solutions to problems requires even more curiosity, leading them to examine problems from multiple angles and look for ways to achieve better results. It leads them to experts and to gaining additional knowledge. Curiosity breeds more questions, and questions breed answers. These answers lead to a deeper understanding of the world around you and the ability to solve problems you didn’t even think you could solve.
Opportunity Recognition. Recognizing opportunity is a process found in the way people with an entrepreneurial mindset approach life. In many ways, it’s a constant awareness in which individuals seek “new and improved ways” to address problems by noticing them. Here’s a simple example. It’s 2007, smartphones are everywhere and you find yourself in a cab. The driver seems lost, so you pull out your phone, pull up Google Maps and tell the driver where to go. About. But Uber wasn’t founded until 2009. To take full advantage of spotting opportunities, you just need to be aware of potential problems so you “see” them more often than others. Then, hopefully, curiosity will lead you to ask the right questions
ability to pivot. Why do some people who find themselves in a no-win situation still continue down a possible path to failure? For some reason they lack the ability or desire to turn. This is the ability to be alert enough and quick enough, with the ability to re-evaluate a new approach as factors beyond their control change and shift. A synonym for “pivot” would be to be nimble. You can quickly recalculate an alternative approach if things change. An intelligent pivot doesn’t give up your overall vision for your startup. ‘All that is pivotal is a change of strategy without a change of vision.’ According to Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup. If you think it’s unique or difficult to shoot, it’s not. Here are some well-known companies that have all had to change to be successful: Nintendo, Twitter, Starbucks, AirBnb, YouTube… the list is endless. Your ability to spin around in your startup will be critical to your overall success and happiness.
Endurance. Sometimes, as a startup founder, you face situations where it can be difficult to keep going. Or even feel like you can keep going. However, if you want your business to thrive, that’s exactly what you need to do… keep going when it’s not easy. This is called perseverance, and many successful entrepreneurs, and even many personal development leaders and prominent psychologists, will tell you that this may be the secret to business (and personal) success. As Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, once said, “Exceptional founders all have the ability to ‘move on.’ I believe that half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones is persistence.’
Starting a business with a new product or service often takes longer than you would like and is more difficult than you imagine. However, if you give up and give in when times are tough, you will never get where you want to be. If you have stamina, great. If you don’t, cultivate it by setting small goals, planning for failure, and building a network of people who believe in you and have the expertise to help you.