Talk to any professional in any field. It could be an NFL quarterback. It could be a newspaper reporter. It could be a surgeon. Ask what makes them successful, and more often than not, they’ll tell you it all starts with getting into the right state of mind. Adopting the right mindset. Getting themselves into a place where all thoughts and actions contribute toward the end result, whether it’s leading a winning drive, reporting the truth, or saving a life.
Entrepreneurship is a journey through valleys both high and low. Anyone who chooses to forge their own path in business does so for their own reasons. And not everyone succeeds. But success most often finds those who adopt the entrepreneur mindset right out of the gate. Those who are willing to put it all on the line, focus hard on achieving their goals, and never let up.
What goes into the entrepreneur mindset, you ask? These qualities.
The Courage to Take Risks
When you make the decision to strike out on your own and make your living outside the confines of Corporate America, you’ve already taken a risk.
It’s not the easier path. Easy would be taking a desk job in an office for a company that isn’t yours. Easy is trading your time for a salary that may or may not go up no matter how valuable you are.
But your risk-taking can’t end there. Being an entrepreneur means making bold decisions when opportunities present themselves. If you play it safe all the time, more
courageous competitors will pass you by. Instead, you want to play to win, which means gunning for the lead and never letting off the gas once you have it.
The Desire to Sell
It can’t be said enough: you need to believe in what you’re doing. Having a steadfast faith in what you have to offer makes it easier to sell your product or service to your audience. And you will need to sell. A lot.
You can draw this faith from a number of different sources. Sell on the belief that your product is the best on the market. Sell because you’re out to change the world and make people’s lives better. You aren’t in business without the first sale, and you don’t stay in business without more sales after that. Selling is an integral part of being an entrepreneur, so if you aren’t good at it, start practicing.
The Ability to Adapt
Nothing is a slam dunk in this world. There are no guarantees. The route you take to the grocery store — is it always the same route? It likely is. You know it’s the fastest way to get there. You’re comfortable with it. You can practically drive it with your eyes closed (this isn’t recommended).
But what if one of the roads are closed along the way? You need to take a new path. A few extra turns to get to where you need to go. Being an entrepreneur means you need to be ready for anything. You need to stay on your toes. If a supplier goes out of business, you need to find a new supplier. If a competitor enters your market, you need to be ready to adjust your offering.
In biology, adaptation can take millions of years. In business, you may need to do it in minutes.
The Patience to Manage
Entrepreneurship may appeal to you because it seems like a way to escape “management.” And, in a sense, it is. You are no longer managed. You call the shots. You control your own destiny.
But your venture will need to be managed, and at the start, you’ll be the one doing it.
You will need to keep all of your ducks in a row. Organize your projects. Keep track of your finances. Interface with all the processes of your business. And, when the time comes, you’ll need to manage employees who will start to take over these tasks for you.
Not everyone is born a gifted manager. But patience is necessary not only in attending to what’s required on the management front, but in learning how to become a better manager over time.
The Hunger to Grow
Many a startup fire has been extinguished by complacency. Some don’t long to be the best, or to be the most well known. Some are content with simply getting by.
Doing so is a path to certain disappointment.
The entrepreneur mindset is encompassed most in those who shoot for the moon. The Steve Jobs’ and Elon Musks of the world who dare to be great. Those who want to bring their vision to as many people as possible.
Every mega-corporation, every Apple and Tesla, starts with an entrepreneur. Your business? It starts with you. And how far it goes? That’s up to you, too. If you have the hunger for it.