What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the terms, entrepreneur or entrepreneurial? The term entrepreneur refers to anyone that takes on more risk than the typical person to start a business. On the other hand, the term entrepreneurial refers to someone who possesses characteristics related to entrepreneurs, even if they do not own a business.
Entrepreneurs typically possess specific mindset characteristics that enable them to take on these calculated risks, such as embracing failure and being disciplined. However, most entrepreneurs aren’t born with all these characteristics. They typically develop them as they work to improve themselves and experience challenges.
In this article, I will cover what I believe are some of the main components of the entrepreneurial mindset and present the research to support these claims.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Research
In 2012, Ngek Brownhilder Neneh documented his research on the entrepreneurial mindset in small and medium enterprise sectors in South Africa. However, the same characteristics typically apply to entrepreneurs worldwide. According to Neneh’s research, “Further observation on this study also established that entrepreneurs with an entrepreneurial mindset performed better in certain factors (creativity, risk-taking propensity, growth mindset, etc.) which are considered vital for business success.” (African Journal of Business Management Vol. 6(9), pp. 3364-3372) You can view the full study here.
Here are some of the most common characteristics of the entrepreneurial mindset:
Generally, successful people are often extremely positive because they understand the power that positive thinking can have on one’s success. It can be difficult to succeed with a negative attitude because it closes your mind to opportunities.
On the other hand, positivity can be useful for entrepreneurs because it can help them see the opportunities in every situation and potentially take advantage of them. In addition, a positive attitude can enhance others’ lives around you because positivity is usually contagious.
According to research by Barbara Frederickson, professor of Psychology at the University of Chapel Hill, “those who think positive thoughts have a greater capacity to take on board new information.” As a result, a positive person may be able to solve problems more easily because they are more receptive to information.
The definition of an entrepreneur specifically mentions risk-taking as a common trait in entrepreneurs. However, I would like to mention that most entrepreneurs aren’t likely to make quick, risky decisions. They usually carefully calculate the risk of a certain decision to ensure the risk is worth the reward.
Many entrepreneurs love to learn and make it a habit to absorb knowledge regularly, such as reading books, articles, and magazines or attending events, seminars, etc.
The purpose of becoming more learning-oriented as an entrepreneur is to learn new skills, broaden their perspective, and potentially bring more opportunities.
It’s one thing to have big dreams but another to plan to achieve them. Typically, entrepreneurs are goal-oriented, which means they make plans to work toward achieving their goals. For example, they might use S.M.A.R.T. Goals to create reasonable objectives for their goals, allowing them to follow a visual guide.
Failure is a common aspect of the entrepreneurial journey. Many entrepreneurs experience failure in their journeys to success. However, entrepreneurs usually don’t let failure discourage them or halt their progress. They use failure as a tool to help them learn what not to do so that they can pivot and move forward. In addition, they understand that failure may happen in their journey. Still, they know that failure may also bring more opportunities.
Many entrepreneurs experience failure in their journeys to success.
Making small improvements each day is a common trait of entrepreneurs. Generally, many entrepreneurs seek new challenges to take on or ways to improve themselves. They usually don’t stay comfortable for long because they know that comfort may not lead to growth.
Usually, entrepreneurs use long-term thinking to bolster their efforts. For example, when entrepreneurs are working on a project and not seeing results, they try to remind themselves that results can take time and may not appear instantly. In addition, entrepreneurs may use long-term thinking when making decisions to ensure the decisions they make will benefit them down the road.
Problem-solving is one of the things entrepreneurs do best. Typically, entrepreneurs like to solve problems and turn their solutions into businesses. In addition, they might practice problem-solving within their businesses to make better decisions and prevent issues later.
Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Generally, entrepreneurs embrace discomfort because they know it could potentially help them improve. In addition, entrepreneurs know that if they don’t embrace discomfort, they may not learn the skills they need when an opportunity arises.
Disciplined and Focused
Discipline and focus can be useful for entrepreneurs by allowing them to work towards their goals and potentially avoid distractions. In addition, entrepreneurs may use discipline to build habits that help them improve.
Many entrepreneurs understand that taking action usually produces results. They know how to harness their thoughts and ideas and turn them into actionable steps for working toward their goals.
How to Develop a More Entrepreneurial Mindset
Becoming more entrepreneurial could potentially benefit all areas of your life. Here are some ways you might increase your entrepreneurial capabilities:
- Read more
- Study successful people
- Join an entrepreneurial community
- Challenge yourself to try something new
- Try to swap negative thoughts for positive ones
- Potentially turn your ideas into actionable goals
- Try to build more productive habits