How an entrepreneurial mindset can help your career
When you think of entrepreneurs, names of well known self-made business people running huge and often global empires come to mind – names such as Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk for example – but an entrepreneurial approach to business isn’t just the preserve of self-made multi-millionaires.
An entrepreneur’s mindset can serve you well, whether running a small business from home or in your job.
It’s sometimes a lament amongst business leaders that there isn’t official training to help people think in a more entrepreneurial way in business, but many great ideas have come from all sorts of people – the old saying ‘a good idea doesn’t mind who has it’ is so true.
Even spotting a gap in the market and filling it simply – like offering a dog walking service for time-pressed pet owners for example – is demonstrating entrepreneurial thinking in the very same way that a business making it easy for users to provide tax authorities with the information they require would be.
You don’t necessarily have to be planning the next worldwide corporation to take an entrepreneurial approach to business. Many employers value staff who think beyond their day to day tasks and help contribute to the company performing more efficiently, gaining more business, diversifying its service offering and more.
Improving a business
More employees thinking ‘out of the box’ and behaving like an entrepreneur undoubtedly helps a company or organization become more dynamic and, ultimately, enjoy more success. It’s why recruitment is taken seriously so as to attract and appoint the right people both at graduate level and those further advanced in their career paths.
Investing in the right people pays dividends eventually.
So what makes a good entrepreneurial approach to business?
Much of it isn’t some magical property bestowed on just the handful of household name successful entrepreneurs. Some qualities are remarkably basic and possible for many to adopt:
Prioritize goals and tasks – once you have an end goal in mind – or maybe several – then focus on the most important goal first and break it down into manageable tasks.
This helps avoid overwhelm where you have so many tasks to tackle it actually causes you to procrastinate.
Adaptability and staying power – simply sticking with something through the likely ‘bumps in the road’ is a hallmark of a person with an entrepreneurial attitude. So to is adaptability; initial ideas may need altering and fine tuning on the way.
Risk taking – most, if not all, entrepreneurs have taken risks but not reckless ones; having a plan and strategy is key but accepting there is an element of risk is important.
You don’t have to be taking the huge multi million dollar risks someone like Elon Musk has taken to display entrepreneurial thinking.
Try out ideas as soon as possible – if you have an idea, then ‘get it out there’, whether it’s a new business idea or suggestions for your company. Sitting on an idea and researching and thinking about it for too long is counter-productive; an idea needs to be tested by running it past your boss or implementing it ‘in the wild’. Entrepreneurs get this and act on this impulse before someone else comes in and steals their thunder.
Selling ideas – not just to potential customers but also to staff if you’re in a management position. Showing people the value, to them, of implementing your ideas makes for a more effective take up.
Avoid ‘perfectionism’ – a little like the point above, but avoid the need to ‘make it perfect’ before suggesting that idea or developing your product or service. In many ways, customer feedback or being challenged by others will help you improve rather than keeping it to yourself and undergoing yet more online research.
Be prepared to change – companies like Netflix and Pinterest changed their business models to become the huge successes they are today and based this on changing demands and spotting trends. Likewise, be prepared to alter your thinking in the light of changing circumstances. Change is inevitable, move with the times to thrive.
Failure is feedback – entrepreneurs don’t fear failure; they see it as a learning process so don’t be afraid to risk your ideas being turned down or suggestions not being adopted. Above all, entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure hold them back.
Get support and be supportive – entrepreneurs know when to get the right support, and being supportive is an entrepreneurial trait. So, be a team player along with your role as ‘the independent thinker’.
The entrepreneurial way of life
Some see an entrepreneurial attitude and mindset as a way of life and, once adopting this way of thinking, it becomes totally natural.