Chances are that you know at least one person in your life or have heard of someone who has escaped the “9-5 grind” to become an entrepreneur.
This person always seems to be enjoying life and having fun in some exotic location or another. While you sneak onto Facebook at work, you see them posting photos of their latest adventure as their online business continues to generate income.
This is the life of an internet entrepreneur. But it could just as easily be you.
What is it that they have that sets them apart and allows them to live the lifestyle that everyone else envies? The answer is simple – it is their MINDSET.
Although each of us possesses the same potential for success as the successful entrepreneurs we admire, very few of us ever develop a mindset for success. You might be sitting there thinking, “I can’t be an entrepreneur,” or, “I don’t know how to think like one,” but the mind-blowing secret is…you do!
So what is this entrepreneur mindset and how can you learn to become an entrepreneur even if you aren’t one yet?
#1. An Entrepreneur Thinks Like A Child
Entrepreneurs love to LEARN.
They love to explore a new avenue and see where it takes them. Every opportunity is considered and it’s rarely too hard or too scary.
Because everything excites them and in their mind, the only words that are important are “I can do this.”
Remember when you were 5 years old and everything seemed possible?
Do you remember how excited and adventurous you were, how positive and bold? You would see an apple at the top of a tree and start climbing towards it. Your mind was focused on the prize and even if it was out of reach, you continued nonetheless.
Most, if not all, children have this approach to life. They never over-complicate things. They believe they have the power just like their favorite superhero. They see what they want and they go for it.
You were like this once.
The difference between entrepreneurs and the rest of the population is that when they fall, they get back up and find another, better way to do things. In contrast, people who lack an entrepreneurial spirit give up. They settle for the berries that are “more achievable” on the bushes nearby.
As we get older, we start fearing the knee scrapes. We don’t like to lose or fail at things. We learn to play it safe to avoid getting hurt and convince ourselves that sticking to our comfort zone is the best option.
This limits our potential and our belief in possibilities. Where life was once magical, it becomes stale and ordinary.
Entrepreneurs tend to dismiss such limiting thoughts and stay focused on their goal. The mentality that “everything and anything is possible” rings true in their mind.
It once did in yours too, you just forgot.
#2. Ask Yourself “How Can I?”
You’re pumped, feeling invincible and ready to finally leave the 9-5 to start your entrepreneurial life. You’ve been toying with the idea of starting your own business for months but just before you jump, you falter.
All of a sudden the doubts creep in. Your thoughts of “I can do this” start to turn into “Can I do this?”
Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs have moments when they doubt their grand ideas and start to question themselves. It’s perfectly natural. I stayed in my day job for years before I finally took the leap of faith.
In these moments, instead of dismissing the idea and sticking to the life you’ve always known, ask yourself “How can I do this?”
Asking “How” is one of the most empowering questions you can ever ask yourself.
It opens a doorway in your mind that draws possibilities and helps you attract all the answers you need – from within, from another person or from some source in the ether.
It also prevents you from spiraling into a dark pit of self-doubt and despair. In fact, your train of thought will follow an entirely different path.
“I don’t know anything about this,” becomes “How can I overcome this?”
“I don’t have enough money.” turns into “How can I make my business work with the resources I have?
Read the biographies of successful entrepreneurs and learn what established entrepreneurial authors have done whenever they hit a brick wall. Utilize free information and services online to save your start up and help it thrive. Manage your time and emotions in your day job so that you can transition successfully into your dream business.
The bottom line is that instead of wondering whether you can or you can’t, think of how you can.
#3. Change Your Attitude To Failure
One of the most important traits of entrepreneurs is the ability to rethink failure.
Every motivational speaker, every seminar on entrepreneurship and every writer on the subject will tell you that the most successful people in the world think differently about their “failures.”
While many people fear failure and see it as an obstacle to be avoided at all costs, top entrepreneurs understand that failure is the flip side of success. It is a necessary part of the journey to become an entrepreneur.
That’s why a successful entrepreneur expects, embraces and learns from his or her failures.
It’s important that you reframe your failures and setbacks. Remind yourself when things don’t work out as planned that it’s an opportunity to do things better or try something different. Stop beating yourself up. Let the past go.
Time is a great healer and can give you some perspective.
Have you ever noticed when you look back on your life that what seemed to be your biggest tragedies and major crises actually taught you the most?
That marriage that broke down, the close friend who deceived you, the opportunity you missed, or the business that failed – no matter how awful they were at the time, you survived and have arrived at a stronger and wiser place.
This is how we grow as human beings.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that it is ultimately for our good. Once you shift your perspective about failure, it won’t seem as scary, shameful or such a big obstacle to face.
#4. Seize New Opportunities
Opportunities present themselves all the time.
You may think this isn’t true but if you really reflect awhile, you will see that every day you come across events, ideas or people that can help you move forward in life.
Life is full of boundless opportunities. From the moment you step out of the house or when you surf online, you are presented with opportunities that can spark an idea in your mind to help you start your own business.
Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for such opportunities. They see possibilities and connections in everything. Even a chance encounter such as meeting a friend of a friend for the first time will get them thinking about developing their network.
Sure, you may just become good friends without any business relationship. Or you may never see that person again. But if there is the slightest chance that the person can potentially add value to their life (and they to the other person’s!), even if it’s not immediately obvious, an entrepreneur will take it.
So instead of thinking you are wasting your time on something that may never lead anywhere or dismissing someone who can’t do anything for you, be open and embrace the opportunity to connect deeply with another human being.
Hopefully these points have opened your mind up to what it takes to be an entrepreneur. You don’t have to wait until you start your business. Many of these characteristics can be developed right now, even if you are working for someone else.
Thinking and acting like an entrepreneur involves being more open and positive, having a willingness to learn and try out new things and embracing failures in order to find the hidden opportunities within them.
But remember, the process of becoming an entrepreneur can’t be learned from a distance. You have to get your hands dirty. You learn entrepreneurship through doing – whether it’s in the workplace or in your own business.
Because let’s face it, if these thoughts only ever remain in your head then it’s no progress at all.
Having the mindset and thinking like an entrepreneur is only the first step. The one thing that gives a successful entrepreneur the edge over others is that they will not only take the first step of changing their mindset, they will follow through with the second step – action.
This is where most people fall down. They think but they never act.
So if you are sitting there feeling more confident about starting your online business after reading this post, take that next step and DO IT. Put those thoughts into action and become the successful entrepreneur you have the power and potential to be.
Which of these entrepreneurial traits is the most important? What have you had to change or do differently to become an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear more about your journey, please share below.