Understanding the Entrepreneur Mindset: Seven Common Entrepreneurial Traits
For every story of entrepreneurial success, there are hundreds of tales of woe and disappointment. Yet, people still wake up each morning with a brilliant idea and a desire to start something new. The difference between triumph and failure may be found in developing your set of entrepreneur skills.
1. Creative Vision
Creative vision is a hallmark of successful entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are curious by nature, and they are always on the lookout for innovative ideas. However, a fascination with novelty is not enough to start a business. One critical trait of an entrepreneur is the ability to take new information and make unexpected connections. This creative view allows a leader to realize unmet needs or imagine new applications for existing technology.
2. Passion Coupled with Expertise
Successful startups begin with passion. Part of what sustains new business leaders during challenging times is their love for what they do. When you are excited about your tasks, work can be a joy.
At the same time, the passion of entrepreneurs leads them to become experts in their fields. These leaders are always learning, seeking to improve their skills and looking for the latest information. This knowledge puts them in a much better place to make informed decisions.
3. A Growth Mindset
In 2007, psychologist Carol Dweck made the distinction between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with fixed minds assume that their world will remain the same despite any extra efforts. They are less inclined to seek personal growth. Instead, they try to remain content with the way things are.
An entrepreneurial mindset is a growth mindset. For these individuals, hard work and education are tools that can change the world. They believe that things can always get better and are willing to work to make it so.
People who try to turn a vision into reality quickly understand the value of discipline. Especially in the early stages of a new business, leaders must stay on task. If you struggle with self-discipline, there are steps you can take to live with greater intentionality.
Research points to the importance of habits in developing self-discipline. Habits simplify making the choice to get up earlier, avoid distractions, or exercise to get your blood pumping. Every time you choose to delay a reward, it takes up some of your daily reserves of willpower. Establishing a habit bypasses this by making such choices automatic.
Another school of self-discipline teaches the importance of choosing mild discomfort as a way to greater discipline. For example, choosing to start the day with a cold shower gives you the knowledge that you can endure some discomfort. This trait can be an advantage when you must work through lunch or put in extra hours.
Every person has a different organizational style. Some leaders may have a clean workspace, and every file on their laptop is in its proper folder. Other people know exactly where every document is in the loose piles on their desks. Whatever your style, organization is a key trait of an entrepreneur.
The ability to stay organized becomes even more important as your business grows. Your team needs clear goals so that they can help you work toward your long-term vision. Without direction, they will have trouble meeting your expectations and lose trust in your leadership skills. Defined goals give them something to shoot for and celebrate. As the banker J.P. Morgan put it, “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you will be able to see farther.”
One of the facets of a growth mindset is the ability to adapt to change. A million things can happen on your way to starting a business. How do you react when someone launches a competing product? What do you do when a supplier falls through on a contract? The best entrepreneurs recognize that they may have to shift their business plans quickly. Often, this switch is easier at the beginning when your business is small. However, even the largest companies must deal with the unexpected.
Your great idea for a business is not a guarantee of success. Most entrepreneurs do not succeed on the first try. It took a failed candy shop in Philadelphia before Milton Hershey got the idea to manufacture sweets in rural Pennsylvania. Elon Musk has watched a few of his SpaceX rockets explode. Resilience in the face of failure is a necessity for an entrepreneur. When the vision comes crumbling down, entrepreneurs learn something new from the failure and move on to the next project.
It is difficult not to take failure personally. However, many businesses falter for reasons that a leader could never have predicted. Working with soft skills like mindfulness and self-compassion can help you and your employees avoid being paralyzed by a negative outcome.
Sharpening Your Entrepreneur Skills
For those who love a challenge, becoming an entrepreneur offers an exciting way of life. By developing creativity, discipline, and passion in yourself, you will serve as an inspiration to your team. If you are looking for support on your entrepreneurial journey, feel free to reach out. I would be honored to work with you.