It’s common to think that entrepreneurs are born and not made. While it’s true that the most successful entrepreneurs possess certain traits, it’s false to assume that you can’t be successful because you don’t inherently have the exact attributes that you see in others.
What makes someone an entrepreneur is less about genetic disposition and more about mindset. This is called the spirit of entrepreneurship. Today, I will outline exactly what an entrepreneurship spirit is and give you five tips on how to cultivate it within yourself.
How to Define an Entrepreneurship Spirit
Before you can figure out how to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit within yourself, you have to understand what makes someone an entrepreneur. There’s no single “it factor” to point to. Instead, the best way to define it is through a series of traits that successful entrepreneurs have.
The “Big Three” factors of an entrepreneurial spirit are:
From a business standpoint, self-efficacy manifests as a belief that you can and will perform the tasks necessary to achieve the desired outcome. It’s confidence in your own capabilities and motivations.
Entrepreneurs can never think small. You need the drive to do more, be more and dream more. Ambition persists in the face of challenges, setbacks and criticisms.
Most importantly, an entrepreneurial spirit has a deep-seated purpose. Purpose will drive you when you feel tired or discouraged. A sense of purpose pushes you to seek out opportunities for improvement and take risks in the name of growth.
5 Ways Everyone Can Build a Spirit of Entrepreneurship
1. Approach life with unending curiosity.
Nobody is born with all of the “secret ingredients” of a successful entrepreneur. However, everyone is born with a boundless curiosity. As children, we are relentlessly, unabashedly curious about the world. We are shameless in our questioning, and we think of creative solutions to our problems.
Many of us tamp down this innate curiosity as adults. We learn to feel shame for asking too many questions or going against the grain. An entrepreneurial spirit allows you to throw off these constraints and dive headlong into that childlike curiosity and questioning.
In fact, studies show that heightened curiosity is directly correlated with greater creativity.
2. Learn to take smart risks.
It’s normal to feel an aversion to risk. In fact, taking risks is often viewed negatively because it is associated with recklessness or impulsivity. Successful entrepreneurs understand that there’s a difference between taking risks and taking calculated risks.
Build up your entrepreneurial spirit by increasing your tolerance for intelligent risk-taking. Being able to stay mentally agile and resilient is a critical component to success in life.
3. Don’t second-guess yourself.
“There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.” – Bill Phillips
Entrepreneurs are confident in their ideas and abilities. This doesn’t mean that you should run headlong into every idea you have, of course. Instead, it means that once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of a decision, you make your choice and act decisively.
Maybe you’ll succeed; perhaps you’ll fail. Regardless, an entrepreneurial spirit is tenacious and willing to learn from mistakes. Those who second-guess or doubt themselves are less likely to take any action at all, which means they never get the opportunity to fail or succeed.
4. Get in touch with your passion and potential.
It’s true that entrepreneurs need more than passion to make their ideas work. However, research proves that passion is a key component of a true entrepreneurial spirit.
What is the driving force that compels you to create? Why do you feel a relentless urge to develop newer, better, more innovative solutions to problems that other people don’t even see? If you can identify the answers to these questions, you can pinpoint your passion.
Without passion as fuel, it’s much harder to engage in entrepreneurial activities that take a substantial amount of time and energy. It is worth the effort to get in touch with the unique passion inside of you because this will help to unlock your full potential. Entrepreneurs who can tap into this passion and potential often see their ventures succeed and thrive more frequently than their peers.
5. Explore the power of personal connection.
In business, nobody can genuinely succeed alone. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit understand the need for connection. Not only do you need partners in your venture, but you need a network of mentors, friends, peers and supportive individuals who care about you and want you to be successful.
“People power” is very real. Establishing meaningful connections with others helps to give you accountability, access to resources and advice when you’re in difficult situations. True entrepreneurs recognize the value in staying connected both within their chosen industry and in as many adjacent fields as possible.
You Too Can Channel a Spirit Of Entrepreneurship
You don’t have to be born with a special set of traits that magically make you a great entrepreneur. The best in the business all learned how to channel the tireless passion of the entrepreneurial spirit, and so can you.
In my work at the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute, I’ve seen many clients who simply needed a shift in mindset. Once they understood the power of their potential, they were able to lock in and reap the benefits of their own unique entrepreneurial spirit.