What does it mean to think like an entrepreneur? The answer to this question varies for everyone, since no two entrepreneurs are alike — or think alike.
The truth is that there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. However, some entrepreneurs may wonder if there are ways that they adapt to embrace a more entrepreneurial mindset. No matter what stage your small business is in, what does it take to think like an entrepreneur?
1. Embrace nimble movement and thought
I’m fond of the word “nimble.” I have used it often to describe my business and team members. Being nimble means being light on your feet. You are quick to accept challenges and take action, physically and mentally.
It may not sound like it, but being nimble sets you apart from the competition. Many businesses are not agile. Making changes, even small ones, often becomes a struggle. Sometimes it becomes so difficult to establish and implement change that the business will not do it. Instead, they’ll stick to what they know already works.
If you want to embrace a more entrepreneurial mindset, make room for becoming more nimble in thought and movement. Be ready to learn about new initiatives, willing to try a test run, and enthusiastic about adjusting your routine to make way for something new.
2. “Do one thing every day that scares you”
Every entrepreneur should keep this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt in a visible place. Reflect on its meaning for a moment. This quote isn’t meant to be taken to the literal extreme, like going skydiving or racing with the bulls. Sometimes it’s the little things, like sending an introduction email or attending a networking event, that wind up intimidating us the most.
That’s a good thing! Entrepreneurship is all about risk. It’s a risk to start a business and leave behind the comfort and stability of regular paychecks and 9 to 5 work schedules. A startup is not supposed to experience perpetual smooth sailings at all stages in business.
Pursuing your dream should not look the way you imagined. Do not be afraid to say yes to more risks, even if it does scare you. Press send on that email and introduce yourself at a networking event. Confidently make the first move. The more you do it, the more you’ll discover the little tasks that once made you nervous now empower you.
3. Maintain a grit mentality
Last year, I sent an email to my team where I asked everyone to weigh in on answering the question “What is the key to success?” The answers I received were incredibly thoughtful. I did a little research of my own to see what the “key” to success is, and it’s actually a combination of persistence, passion, and resilience. All of these traits add up to the true key to success: grit.
It sounds kinda gross to have “grit” — like you would be a little bit dirty and scuffed up. However, the reality is that being gritty means being slightly edgy. Grit is what makes you stronger. It is the passion to achieve long term goals and maintain the mental toughness and courage necessary to get there.
The road to success is not a straight path to stroll down. More often than not, entrepreneurs get knocked off the horse and have to get back up and climb on again. Then, they get knocked off again and repeat the process over and over. If you don’t have grit, you wave a white flag or throw in the towel. Entrepreneurs that possess grit, however, reveal it in their personality. Trying and failing and trying all over again has allowed them to grow and learn from their mistakes.
Best of all, the more you work at what you love the easier it ultimately becomes to do it and keep on going.