There’s a distinct difference between the way entrepreneurs and employees approach work, setbacks, and the ever amounting challenges life throws at them. Employees tend to do what they are asked to and like to feel safe in their environment. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, love a good challenge, they’re constantly in the lookout for ways to grow and optimise their processes, and thrive even in uncertain times. They own their decisions and taking a significant risk doesn’t hold them back. Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Read on to find out.
When you joined the entrepreneurial world, you might not have been aware of its many intricacies, or the different ways you need to shift your mindset to succeed.
Let’s face it, business isn’t easy, and if you don’t come from an entrepreneurial household or don’t have a fearless attitude to challenges, you might find it more than a tad difficult to start. The good news is that nothing is set in stone. You can change the way you think and behave — if you choose to and follow through, with rigour.
Does this sound familiar? “I don’t want to be an anxious and struggling entrepreneur but I don’t want to change either.” It is a fairly common sentiment. We don’t like to be told what to do and we tend to rebel against things that are new and possibly dangerous.
“Why should I change my thinking? This is me, I want everyone to accept me as I am. Besides, I tried numerous times and it didn’t work.”
I understand the feeling. I was stuck in that limbo for far too long! Far too long! But there’s a way out and let me tell you, it’s a whole lot brighter on the other side, even more so if you own a business.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Mini-Test
Answer the following questions with a yes or a no then count them each to see which answers you have more of.
- You’re good at following through with things that you set your mind to
- You’re highly motivated to succeed and nonone can hold you back
- You take initiative, even when others consider it pointless, and keep working at it
- You’re a self-starter, you like solving problems and you do it on your own initiative
- You feel motivated and determined even without external motivation
- When you have a task, you keep at it until you understand it properly and solve it
- You take responsibility for your actions, and refrain from blaming others or the circumstances
- You thrive even in uncertain times because everything makes you think of solutions and you remain active
- You work smart. If there’s a process, you optimise it, test it, and optimise it again. Efficiency is important to you.
- You focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.
- You surround yourself with smarter people because it gives you an opportunity to learn and develop your own thinking.
- You see failures and mistakes as information that you can use to do things better next time around.
- You respond to and adapt to changes rapidly and effectively.
- You’re constantly developing your thinking and your processes.
- You have the ability to work well with people and leverage your network.
The more yeses you have, the more of an entrepreneurial mindset you have.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it focuses on the major skills you need to have and cultivate as an entrepreneur: a growth mindset, innovative/creative thinking, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, self-reliance, flexibility, comfort with risk, and an ability to recognise and use opportunities properly.
If you have more nos don’t worry, you can work on them one by one and reshape them; let’s look at how change happens.
The anatomy of change
Whilst we dislike our current situation — an anxious and broke entrepreneur — the idea of taking steps toward something unknown can be terrifying. The fear of the unknown is probably one of the most common. It has the potential to hold us back ad infinitum, and we might not even be aware of it, we just continue doing what we’ve been doing all our life and complain about the lack of results.
Let’s say you’ve become a coach. You’re buzzing with excitement because you’re going to follow your dream of serving others and live a fulfilling life. You might even share the exciting news with your community, but you soon realise that just spreading the joy doesn’t necessarily lead to sales. You might even be intimidated by selling, so you just solve everyone’s problems on the spot for free.
Helping others is incredibly gratifying, after all you chose this line of work because you want to be of service, but it doesn’t pay the bills — and you need to pay the bills some way or another. So you’ll have to continue your 9 to 5 or find a way to do this entrepreneurship in a financially profitable way.
This is how you can approach change:
- Start with awareness. You need to be honest to the core. If you suck at selling and finding, or using opportunities, it’s okay. You need to know it and face it before you even start thinking about changing it. One of the biggest mistakes many new entrepreneurs make is that they delude themselves about their weaknesses. If you lie to yourself, you won’t treat any of your shortcomings as a serious problem, let alone change them, you’ll just continue struggling. Take a piece of paper, create two columns one for strengths and one for weaknesses, and list them both.
- Use what you know about yourself strategically. Not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. A few weeks back, I read an article by a professor of business management who admitted that he doesn’t usually encourage his students to become entrepreneurs because it’s tough, and not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Knowing yourself will save you a lot of anxiety and stress. As a coach, you could work for someone else or you can have your own clients. You have choices. If you choose the latter, you then have to take a serious look at your weaknesses and how they impact your business. You have two choices: apply yourself and learn those skills (believe it or not, sales is a skill, so is networking) or outsource the tasks you dislike. Both require considerable investment on your part — time- and financial-wise — but you are now heading somewhere.
- Question your beliefs. If you choose to acquire the skills you need you’ll have to question your beliefs. E.g., you might think of marketing as exploitative and unethical. Much of marketing has been and still is, but not all! You can learn from ethical marketers and apply ethical marketing strategies. When it comes to your weaknesses, see what beliefs and myths you hold dear and shift them because if you’re fighting yourself you’ll run out of steam very soon.
- Structure your time properly. Your time is your greatest asset. You get it with a no return policy; use it wisely! Even if you hire a VA who creates your posts on SM, you need to talk to them regularly (probably once a week or every forthnight) and need to create some content that they can then repurpose. See what you need to do in your business to create profit and schedule those activities as priority tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Then make sure you do them. Having a structure requires discipline, it’s like going to the office. You might not feel like it, but you’ll do it anyway.
- Review and repeat. Always review your activities to optimise your processes. The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort, and that 80% of our effort only leads to 20% results. The businesses that thrive have been able to focus on the activities that bring most results and repeat those processes. And so can you! This is a matter of reviewing things, and repeating the best processes in an even more optimised way. What is excellent news here is that every mistake and every win is information for you to learn from and to create something that works for you — after a while, on autopilot.
Remember, if you want to make this work for you, you can do it! Nobody says it’s easy or comfortable in the short run, but it’s tremendously rewarding in the long run. You’re discovering your own personal power as you reshape your mindset and habits and leverage this transformation in building a thriving business.
Struggling with overwhelm/anxiety in your business or your personal life? Get in touch. Let’s hop on a free discovery call where we can discuss your current experience and what you would like instead. My mission is to help you embrace your potential and transform it into personal power to benefit your life and that of your community through breakthrough therapy and coaching.