Whether you have an existing business or are getting ready to launch your business, one of your most pressing priorities is how to develop and strengthen your entrepreneurial mindset. Yes, building a business takes real work and effort, but it is best done with an attitude that embraces the initiative and risk involved in becoming your own boss. You must be flexible, yet determined, dedicated, yet comfortable with frustration, and a trailblazer, yet a cynic. This might sound like an ambitious task, if you don’t already possess these characteristics. However, you can use these seven habits to cultivate the mindset of a successful entrepreneur so that you’re set up for success.
- Keep a positive attitude.
Having a positive attitude is not about pie-in-the-sky promises or a maintaining a Pollyanna-ish attitude. It is about seeing things in perspective and framing things in a positive light. Rather than asking yourself “What can I do to avoid this situation,” ask yourself “What can I do to correct this situation?” The right attitude embraces challenges, always looking for the lesson buried in the difficulties.
- Learn from failure and move on.
Disappointments can be difficult, but they are also great opportunities to learn. Instead of being ashamed of the mishaps and blunders you’ve made, seek the lesson you can learn from your mistakes. By learning from your defeats, you grow stronger. Each one of those experiences helped shape you as an individual, so look for the deeper meaning.
- Seek to stand out.
Entrepreneurs embrace their uniqueness. As children, we tended to want to blend in rather than be blatantly different. However, now I suggest that you embrace what makes you unique. When you celebrate that which makes you and your company distinct, you stand out from the crowd and differentiate from your competitors.
- Embrace life-long learning.
The quickest way to stagnation is to reject new modes of thinking. Entrepreneurs are defined by their ability to embrace new technology, new theories, and new practices. The entrepreneurial mindset is fed by that unending appetite for new learning and it will help you expand your skills and grow your business.
- Pace yourself.
Yes, you have a lot you need to accomplish to reach the top of that mountain, but patience and perseverance define successful entrepreneurs. You need to pace yourself as you climb to financial and business success. Pushing yourself is an admirable quality, but ultimately it is unsustainable. It is healthy to prepare for those times when you’ll need to work demanding hours, but don’t define yourself by your ability to do that and only that, or you’ll soon burn out.
- Follow through.
If you’ve ever attended a networking event and met people who promised to call you about a potential partnership, then never did, you see the lost opportunity of not following through. Think of following through as grabbing an opportunity. You never know which one of your efforts will succeed, so following through is just another way of being proactive. Take care of things as soon as possible — call people back, say thank you, reach out to colleagues, send the letter, et cetera. as soon as possible.
- Set appropriate goals.
Goal setting is another way you can push yourself forward, but remember the quality of your goals must be high. Do not settle for simply setting goals with no follow through. If you want to, for example, set the goal of finding a mentor, ask yourself: what does it take to accomplish that objective? Break it down into tasks like “reach out to 2 potential mentors each month” or “attend 3 networking events each month” so that you break down that goal into manageable activities.
The most successful entrepreneurs spend time nurturing that mindset to ensure that they’re best positioned for success, and so should you.