Characteristics & Mindset to Become an Entrepreneur
With the threat of robots taking over jobs many are taking on the mindset to become an entrepreneur. A lot are under the impression that only ‘certain types of people’ can become successful and well-known entrepreneurs. While this may be true to an extent, it is not only personality traits that will determine whether a person will be a successful entrepreneur or not. In fact, one of the most important facets that will need to be developed by anyone who would like to become a successful entrepreneur is that of the correct mindset.
Be Willing to Learn Something New Every Single Day
In many cases, average people are under the impression that, once they have completed their college or university studies and received the accompanying qualifications, they will no longer need to learn anything new. However, this could not be further from the truth. When various successful entrepreneurs have been interviewed over the years, one of the most common pieces of advice that they have to offer the rest of us is, ‘always be willing to learn something new every day.’ In many cases, an entrepreneur will start his or her business off as a solo operator, which means that being willing to learn new things will go a long way in helping to grow and develop their business.
Learn to Work Hard as Well as Smart
Live to work, don’t work to live. A common mantra that has been doing the rounds of late is that of ‘work smart and not hard.’ While this may sometimes be true, no successful entrepreneur has got to where they are by simply being or working ‘smart.’ Any business requires a lot of hard work and dedication in conjunction with a smart way of thinking in order to be successful. During your beginning stages as an entrepreneur, you will have to be willing to work like nobody else is willing to work so that in a few years’ time, you will be able to live like nobody else is able to afford to live. Always be willing to give your absolute best, because at the end of the day, you will be the one reaping the rewards thereof.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded and Positive Individuals
When you first set out to become a successful entrepreneur, you will find that many people around you will tell you in no uncertain terms that your business ideas are absurd, outlandish or plain ridiculous. People like these should be avoided at all costs, because they breed negativity in your mind, which in turn will have a negative impact on your business plans. In cases where it is not always possible to avoid these toxic people, it is best to simply refrain from sharing your ideas and business plans with them (even if they are close friends or family members). If they inquire or try to extract information from you, do your best to change the subject or redirect their questions back at them.
Always Envision the End Results
While most salaried workers only tend to focus on their weekly or monthly pay check, you as an entrepreneur will need to be focused on the results of your actions instead. In order to do this, you will need to have a concrete plan in mind that you are willing to put down on paper as well. Even though you may not know how you will achieve your goal(s) as yet, it is important for you to be able to see them on paper while also visualizing them in your mind on a daily basis. Regardless of what your goal(s) may be or how extravagant they may seem, it is important that you not only think on them, but that you also act on them, believe in them and do whatever is necessary to achieve them.
Learn the Art of Developing a Positive Attitude
Many people are still not aware of the fact that the attitude which they outwardly display will have a direct effect on whether they will become a successful entrepreneur or not. If you think you’ve have had a bad day all-round, there are bound to still be at least a few small things that you can be positive about at the end of it all – even if it’s just the fresh cup of coffee you have enjoyed or watching the sun streaming through the windows of your home office, making it a warm and inviting spot to work in. Although we may all experience a few negative thoughts from time to time, it is crucial to ensure that they do not hold the rest of our thoughts captive indefinitely.
Consider Hiring a Personal Coach or Mentor
Numerous people are under the impression that hiring a personal coach or private mentor is a waste of time and money. However, if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you will not only need to be willing to learn new strategies and skills on a daily basis; you will also need to be willing to accept advice from people around you who have been where you are and who will be able to help you succeed. A coach or mentor will also help you to identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and provide you with ways to improve on them. It is important to hire a well-known coach or mentor, as many of those who advertise their services may simply be fly-by-night scam artists. I personally try to listen to JT Debolt as much as I can. You should definitely look him up.
Be Willing to Take Calculated Risks
When it comes to entrepreneurship, it is important to note that risk-taking will always form an integral part of the process. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that he or she achieved what they did by taking risks that no one else was willing to take at the time. However, this does not mean that you should approach any business-related decisions with completely reckless abandon. Any risky decisions that need to be made should always be thought through in a careful and calculated manner before taking final action.
Don’t Give up
Robert Kiyosaki, author of Cash Flow Quadrant and the ever-popular Rich Dad Poor Dad books, mentions on numerous occasions that relentless perseverance is one of the aspects required in the quest to becoming a successful entrepreneur. He and his wife, Kim, have shared vast amounts of knowledge with millions of readers across the globe about the amount of failed business ventures they have experienced throughout the years. Although the failed ventures may have cost the Kiyosakis hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, it provided them with numerous other opportunities to make more money than ever before.
Stop Making Excuses and Procrastinating
One of the biggest obstacles that people face on their quests in becoming successful entrepreneurs is that of making excuses and procrastinating. It is often all too easy to put off tasks that you are unfamiliar with or that you do not enjoy doing. Once this starts happening, your quest to become an entrepreneur will end up being placed on a fast downhill track. During the beginning stages of your entrepreneurial journey, you will need to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever tasks may be necessary in order to achieve the goals that you have set out to achieve.
Read, Read and Read Some More (Or Listen if you Prefer)
These days, there is certainly no shortage of eBooks, hard copy books and audio books available that cover the topic of entrepreneurship. To succeed in your venture, you will need to be willing to read up and research as much as possible. Although many people claim that they simply do not have the time to read, many of them spend up to a staggering 20,000 hours each year traveling to various destinations. While driving or even taking the subway, it is possible to spend time listening to various entrepreneur-related books in audio format. In fact, you could possibly end up absorbing as much information as someone who is attending full-time college classes.
Be Open-Minded with Regards to Attending a Few Courses and Seminars
While many entrepreneurs may think that ‘courses are not for them,’ or that they are merely a waste of time, this is by no means the case. In most cases, each course you attend will enable you to learn skill sets that you didn’t even know exited previously. An added advantage of signing up for various entrepreneur-related courses will be that they will enable you to network with other entrepreneurs. This will provide you with an additional platform of support when it comes to sharing ideas and plans.
Be Willing and Able to Work Independently
If you are an entrepreneur, you will soon realize that nobody will be standing behind you and looking over your shoulder to ensure that the work gets done. While you may think that this enables you to shirk the duties that need to be carried out, this is not the case, as not getting the work done means that you will end up not bringing money in to cover the bills each month. As an entrepreneur, you will have to work like everyone is watching all the time – even when nobody is.
Take a Much-Needed Break from Time to Time
Although being an entrepreneur will require that you work long hours on most days of the week, it is equally as important to ensure that you take a break on occasions. Although you may not be able to afford an all-out vacation to the Bahamas or a fancy Caribbean resort, even switching off your laptop and phone and heading off on a weekend camping trip will work wonders at reducing your stress levels. However, if going on even a mini vacation is not yet in your budget, even taking a day trip to visit a few sights in and around your city will enable you to take a much-needed break. If you don’t take a break, you will be susceptible to burnout, which can take months to recover from.
Do not be Afraid to Ask for Help
Any entrepreneur will tell you that in the beginning, he or she knew very little about what needed to be done in order to get a business running smoothly. Many of them realized that in order for them to be able to reach their full potential, they would have to be willing to put their pride and ego aside and ask for help whenever it was required. Asking for help is by no means a sign of weakness and even the most well-known entrepreneurs realize the importance of doing this whenever needed. Once again, this is where networking becomes a powerful tool, as it not only enables you to receive help; it enables you to return the favor within your network whenever possible.
Learn to let go by Outsourcing a Few Menial Tasks
While learning how to perform every single function within your business is crucial for an entrepreneur (as mentioned earlier), there will come a time when you will no longer be able to do it all yourself. These days, there is a plethora of options available for busy entrepreneurs who need help. One of the most common options as discussed by Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, is to outsource the tasks that you are not able to perform efficiently. In his book, he mentions that he is more than willing to outsource the more menial tasks to virtual assistants so that he can spend time focusing on more important things – like traveling the world in Timothy’s case.
Develop Outstanding Leadership and Sales Skills
Other skills which will be crucial to the development of you as an entrepreneur include excellent leadership and sales skills. Leadership skills will be especially necessary if you intend hiring additional people to work with you in your business. Without the necessary sales skills, you will not succeed at bringing in enough money to put food on the table each month. Once again, there are many courses, both online and offline, which will be able to assist you in this regard. If you are concerned about the cost of taking courses, it’s worth noting that many of them will in fact be a legitimately tax-deductible business expense.
Be Willing to Delay Gratification in Favor of Success
In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you will also need to develop the habit of delaying gratification. While most regular people tend to splurge the moment they receive a lump sum of cash, a true entrepreneur will instead focus on investing as much as possible into his or her latest business venture instead. He or she will also ensure that they spend money on appreciating assets instead of those that depreciate quickly, such as fancy vehicles and expensive clothing, whereas a regular person will try to impress those around them by spending money on luxury items. In your quest to develop the mindset of an entrepreneur, you will regularly need to ask yourself the question of, ‘Do I want short term pleasure right now or do I want to enjoy the peace of mind that is associated with having long term financial security instead?’
Being an Entrepreneur vs. Receiving a Pay Check
In most cases, the average employee will be too afraid to step out and become an entrepreneur because he or she will be afraid of losing what they think is a steady pay check. However, as the world economy slips into a steady decline, many people lose their jobs and along with them, their ‘steady pay checks.’ An entrepreneur on the other hand, prefers to be in charge of the amount of income that he or she earns each month. Unlike a salaried employee who usually receives the same pay check each month, regardless of the amount of work that has been done, the amount of income that is brought in will be directly proportionate to the amount of work that has been done.
If you are willing to learn and develop the above mentioned skills, you will already be well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Among some of the best books you should read that will help you on your way include Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki (as well as his other titles), The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. All of these offer not only insight, but excellent practical entrepreneurial advice too.
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