When it comes to solving problems, the process usually involves an entrepreneurial mindset to come up with valuable and effective solutions.
Having an entrepreneurial mindset allows anyone to look at problems as approachable and solvable challenges. It’s a perspective that allows you to exercise more agency over your life. Instead of feeling hopeless when faced with a problem, an entrepreneurial mindset grants you the ability to do something about the problems around you.
This article goes over the 4 traits you need to practice in order to grow your entrepreneurial mindset. Not only will it open doors in your personal, professional, and academic endeavors, but it will also be an empowering framework to face any of the world’s challenges.
What is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
An entrepreneurial mindset is having the thought process and mental framework to create solutions and solve unsolved problems, usually without permission.
With an entrepreneurial mindset, you can start a business, create a new job at an existing company, or even solve tangible problems in your life and for others.
Why Do We Need an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
An entrepreneurial mindset combines the optimism of a growth mindset and the action-driven qualities that make someone an entrepreneur.
With an entrepreneurial mindset, we view the problems that exist in the world as problems that are approachable and solvable. Consequentially, it doesn’t mean we have to start a business. It simply means we have the mental drive and capacity to create change.
If you find yourself questioning the status quo or realizing that some things can be better than how they are now, then you’ve likely practiced an entrepreneurial mindset already. By continuing to practice this mindset, you’ll notice you have the toolkit to solve your own problems and help those around you. You don’t need a product or service, simply the ability to do something about the challenges you experience or see others experiencing.
4 Qualities to Focus on While Growing Your Entrepreneurial Mindset
Before you start working on your entrepreneurial mindset, it’s important to know which essential traits and qualities you need to focus on in order to lay a foundation.
The core of the entrepreneurial mindset is to find problems and solve them. So these 4 qualities focus on building fundamental tools to help you become an active problem solver and hone in your own entrepreneurial mindset.
Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. And in order to solve problems, you must be able to identify problems first.
For example, Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, explains in her Ted Talk that she noticed how girls in the classroom were bravery deficient. Since women have been socialized to take “fewer risks” and strive for “perfection,” these experiences hurt their growth, which makes them hesitant to apply to jobs or participate in academic courses they don’t feel confident in.
To solve this, Saujani started teaching girls to code and noticed because coding requires a lot of trial and failure, girls started challenging themselves not to be perfect and to make mistakes. They built confidence in not only their coding skills but also in themselves.
Saujani saw an opportunity: girls needed the space to practice bravery. Her solution: she decided to solve the problem by teaching girls how to code.
In order to start cultivating your own entrepreneurial mindset, you have to first identify the problems you wish to solve. Taking the time to notice the issues and pain points in your life is the first skill you’ll need in order to start building your own entrepreneurial tool kit.
Creativity can be seen as the ability to think more expansively and make new ideas come to life. Creativity allows entrepreneurs to come up with incredible goals and innovative solutions.
Take the ice cream sensation Coolhaus. When they noticed all the ice cream around was boring and lacking representation in the industry, Natasha and Freya crashed Coachella with their ice cream. The problem is, they didn’t have a food truck.
Their creative solution: buy an old mail truck that didn’t work and use Triple AAA to tow the truck to Coachella.
Without a following, a truck, or even venue permission to Coachella, Coolhaus opened its doors to hundreds of people where they sold out their ice cream and had their Instagram blow up before the festival was over.
Creativity is finding unbelievable and sometimes quirky solutions to your problems. Coolhaus could’ve easily seen the roadblocks in their way as unavoidable and stopped there. But because they thought about their practical alternatives, they became a hit sensation in 2009 that continues to go strong today.
When building your entrepreneurial mindset, being relentless in your pursuit of opportunity is essential. Without that internal drive to tackle your tasks and accomplish milestones, projects, jobs, or ideas won’t even exist. Unfortunately, the inertia involved in getting started with any project can become daunting.
Without self-drive, procrastination can set in and lead to your entire project being frozen. By honing in on the ideas that motivate you and discovering what you are most passionate about, you can begin to do what most people resist: taking action.
Entrepreneurs are doers by nature. Thankfully, this drive can be nurtured with practice.
Finally, you need to have perseverance in order to continue working on your entrepreneurial mindset.
Perseverance is different from persistence. Persistence means simply keeping going consistently, without stopping or setbacks.
Unfortunately, anyone practicing an entrepreneurial mindset will face setbacks. The difference is learning how to keep getting back up to face these challenges so you can keep your idea going.
Perseverance means not letting the setbacks keep you down and remembering to lift yourself back up.
When developing your entrepreneurial mindset, you need to believe not only in yourself but also in your abilities to create something valuable for others. That means making mistakes, failing, and trying again.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have permission to quit. You can quit whenever you like. But remembering the larger scope of your idea and how many people it can impact can be an amazing way to assess whether the extra effort is worth it.
How To Practice Developing Your Entrepreneurial Mindset
A lot of those traits work in tandem with each other! So it’s not about refining these characteristics individually but having them work together all at once.
The fastest way to practice developing your entrepreneurial mindset is to start crafting your idea and working on it.
Create, Test, Repeat
You have to create your idea.
What is it? I don’t know. There are so many problems that need better solutions, the best place to start is to create your own idea for a solution that you believe the world needs.
Once you have your idea, you need to test it out. See if people gravitate toward it. See if they love it. See if they hate. Once you have enough data and feedback, then you know what your idea needs to become better. Making it relatable and accessible to the people you’re hoping to help is an important part of the entrepreneurial process.
Finally, you repeat. But instead, you recreate the idea with your new ideas and feedback. You make the product better; worthwhile. And you send it back out into the world.
This endless process is often taught in engineering class but never anywhere else. The reason why these employees are so valuable is that they don’t give up on this never-ending process of building, testing, failing, and repeating.
They have the growth mindset of an entrepreneur. And that’s essentially what the entrepreneurial mindset is.
It’s all about creating, testing, and repeating your idea in a way that helps others and adds value to the world.
What are the characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset?
There is no right answer but being observant, creative, self-driven, persistent, and exercising perseverance are four important characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset.
How can we use an entrepreneurial mindset?
Despite the name, an entrepreneurial mindset can be used for creating a business, helping an existing one, solving a niche problem, or starting a powerful movement for change. The entire idea is to have the mindset of seeing problems and seeking out better solutions. Even if it means creating solutions no one has tried or even seen before. The entrepreneurial mindset has created better ways to test for malaria, teach languages at scale, and created one of the largest online entertainment services in the world.
How do you develop an entrepreneurial mindset?
You can read all the books and articles on developing an entrepreneurial mindset but taking action is the fastest way to learn. Being an entrepreneur is tied to your ability to create something valuable. It involves a lot of trial and error which can only be experienced by actually building your idea and intentionally working on your entrepreneurial mindset.
Can an entrepreneurial mindset be nurtured?
Yes, you can nurture an entrepreneurial mindset for yourself or for others. Encouraging a growth mindset, and believing you can improve yourself, and your circumstances can go a long way. It also helps to surround yourself with others who believe in their abilities to grow and reinforce an entrepreneurial mindset such as creativity, motivation, and persistence.