Anyone can have the mindset of an entrepreneur. Sure, learning the ropes, starting it up and making it happen is the point of entrepreneurship, but anyone and benefit from the way entrepreneurs think and approach life.
There is some speculation about whether entrepreneurs are born or bred, but we at First365 feel that anyone has the capacity to, in their own way, take charge of their life and make money doing the thing they love. Will they own many businesses and be a serial entrepreneur? Probably not, and that’s okay. The lady knitting tea cozies and selling them at the market on Sunday – she’s an entrepreneur. So there are levels.
Big or small there are some fundamental ways of thinking that makes learning from entrepreneurs worthwhile.
Here is how anyone can benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset without the startup costs:
The world is in your pocket. You phone is your entry point into every spec of knowledge the world has our collective history as humanity has catalogued. Entrepreneurs love learning, we they love change. Change means new opportunity. Change means innovation. Entrepreneurs see the value in being engaged in our ever changing world and we marvel at our creativity and complexity.
Entrepreneurs also understand that the understanding the world is as important as understanding our role within it. We are curious about ourselves, how we grow and where you want to go with the talents and skills we have. When you bet your livelihood on yourself, you learn to get to know yourself pretty quickly. You investigate who you are, because who you are informs you about the best way forward when it comes to who you want to be.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who constantly block themselves and believe that saying they can’t is a real excuse, and those who wake up every morning (even if they don’t always feel like it) and tell themselves they can. It sets a tone for what is possible in your life and where you can take what you love to do.
Betting on yourself, in any capacity, is a strength. It shows self-reliance, initiative and is possible for absolutely everybody at every stage of life. Having ambition isn’t something you are born with, it is a muscle that you train by taking leaps of faith over and over.
As an entrepreneur, all you have is yourself, even when you have a team. Your primary focus is on time management and your capacity to execute. You only have so many hours in the day. With a work ethic comes the ability to sacrifice and make hard lifestyle choices, and both of those essential characteristics imply self-discipline. When you only have yourself, you learn how to manage yourself as best you can to make the hours count.
Entrepreneurs schedule everything. They allow for flexibility, because life happens, but they are organized in what they need to do, because there is no one to rely on to pick up the slack. Anyone can learn to look at their lives this way, and become more organized and outcome orientated.
A tool we love at First365 is https://web.any.do (their mobile app is free, sleek and effective)
Putting in the hours and making those hours count makes all the difference. If you can achieve in four months as much as most do in a year, it means you will reach your goal three times faster than they will.
This is almost like a combination of curiosity and work ethic. Never think you are the smartest guy in the room. Never think you are too good to do basic tasks. An entrepreneur can step outside of their leadership role that they have carved for themselves, and wash the dishes when needed. They are ready to help out in every part of their business. They are so grateful for the opportunity to do what they love every day, with people who they got to pick personally, that they know they aren’t better than anyone else. If someone is off sick, they step in. What needs to be done, needs to be done. Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to get dirty.
If only one word of that last paragraph stood out it should be grateful. Even the most seasoned entrepreneur will talk about humility and gratitude. These aren’t personality traits, they are choices in how you approach life. If you approach life with gratitude you will be more positive, see more opportunity and be ready to be of service to anyone – above all, that is what being an entrepreneur is.
A tool we love to practice humility and gratitude is the 5 Minute Journal: (https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journal). It costs just under R70 but it is a much better investment than an evening out.
Entrepreneurs are excited about other people, because we love learning about others and connecting. Entrepreneurs are into people. We kind of like them. We like adding value to people’s lives in ways that we care about.
So it makes sense that entrepreneurs love to find synergy with people. How often have you met someone and been totally inspired by them, wanted to know them better, and to include them in what it is that you are building? That is collaboration. The bringing together of talent and skill of two people who share a common vision.
This is something that anyone can start doing. It all has to do about how you see people. If you see people being different from you as an incredible gift, the likelihood of you seeing value in them and seeing how they can be a part of what you are trying to achieve in your life is high. If you see people as opportunity in the best sense of the word, where you are excited about what they are doing, you are going to find a way to add value to their mission.
Care. Unashamedly care. Every entrepreneur knows the thing that drives them. They know the part of who they are that brings them joy when they see it come to life in the lives of others. They love seeing the value they imagined become real for the people around them.
The words passion and sacrifice are the same word seen from opposite perspectives. You cannot be passionate without sacrificing, and you cannot sacrifice without being passionate. And when you are, both bring you joy. It might not always be a “I want to scream it from the rooftops” kind of joy, but you sure love it more than doing anything else. That’s what makes sacrificing feel natural, because sacrifice is simply prioritizing something important personally over something important generally. You are personally passionate about your job, so you would prioritize it over something general like seeing your friends on a Friday night if there is work to be done. It is easy to sacrifice when you are passionate about it.
Your body is your temple when you are an entrepreneur. You get sick, unless you have a very strong independent team, things slow-down in your business. You get depressed, that impacts the culture of your business and your relationship with those you are trying to give value to. Entrepreneurs know that looking after their state of mind and health matters deeply.
Go read interviews with the top entrepreneurs in the world, they will talk about personal strategies as deeply as they do business strategy. Most top performers start the day with a focus on the state of mind. They meditate, they do yoga, whatever works for them. They take years of daily experimenting to learn what works for them, in the same way they experiment with their business to see what works for their customers. Exercise, wellness and some form of meditation (secular or not) are hugely important to finding calm and being consistently productive daily.
A great tool that we have suggested to many people before is the free app HeadSpace (headspace.com). It is the best introduction to meditation that we have found for beginners thus far.
Just a side note on meditation: meditation is not religious. Anyone can do it. It does not have any relationship with any specific religion, although many religious or spiritual practices use different forms of meditation to connect to themselves more meaningfully. Prayer is a kind meditation. It’s for everyone. Try it out.