“Entrepreneurial mindset” is a term you hear a lot, but what does it really mean? Generally, it refers to a cluster of characteristics that a potential entrepreneur needs, such as leadership ability, creativity, a passion for new ideas, and the urge to push beyond your current level of accomplishment.
All of those things are undoubtedly important. However, many people have those traits, and even have the vague ambition to start their own business, but somehow life just keeps “getting in the way” and they never really get started.
What You Really Need to Be an Entrepreneur
When you look at people who started their own businesses from a small but successful solo operation and turned it into something the behemoth size of a Facebook or Amazon, the most important common denominator was that they threw themselves into their business, their idea, and didn’t let the rest of their life hold them back.
This doesn’t mean you need to quit your job right now or leave your spouse and focus only on your entrepreneurial dream. It means that no matter what else is going on, you need to find ways to push forward on your plans every single day, even if it is as small a step as purchasing a domain name, completing one module of an online course, or sending one marketing email.
The First Steps
If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, here are several steps you must take as you embark on the adventure:
1. Clarify Your Thinking
Before doing anything else, what you want to achieve has to be crystal clear in your own mind. You need specific, achievable goals for your business so that each idea you have going forward can be measured against those goals. Moreover, you will need to break down big goals into smaller ones: what you want to accomplish this year, this quarter, this month, this week, that will move you closer to the ultimate goal.
2. Make a Plan
Once you have specific goals in mind, you need to make a plan for how to reach them. Write down each step you will need to take to reach each goal that you set. If a step like “Get a website” seems overwhelming, break it down further. Smaller steps that are part of getting a website could include choosing a domain name, setting up on a site management platform like WordPress or Wix, designing your own site or hiring someone to do it, and writing the content it will contain.
3. Begin Taking Actions
Once you have plans mapped out, it’s time to follow them. Declare to yourself or a supportive partner or friend what you are going to do at each step; this will help make you accountable to yourself and them. Stick to the plan you made and work on each step as it comes. If you hit stumbling blocks, modify the plan only as much as you need to get past the obstacle.
4. Delegate Tasks
One thing that can feel overwhelming to an aspiring entrepreneur is the amount of work that needs to be done, and the feeling that you alone must do all of it. Not true! Do you have family members who want to pitch in? Does your spouse have abilities that will complement what you are trying to do? Do you have a teen child who could do some typing or data entry?
If you don’t have anyone nearby who can help you with some of your tasks, don’t despair. There is a vast world of freelancers out there who are only a few clicks away. Tasks like web design, content creation, blogging, and more can be done on a contract basis as needed, without taking on the expense and responsibility of an actual employee.
You Will Have to Let Some Things Go
At the end of the day, however, the entrepreneurial mindset ultimately consists of the focus and stamina to keep pushing toward your goals, taking the steps, and spending time each and every day working to make your dream a reality.
You may have a 9-to-5 job that demands your attention and you need that job to keep you going. You still need to nurture the most important relationships with your family and friends. You have to get enough sleep and take care of your health.
Beyond that, everything else is potentially expendable. If you have spent some time on your entrepreneurial project and accomplished your tasks for the day, enjoy some Netflix or gaming or some time out with friends. But you cannot let those things take priority if you have the true entrepreneurial mindset. Otherwise, your dream will always remain just a dream.