Most people don’t think of themselves as entrepreneurs. When the word is said, images of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry and Sergey, and Jeff Bezos come to mind. While these guys are some of the most influential entrepreneurs in our modern day world, they should be referred to as more of “super” entrepreneurs rather than the common use of the word. The truth is that most entrepreneurs will never even make a million dollars in a calendar year, much less see a billion. The average annual salary for entrepreneurs is any where from 68-72k. That’s right. The average entrepreneur does not make anywhere near as much as some people would believe. However, there is something about when we meet a true entrepreneur that inspires admiration and perhaps creates a little jealousy in us. There is something about the confidence with which they carry themselves that makes us desire to see that type of quality in ourselves. While we can’t all quit our jobs and become entrepreneurs tomorrow, the one thing we can do is begin to approach each day with an entrepreneurial mindset to create this type of air about us also. It this two-part blog series on the entrepreneurial mindset, I will first tell you why should have it every day to increase your chance of success in life. Then in next week’s blog, I will go into the details of how to make this a reality for your life. So what is an entrepreneurial mindset? It’s the commitment to always think like an entrepreneur. To always look for the creative solution to a problem. To attempt to identify ways to make something better in our world that ultimately others will pay you for. There are many reason why we should have this daily approach to life:
IT WILL MAKE YOU BETTER AT YOUR DAY JOB
One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is generally creativity. Entrepreneurs are typically faced with a number of daunting issues that don’t always fit together like a neat puzzle, so they have to figure out ways to just make stuff work. This allows them to consistently think through a number of different scenarios before coming up with what is often a very creative solution. Many entrepreneur approach problems with a “why not” philosophy. They don’t accept the social and accepted norms and think just because something HASN’T been done in the past means that it shouldn’t been or even that it can’t be done. Having this same type of approach to our daily jobs would be a huge asset to our ability to be a problem solver for our company. By approaching your job with the mentality of an entrepreneur and saying “why not,” you’ll greatly increase your ability to be creative by practicing it in all situations. Creativity isn’t always natural. Often, it is cultivated by consistent iterative thinking and processing of options to come up with the best solution. By making this an everyday approach to your life, you will increase your aptitude to excel in this department – something that most companies appreciate in times of crisis and needed intellectual prowess.
IT WILL GIVE YOU MORE OPTIONS FOR YOUR FUTURE
Outside of work, when approaching life as an entrepreneur, you are always thinking about how you can improve the lives of everyday people and make money doing it. For this reason, you are consistently thinking through various business models and identifying the most plausible avenue for success. You are critiquing what current companies are doing and looking to identify any gaps that could be an untapped market. You are thinking about your passions and what you are really good at and thinking through different ways to spend the rest of your life getting other people to pay you to do this. This type of thinking will allow you to take small steps each day to create your own business and become independent from the necessity of your full time day job. While this doesn’t mean you will be able to quit your job tomorrow, by always working on some type of business plan and identifying ways to monetize your passions, you are giving yourself a much better opportunity to become free from financial dependence on a single company or entity for your well being. Therefore, if you reach that point one day when you just no longer desire to work for your current company, you have put some things in place to fall back on in relation to your entrepreneurial endeavors. This is also a great way to put a plan in place for later in your life if you desire to retire and would like to continue to do something that could bring in some revenue while continuing to do something you care and are passionate about. This could lead to you leaving something behind when you leave this earth that is more tangible and everlasting than just memories.
IT ONLY TAKES ONE IDEA TO BE A SUCCESS
Entrepreneurs fail all the time. There is often this false notion that great entrepreneurs have “it” from day one and were destined to be great. The truth is that they just kept thinking through ideas, improving on them, and finally hitting on something after working hard to improve it as much as possible. Whether it’s Sylvester Stallone being rejected 1500 times for Rocky, Richard Bransen’s 400 failed attempts at starting a company before Virgin or the 25 times Tim Ferris (author of The 4-hour Work Week) was rejected by publishers, it only takes one person to believe you or one idea to be a hit, for you to be a success. I believe that every individual has the ability to think of a great idea and make it profitable for themselves. The difference between those who actually DO it and those who just think or fantasize about it is that one key word: DO. These individuals just think of an idea and pursue. They may not have all the answers. They actually may not have any of the answers, but as long as they have access to an internet connection (you can get you this for free at any library) and Google (still free the last time I checked), they have everything they need to begin learning and developing their idea. And while the chance your failing on your first try is more sure than the Falcons choking away a 4th quarter lead (I’m just saying they were pathetic this year), you will be one step closer to the idea that could help you live the life of your dreams.
Entrepreneurs. They seem to be these special people who were created to live lives of excitement and achievement. While this, of course, isn’t true of all entrepreneurs, (and probably not even most of them), there is a truth to their ability to create and shape their future based on their own personal abilities and will. For this reason, we should all have a bit of the entrepreneurial mindset with how we approach our lives to put ourselves in control of our destinies. And while, I can’t promise that anyone will make it rich and become the next Forbes billionaire, I can guarantee one’s life will be much “richer,” metaphorically speaking, with it than without it…and hopefully literally, but I’m a blogger not a soothsayer, Jim (If you don’t know what this is referring to, get some Star Trek culture and look it up).