It is very easy to be ambitious. The basic ingredient for the same is creativity. Transcribing that ambition into reality is where the drive to achieve becomes extremely relevant.

The aforementioned ‘drive’ has plenty of attributes such as determination, hard work, and so forth. While those are tried and tested methods to achieve one’s ambition, there is another attribute that has the very real potential to supercharge the drive by the means of exploring unconventional and often uncharted methods. That attribute is entrepreneurship.

In these times, nobody is a stranger to the word ‘entrepreneurship’ or people who call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’. From the late Steven Paul Jobs who revolutionized the computer industry as we know it to a simple popsicle vendor who moves from venue to venue based on projected demand shifts, we have never had a deficit of examples, be it at an individual-level or institution-level. However, just like the example, the word ‘entrepreneurship’ is very widely interpreted.

The benefits of having an entrepreneurial mindset are numerous just as the lack thereof has numerous disadvantages. How to effectively develop and nurture this entrepreneurial mindset, is what the article sets out to surmise.

Engage extensively in Learning and Development

Learning about something new on a regular basis is a notion often lost upon those who complete their formal education and seek out to improve their respective professional standings. Therefore, the first step to developing a spirit of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset would be to be willing to return-to-school in principle.

For instance, an engineer who works as a hardware developer in a microchip manufacturing plant would need plenty of leadership and financial training if he/she were to take up a senior financial role.

The same applies to anyone who wishes or is required to exemplify themselves in a field other than their primary trade. The business could potentially start as a singular function that requires fluency in that particular function. But soon enough, it would become a cocktail of a wide range of business functions, and being literate across all functions is of paramount importance. Watch this video by Bill Clinton on the importance of continuous learning.

Accepting and Seeking out feedback

Something noticeable about celebrated entrepreneurs is their unique and often, extremely unorthodox conduct within their respective circles. The truth is that these people only represent a fraction of all the entrepreneurs out there and it can even be argued that they are celebrated partly due to their conduct itself.

Most of the entrepreneurs are no different in the way they conduct themselves about their day from regular employees at a very regular establishment. Just as how employees are expected to accept periodic feedback from their human resources departments, entrepreneurs too must program themselves to seek out and accept feedback from anyone and everyone who could add value through their advice.

Be data-driven rather than emotion-driven

Humans are a very emotional species. Our social order is constructed around emotions and we do not see everything as black and white. On the other hand, we have got data. Data helps us identify black and white. The square root of 9 is always 3 just as how a kilo of iron is always equal to a kilo of cotton in mass.

Due to the gift of the internet and the power of search bars, data has become widely accessible to everyone. As the global-technological-literacy increases, it leaves little reason for people to shy away from accessing and interpreting data to make the right call.

Basing decisions on emotion is something that would come quite naturally to us. That notwithstanding, once the habit of data-based-decision-making is achieved, it would revolutionize the way you approach any problem you are faced with.

Prioritize and always weigh the pros and cons

This can be viewed as an extension of the previous point. Prioritizing and making calculated decisions are a subset of a data-driven mentality. The importance of this particular cohort is such that it warrants a section to itself. Rather I would say that this is the most important aspect of building an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurs wear many hats at the same time. But if they don’t prioritize they may feel lost.

A great visual representation of this principle would be the Rotter-Covey matrix which categorizes tasks based on importance and urgency.

A common tendency among self-starters is to pick up every task-at-hand with great enthusiasm because of their commitment. While this would work as a short-term activity, it is not a sustainable one. In order to avoid burn-outs and similar unfavorable outcomes, prioritizing and weighing pros against cons to make informed decisions is an indispensable attribute.

Don’t try to do everything by yourself, but try to connect with people and resources. Having that discipline and perseverance is really important.

Chieu Cao, Co-founder of Perkbox

Not shying away from risk and the growth zone

Everyone has a comfort zone. But a person with an entrepreneurial mindset is always willing to step out of this comfort zone and takes steps towards the growth zone. It’s not a direct route. One has to cross other zones in between.

When you are an entrepreneur, there would be times when your decisions would be extremely difficult and seemingly impossible. In such cases, using the traits mentioned above in tandem with a risk-embracing attitude would ease the process.

Wherever you are faced with risk, instead of viewing it as something toxic, see it as a potential learning experience in the event of failure. Once you reach a point wherein you are comfortable with risk, you could begin using the frequency of your failures as a yardstick to measure success. If you are failing all the time, then something is wrong but if you are not failing at all, then something is clearly wrong.

In short, an Entrepreneurial Mindset is all about….

To surmise, engaging in personal development whilst seeking feedback, being data-driven and a risk-taker would sow the seeds. Anybody can begin doing this at any point in their life, be it a street-smart high schooler who wants to think differently and improve things or a 60-year-old pensioner who wishes to spend their retirement in an engaging fashion.

One of the definitive indicators of having embraced an entrepreneurial mindset would be your drive to seizing every opportunity that comes your way.

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Aftab Kalappatt is an engineer with a passion for words. He loves to read and considers geopolitics, motorsports, economics, consumer-producer relationships and the policies and strategies in play at delivering services as his key fields of interest.

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