What is a true entrepreneur – 5 Characteristics of an Entrepreneurial Mindset

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What does it take to be successful in the business world? 

Today, I want to talk to you about the entrepreneurial mindset and how the choice of making things easy can be the hardest part of the whole entrepreneurial journey. 

First of all, let’s talk about why an entrepreneurial mindset is important. I am an entrepreneur completely, but I didn't know that until I was actually an entrepreneur. You can have people with ideas, but that doesn’t make an entrepreneur. Studying entrepreneurship, reading theories, reading case studies, reading psychology – does not make an entrepreneur.

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

An entrepreneurial mindset is something that you inherently have. Yes, you need to foster it, you need to work on it, but when I talk to people it's very clear to me who true entrepreneurs are. We speak a different language, we understand each other, we take journeys that nobody else would, we make decisions the way nobody else would. So, it is incredibly important because if you don't have that entrepreneurial mindset, it's going to take a lot of stamina to stay in this business and to make it successful. Because unfortunately, there is a lot of disappointment and a lot of work until you become successful. That's just the way of creating a new business and it's something that not everyone will tell you. That is why when I talk to my clients I really gauge whether they have the energy and the huge reserve of passion and energy that will allow them to make this journey because they will need that.

Why is an entrepreneurial mindset important?

Passion and energy are not enough. A huge thing that you need is (interestingly) an ego. Yes, you have to leave your ego at the door a lot because you need to pivot, you need to give up on ideas and when ego takes over, a lot of the time things go wrong. But in order to have a good entrepreneurial mindset, you need to identify your ego and know when to put it aside.

How the entrepreneurial mindset relates to opportunity recognition?

Another part is to see opportunities all the time. So how does an entrepreneurial mindset relate to opportunity? Recognition is huge and entrepreneurs will see little gaps, little opportunities everywhere. They will look at someone else's campaign and they will be able to pick things apart. They will see a problem where nobody else does. They have hunches, and a part of the entrepreneurial mindset is to run with them, but also to know when things could go wrong and accept it.

what is a true entrepreneur

How to improve an entrepreneurial mindset?

But the most important thing, when it comes to entrepreneurial mindset, is practice. And the more you encounter this, the easiest it gets. The hardest part for me was understanding that what comes easy to me does not necessarily come easily to everyone and that it's not wrong to choose the easy route, but that it's actually a strike of genius. Most of us have been told that it has to be hard, it has to be difficult, that it has to be perfect even. We have been told that perfectionism is something positive when in entrepreneurship it's the worst thing you can have because it will drain you of so much energy. 

What I see a lot of the time is that my more mature clients are very much aware of this. They know when their perfectionism kicks in, they identify it and they work on it.  Younger entrepreneurs don't even realize this and they burn so much energy on perfectionism. But getting to that point is a journey of personal development, of discussions, of having peers who get it and who can confirm that. And also understanding what you're good at and to be proud of that. And that is also something that doesn't come easy to most of us. 

Can anyone learn to become an entrepreneur?

Now, to go back to the question: can anyone learn to become an entrepreneur? And the answer I think is no. This might come as a shock to some. I honestly deeply believe that it is a personality trait that you cannot learn. Just like some of us will never be professional singers, just like some of us will never have the talent of being great musicians, I honestly believe some of us will never become great entrepreneurs. That doesn't mean that you can't be good CEOs in companies – you might be excellent decision-makers for big companies but that doesn't mean that you're an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is not just about knowledge, it's an essence. Does that mean you will not be successful in business if you don't have that spark? Not necessarily. If you're smart enough to know who to surround yourself with and to get help when you need it, you can be highly successful. 

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