Think, Feel, and Act Like an Entrepreneur: The 7 Must-Have Mindsets for Success

written by Neha Govil, a TIN coach

Earlier this year, my entrepreneurial journey began.

I was excited by all the possibilities that I had envisioned for my business idea. I was forewarned of the many challenges and roadblocks that will come my way, but as I began to face them, I was in for a surprise! Some included expecting the challenge of creating that “perfect product” or finding my “ideal audience”. Which – including getting a client’s attention — but before getting to that, there were other decisions waiting to be made.

Decisions like… what do I want to “call” my business title? No one in my corporate job ever asked me that! Or do I want my headshots taken indoors or outdoors? That’s a big decision I’d say!

Recently, at an event for entrepreneurs, a participant asked me to share one piece of advice that I have for those just starting out. I said that, “being an entrepreneur is about juggling many mindsets under many hats. These can include an employee hat, boss hat, client hat, or investor hat — that we wear during a typical workday.”

One: Toddler Mindset

Like a curious toddler, an entrepreneur is always eager to explore their surroundings, take chances, and “try try try” till they achieve what they had set out to do. Once the desired task is achieved, move to the next one, and then the next, and the next. Toddlers don’t attach themselves to the magnitude of the outcome in proportion to their efforts.

Every victory is worth celebrating. And every celebration is the mark of another beginning, with the same enthusiasm.

Two: Student Mindset

An entrepreneur is a student till as long as she’s an entrepreneur.

Staying in the student mindset, she scouts for learning opportunities throughout her waking hours (or even beyond). With this mindset there’s no hesitation in reaching out to an expert or experienced professional and asking for guidance, counsel, coaching, or mentoring. As a student, you listen intently, take notes, ask questions, seek answers, and follow through.

Three: Athlete Mindset

The better part of an athlete’s day is packed with training and practice sessions. They make their best efforts to collaborate with their teammates. Even most of the solo sport athletes prefer practice partners over practicing all by themselves. It’s best to encourage each other, give each other hope in times of despair, and be there as each other’s best friends and worst critics.

With an athlete’s mindset, an entrepreneur dedicates herself to working hard (and working smart) till she becomes the best at her skill and expertise!

Four: Teacher Mindset

Teachers are known to be in one of the most giving professions and are devoted to the success of their students.

When applying this mindset as an entrepreneur, it pays to keep the interests of your clients at the core of your strategy. It helps to understand your client’s needs ahead of time and ensure your products and services are aligned to these needs. Also vital is to stay focused on your client’s success as a measure of your own. The key skills to learn from an efficient teacher are: stay organized and offer a listening ear but don’t get lost in the story. In addition, follow through with your agenda, periodically gauge your client’s progress, and before anything else, have a giving spirit.

Five: Designer Mindset

Designers have a very interesting way of creating. Once they have a basic ‘sense’ of the design/ prototype, they build their way forward. Adopting the designer mindset encourages an entrepreneur to be creative and not be tied to having that perfect plan before making progress. The key is to be aware of the process and move forward without the judgement of right or wrong. Akin to designers — have a bias towards action, try different alternatives, reframe problems, and stay focused on what happens next.

As often as possible, choose progress over perfection.

Six: Traveler Mindset

Imagine yourself on that much-awaited trip that you’ve been waiting to check off your bucket list. Imagine all that you will do on that trip. Imagine all that you will do in anticipation of that trip. Imagine all that you will do when you’re back from that trip. Now, bring all of what you imagine into the context of your business.

Be willing to explore, be open to experiences, make memories and capture them, and plan your next adventure!

Seven: Businessperson Mindset

A hardcore businessperson is dead serious about their targets!

Acknowledging business orientation as your core competency empowers you to define your B-HAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). This idea is conceptualized by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”). They recommend to see through your business objectives and basically set you up for business growth and a resolve to succeed.

Which mindset closely matches you? Wanting help with support and vision for your business? We have coaches who have helped many business owners. Speak with one of our matchmakers today. They can help you decide if it would be best to work through your challenges on the spot, or if coaching is the right solution. Our matchmakers can find a coach that meets your needs and budget. There is no obligation or pressure in these complimentary calls.