Are you an Entrepreneur or an Employee?
If you answered Employee, because you are employed or Entrepreneur, because you own and operate a business, you are not alone. Most people actually think that being an Entrepreneur means starting and running a business. But contrary to popular thinking, Entrepreneurship is a mindset. The concept of entrepreneurship transcends far above managing a business. Being an Entrepreneur means being able to identify new opportunities to innovate and create value. It is a way of looking at things; of approaching problems and challenges. Those with entrepreneurial mindsets have the ability to evaluate situations and take the necessary risks to advance their careers and life.
Just like all great leaders, Entrepreneurs have specific traits that set them apart from regular people. They are resourceful, fearless, and take action when necessary to advance their goals. Entrepreneurs are resilient. They focus on the bigger picture and do not let mistakes stop them from accomplishing their goals.
The good news is, these are all traits that can be learned and cultivated. Here’s how:
1. LET GO OF FEAR; LEARN TO TAKE CALCULATED RISKS
The single most important factor that distinguishes you from an Entrepreneur is your tolerance for risk. And risk is associated with fear.
Who says Entrepreneurs don’t feel fear? Fear is a normal part of life, everyone feels it. Everyone fears pain, loss, humiliation, rejection and failure. The fear of what is unknown is especially crippling. But in the mind of the successful Entrepreneur “without taking risks, there can be no reward”. So they learn how to act in spite of fear. They never conform to societal rules of accepted behavior. Once they have a vision, they take the necessary risks to make it a reality.
So, why are you holding back on your vision? Are you afraid of failing? The feeling of accomplishing a goal; of doing something that creates value for society far outweighs the feeling of safety. Learn to step outside your comfort zone. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it.
2. SET REALISTIC GOALS
What is your vision for your life and career? Are you where you want to be? If no, do you have the necessary tools to help you get to where you want to be? This is the point of setting goals.
According to BusinessDictionary.com, a goal is an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.
You can only measure your success by the outcome of the goals you set. And to be successful, your goals must be attainable and it should motivate you. If you have a big goal that you want to achieve, for example – become an expert in your field- you must break it up into smaller parts called objectives that you can measure. Your goals should be realistic and time bound. When you set timelines to a goal, it becomes more binding on your efforts.
Successful Entrepreneurs are goals driven and results oriented. Cultivating the habit of measuring your success based on the goals you’ve set for yourself will help you achieve sustainable results.
3. EDUCATE YOURSELF
And I don’t mean go to school!
To educate yourself means to recognize and accept that you do not know everything. This realization, is the beginning of education. Successful Entrepreneurs must wear many hats to run their business. They must be the Lawyer, Accountant, HR, Publicist, Sales and Marketing Agent and everything in between. That means, they must be willing to teach themselves. Successful Entrepreneurs spend enormous amounts of time reading and learning new things. They have mastered the art of learning and so must you.
To cultivate this mindset, you must be willing to read, read, and read. The keys to acquiring the skills you are missing in your life right now may be buried in a book or an article somewhere. Go and find them.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned in school.”
4. ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE BIGGER PICTURE, STOP LIMITING YOURSELF
It’s pretty normal to get into petty arguments, make mistakes, and experience setbacks. How you react in the midst of life’s unending challenges, will determine the level of success of you experience. Successful Entrepreneurs never lose sight of their bigger picture. When walls are erected before them, they find a way to climb over it, break through it, go around it, or dig under it. They never sit and stare at it and neither should you.
Never allow the pettiness of life dissuade you from your goals. Anything is possible, don’t limit yourself and never settle at the wall.
5. MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Don’t expect people to be kind to you; to give you things. They won’t.
To be successful in life, you must be willing to go out, work smart and get what you need. We all deserve to be successful, but truly successful Entrepreneurs know and accept that they are not entitled to anything. When doors are slammed in their faces, they do not sit and cry. When people say “no”, they accept it as it is, move on, and hold no grudge. They understand that success is earned, not given. Therefore, they set realistic goals and do what it takes to accomplish their goals. They accept who they are, where they are, even as they strive to be who they want to be. Successful Entrepreneurs know that, it’s not always about them.
So, why can’t you? Drop the feeling of entitlement. Nobody owes you anything. If you really want it, then work for it, don’t beg for it.
6. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
How do you see mistakes? As a colossal failure or a teaching moment?
When you really think about it, mistakes are a blessing in disguise. It provides the perfect opportunity for learning. But some people choose to be defined by their mistakes because they have developed an unhealthy idea of success – perfection. Those who aim for Perfection seldom achieve it. It is an illusion that keeps you always on the edge.
You will make mistakes, you will experience setbacks. What differentiates you from a failure is your ability to learn from your mistakes. You must learn to transform the negative into a positive. Successful Entrepreneurs don’t aim for perfection, they aim for improvement. If there was ever such a thing as perfection, there would be no need for upgrades. What you learn from your mistakes becomes experience. With experience, comes expertise.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
7. EMBRACE CHANGE
If you want to grow in your career, you can’t be set in your ways. You have to embrace change. You must be willing to do what it takes to keep growing and improving.
Successful Entrepreneurs thrive in the midst of change. In fact, they are the originators of the phenomenon. That’s what Peter Drucker meant when he said “the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity“. It’s what Joseph Schumpeter categorizes as “creative-destruction” — this process of shattering institutions and old ways of producing creating a new dynamic of production.
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.
This point summarizes everything we have already outlined above.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur. You cannot be successful if you are not willing to accept that change is inevitable and you don’t know everything. Knowing and accepting these truths will put you in the right position to develop the necessary skills to achieve success in your line of work. If you don’t take the necessary steps to develop yourself and build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.