For a long time, people have argued about whether entrepreneurs are born or made. While there is no clear answer to this question, it has become evident that entrepreneurs essentially think differently than other people.
The entrepreneurial mindset is focused on growth, risk mitigation, and curiosity. Entrepreneurs pay close attention to the environment around them to identify the problems that other people may miss and ultimately come up with creative solutions for addressing them. Becoming an entrepreneur involves conducting a lot of research, engaging in continual analysis, and pivoting when necessary.
Here are some ways successful entrepreneurs think differently than most people:
1. Perfection is not the goal.
One of the common mistakes that young entrepreneurs often make is holding too closely to an original vision. This happens when they consider their first plan “perfect” and subsequently view it as the finish line.
Experienced entrepreneurs, however, understand that the pursuit of perfection can actually stall progress by preventing them from pivoting when necessary. The pursuit of perfection can also cause someone to get hung up on details that really don’t matter in the long run. After all, perfection is not necessary for the development of a successful and profitable business. It’s better to get a product out early to receive consumer feedback than delay its launch.
2. The competition is research.
The most successful entrepreneurs do not get caught up in the idea that competitors are a threat—this sort of mindset is not constructive. Instead, they see their competitors as a means of learning more about their target market and the industry itself.
Entrepreneurs can learn a lot by looking at the various products, business models, and customer bases of their competitors. Often, this information helps them differentiate their own products and services. Then, they can leverage that uniqueness to secure a different part of the market. This research is also key in identifying and fixing problems prior to launch.
3. Discipline is paramount.
Many people let their discipline wane from time to time, but great entrepreneurs know this is not an option. Without discipline, they may allow themselves to become consumed by work and leave little to no time for anything else. However, lack of discipline can also mean too little time spent with the nose to the grindstone. Discipline itself requires effort. Budding entrepreneurs should plan out their days carefully to make sure that no time is wasted.
Yet, discipline also means scheduling time for things like exercise and recreation. With discipline, entrepreneurs will achieve the balance they need to keep from burning out as they work toward their goals.
4. Mistakes are lessons.
One of the key components of perseverance in the entrepreneurial world is the ability to frame mistakes as learning opportunities. When entrepreneurs view mistakes as personal shortcomings, they may not have the energy needed to keep going. In reality, everyone makes mistakes, even legendary entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs.
The difference is that entrepreneurs analyze why a mistake was made and implement a plan to avoid similar circumstances in the future. Mistakes are not something to be avoided or even feared, provided that individuals take the time to learn from them and emerge even stronger.
5. Growth comes from listening.
When entrepreneurs see their perspective as the only one that matters, they do not engage in the personal growth critical for success. Entrepreneurs understand that everyone has a valid point of view, and they listen carefully to the comments and criticisms they get—not just from mentors and peers, but also employees and customers.
While attending to every bit of feedback is both unwise and unwieldy, considering it helps entrepreneurs look at issues from a completely different perspective. Ultimately, learning about different perspectives helps them become more creative and develop stronger products and services.
6. Smaller components are key.
While the most successful entrepreneurs always have the bigger picture in mind, they also understand that operating on that scale is impossible. Therefore, they will break down larger goals and problems into component parts and tackle each of those individually. Success with these smaller components will drive overall success while keeping the issue at hand manageable. For example, content marketing is a great way to drive new business, but it is a massive project that involves blogging, social media, search engine optimization, and more. Success comes from considering the pros and cons of each component and devising a plan that meets current needs.
7. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle.
Most people view their job as only a facet of their life, but entrepreneurs understand that building a business from the ground up is their whole life. A business owner does not work typical 9-to-5 hours. When they leave the office, they will still need to attend to business matters. (In the business’ beginning, however, the office may even be the house.)
Ideally, entrepreneurs pursue something they are so passionate about that this effort does not feel like real work. Passion for their work is what they will need to keep going in the face of setbacks and hurdles.