We all have ideas. We all see opportunities. At heart, we all have the foundations of the entrepreneurial mindset. We just don’t always see ourselves that way, or realise that the entrepreneurial mindset is relevant even if you’re not starting your own business.
The Harvard Business School definition of entrepreneurship is ‘the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled’. This is where the key challenge lies. The entrepreneurial mindset requires not just a great idea, but a willingness to take action. It means chasing down opportunities with a level of determination and creativity that overcomes the challenges and restrictions currently in play.
The entrepreneurial mindset is not something you need to be born with, it can be learnt. Plato Project is founded by entrepreneurs and works every day with startups, business leaders and innovators. People from any background can cultivate their entrepreneurial side. It’s a core capability needed for the future of work, where success requires being able to survive and thrive in volatile business conditions.
Here is our advice on how to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset:
Define your own success
All over the world, you will notice that there are millions of successful small businesses. Despite what the media tells us, you don’t need to have a massive business to be successful. Entrepreneurship is a path than enables people to define their own kind of success. You become your own boss, you write the rules and set the goals. Entrepreneurs often have a clear focus on what is important to them, and finding that purpose is critical to finding and validating their own definition of success.
Just do it
You might notice that some entrepreneurs are dropouts, or have followed less than traditional career and education paths. Entrepreneurs work with what they have, and often make something out of nothing. This is not a miracle, it’s due to the mindset and the belief that it is possible. And a willingness to try even if failure is a possibility. It’s a very powerful antidote in situations when you are procrastinating, and waiting on something or someone before doing what you want to do. Having an MBA or a promotion at work won’t compensate for belief in yourself or your dream.
Resilience is key
Life is not all fun and games all the time. There are times of struggle, disappointment, loneliness, and sometimes extreme challenge. Entrepreneurs frame challenges and mistakes as opportunities to learn. Difficult situations help you grow and prepare you to take on the next situation with more skill. So, when you face a down time, hold strong and think like an entrepreneur. Adapt your plans, embrace it as a learning opportunity and soak up as much knowledge as you can.
Not everyone is born an entrepreneur, but everyone can develop an entrepreneurial mindset and apply it to their own context at work or in life. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn. Build resilience and accept failure as a natural part of life. Stop waiting for everything to be perfect, and believe in yourself. Define your own version of success. You don’t need permission to follow your dream. You don’t need to apologise for having a different view. When you see opportunity, go after it!
Got a business idea? Release your inner entrepreneur with our Starting a Start Up program.