The journey into the entrepreneurial mindset begins with a reflection on humanity’s earliest days when Homo sapiens ventured beyond the African savannah in search of sustenance and security. Fast forward to the modern world; from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Revolution, humans have built products and technologies to change how people consume, travel, communicate, and learn.
How did that happen? That spirit compels individuals to say, “I will not accept the status quo.” That spirit leads some of the entrepreneurs to push boundaries and, in turn, the frontiers of humanity. Some successful businessmen have that mindset and see opportunities in the proximity of every pain point.
The entrepreneurial mindset creates new ideas, enterprises, and revolutions. Prof. Sidharth Tripathy, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovations at SRM University– A.P., delves deeper into this thought process, expounding the various reasons and methods an aspiring business personnel can foster the desirable mindset.
Defining the Entrepreneurial Mindset
An ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ isn’t just about making start-ups. An entrepreneur could be arguably the world’s first entrepreneur, Columbus, venturing into the infinite seas to explore an unknown land of promise. Or they could be a regular hiker who treads into an unfamiliar trail in the jungle, thereby knowingly shaking the foundation of their strongest fears. The “entrepreneurial mindset” can take different channels to express itself. Running a business or venture is indeed one of the most recognised manifestations of this mindset since it takes great grit and effort to start, build, and grow a venture.
Skill or Innate Trait?
It is a blend of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and resilience. These traits can be honed and refined through conscious practice. One such skill is building a healthy relationship with money. Understanding finance as common sense and recognising money’s role beyond numbers as a decision-making tool allows business owners to avoid negative turns. Managing a positive cash flow—essential to any business’s growth and sustainability—results from the right mindset over financial acumen.
Components of Entrepreneurial Mindset
This mindset is not just about exploiting opportunities. It is also about resilience: the mental toughness that keeps a businessman warm while making a ‘cold call’. The bravery required for cold calling sets those with an entrepreneur’s mindset apart.
As a teenager, Steve Jobs reached out to Bill Hewlett, the co-founder of HP, requesting spare electronic parts for a school project. This bold initiative got him the details and led him to a summer job at HP.
As the saying goes, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” and those demonstrating the entrepreneurial rigour to reach out to potential customers, investors, or partners take charge of their success.
Another component of this mindset is being prepared to fail. Understanding failure is one of the vital life skills that pave the way to success in both professional careers and personal and social lives.
Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Mind
With the following steps, anyone can think like a business personnel:
- Stay true about not knowing and adventurous about knowing: There is great power in not knowing only when coupled with the curiosity and urgency to discover the unknown.
- Wear the rookie badge with pride: There are only two kinds of entrepreneurs: successful rookies and failed experienced ones. Yes, being a rookie has an unrivalled advantage, as they often set their sights wildly higher than what rationality permits.
- Respect Ideas but Worship Execution: Most business people are good at creating ideas but majorly suck at executing. The killer benefit of quick execution is that an entrepreneur will know when something is wrong and have the first laugh much before the world knows about it.
Typically, the vocabulary of an entrepreneurial mind has significantly more verbs than nouns so whether it’s making a social media post about a business idea, making an elevator pitch, testing a product with a future customer, or asking a classmate to become a cofounder, If aspirants are more likely to be doing than thinking than they are already feeling like an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial mindset is not limited to a select few; it is accessible to anyone willing to dream and take action. By actively engaging in fearless inquiry and energetic participation, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery and purpose.
Prof. Sidharth Tripathy
Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovations at SRM University-AP
Contact: [email protected]