When you think of an entrepreneur what are the first things that come to mind? Richard Branson, Elon Musk, genius, success, raking it in. These are all true but does that put you off entrepreneurship?
Well, it shouldn’t because these people came from the same places as you and I and certainly weren’t born with entrepreneurship in their DNA. Entrepreneurship isn’t an all or nothing attribute that is possessed by one and not another.
Entrepreneurship is not a person it is a mindset, a behaviour that can be learned over time. It’s about seeing the world as opportunities rather than obstacles, seeing solutions to everyday problems, it’s about adding value to the world.
Elon Musk sees the opportunity for us to travel commercially in space rockets at a reasonable price, sending us to the other end of the planet in just 30 minutes. Goodbye cramped, over-priced, excruciating long journeys. Hello new adventures and job prospects! Steve Jobs believed that computers could be designed to be simple and look beautiful, now look at the Apple cult.
So, what does it take to gain this? Focus, determination, courage, belief and no excuses!
Dealing With Rejection
How many times have you been told NO throughout your life? Most likely thousands if we count the number of times is parents told us no when we were younger! Which lead us to associate the word no to negativity. Not at fault of the parent, they were only trying to protect us, and we kept on trying to the very frustration of our parents. But where does the “keep trying” attitude get lost?
No doesn’t mean no, no means try again!
If you truly believe in your idea you will keep going. An entrepreneur that succeeds on their first attempt at starting up a business has most likely got a hole in one. The successful entrepreneurs that surround us today have been on a heck of a journey to get to where they are “overnight success takes 10-year quote”. We hear about entrepreneur’s stories all the time.
Thomas Edison was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything and to go into a field that didn’t require intelligence. He is known as one of the most prolific inventors of all time with over 1,000 patented products and of course, his most famous invention, the lightbulb.
Elon Musk’s, Space X almost died after numerous failed attempts to get his rockets to perform. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” Elon said. Now, according to Morgan Stanley, Space X could get to be worth $50 billion!
If the entrepreneurial world scares you, that’s ok too. You’ll be astounded by how many entrepreneurs are insecure under their smiley or hard-core faces. They re-direct that emotion into drive and persistence, everything they do.
Failure? It’s actually a good thing.
We are always talking stressing how important failure is in success. You might be sceptical, but then you must be a beginner and if you haven’t figured it out by now chances are you gave up too soon.
We tend to associate the fact that if a business fails we are also a failure. The learning process is to detach yourself from that business and focus on the future. The quicker you learn to go “Oh well, that happened, let’s go again!” The quicker you move on from the supposed failure.
Studies have shown that when we fail we tend to go through almost the same grieving process as when someone dies. Aren’t we so dramatic! But you don’t have to go through the grieving process if you are prepared. Implementing a system to deal with failure has proven useful. If it didn’t work, spend time asking questions and being curious as to WHY it didn’t work. Those answers will lead you to your next project and not make the same mistakes as before.
For every failure you encounter you learn something new, you learn to not do that again or figure out how to do it differently. A curious and dedicated mind leading to new and better things whilst growing yourself as a person.
It’s this type of attitude that contributes to positive changes in the world, that saves people’s lives because someone believes that it can, and fights for it.
It’s only a blip, focus on what’s next because time is ticking!
Problems are opportunities
What does the average person do when they come across a problem? Bitch and moan. Then where does that lead? Absolutely nowhere. You can spend your life moaning about everything. What kind of life is that?
The only way to solve a problem is to find a solution, and nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it. It’s entrepreneurs that solve problems every single day to make your life just that little bit better. But, we are still nowhere near where we need to be. Now the planet is deteriorating through global warming so entrepreneurs are now focusing their efforts towards sustainable solutions.
It doesn’t even have to be as drastic as this (but it helps!). If someone is providing a service and you think it can be done better with your knowledge and expertise to benefit consumers. Get out there and get it fixed.
Seeing problems as opportunities also helps lower stress. You are more positive and energised to thinking, right, how can we overcome this rather than going “oh, it’s a mess, I don’t know what to do.” Burying your head in the sand gets you nowhere.
We come across, what we think might be problems every day, but sometimes there is a distinction between a problem or your attitude. Something might not actually be a problem at all but because you chose to react negatively, it becomes one. Life’s not fair, and the sooner you accept problems, the clearer your mind will become.
Every problem can be solved in its own way you just need to make the first steps to making it happen.
Increase Your Knowledge
Entrepreneurs read books. Simple! How else are you going to grow? You are going to have to get reading if you want to be up to date and on the ball with world knowledge and creativity.
You don’t have to read books on how to be a successful entrepreneur. The big successful ones are reading a mixture of fiction, non-fiction on a many variety of topics. Why? It not only allows them to be open-minded but reading and learning about new things makes new neural connections in your brain that spark creativity and bring about new ideas.
Reading fiction, for example, has shown an improved cognitive ability to visualise or put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Both are important skills to have in entrepreneurship to help you on your path to success!
Non-fiction has the ability to provide you with fact and learn from people’s experiences to guide you on your future journey. You might easily be able to avoid the same mistake another entrepreneur has already made saving you a lot of time. You might be able to use these facts to solve a problem.
Reading is a vital skill to help you grow as entrepreneur and if you don’t take the dedicated time out to commit to it, you’re going to be left behind. Learning is an invigorating process that you can embrace and using your imagination allows you to escape.
Write a reading plan and get committed.
People share, ideas, stories, experiences and opinions every minute of every day. That’s a lot to take in, but you have got to figure out for yourself what’s important and what’s not. What type of events are you going to and what kind of conversations are they going to be having? What opportunities are you looking for? Who are the right people to bounce ideas off? Or are you simply wanting to make new friends?
“A human being is never dependent on his own experience alone for his information. Even in a primitive culture he can make use of the experience of his neighbours, friends, and relatives, which they communicate to him by means of language. Therefore, instead of remaining helpless because of the limitations of his own experience and knowledge, instead of having to discover what others have already discovered, instead of exploring the false trails they explored and repeating their errors, he can go on from where they left off. Language, that is to say, makes progress possible.” – S.I.Hayakawa
Listening can lead to greater productivity, better understand consumers allowing you to deliver and also creates opportunities to be more creative and innovative.
Listen with your entire being and you will be surprised what thoughts and opportunities come your way.
Here’s a bonus point: If you are rubbish at talking to people, you don’t have to worry. People love talking about themselves, you will find they do most the talking anyways. Just make sure you are actively listening to them.
Entrepreneurs are driven by their mindset which are habits that are picked up over time and get better. No, they aren’t born with it but some might have been conditioned at a younger age and picked up the skills before you. But we can all learn to do anything so don’t let that stop you. By learning some of these skills won’t just make you a better entrepreneur, you might find your life improves too.
Join the waiting list for our next 20 week Business Accelerator Programme in Dundee for an opportunity to take your business to the next level!