An entrepreneur is someone who sees a new opportunity and creates a business or social enterprise to exploit it. Throughout the Pacific are examples of young, and not so young, entrepreneurs who have seen an opportunity to do something for themselves and grasped it with both hands. In this series I am exploring what it means to be an entrepreneur in the Pacific. Today my focus is on how best to develop and sustain an entrepreneurial mindset.
The word ‘mindset’ is a powerful image of how our minds get set, they get fixed with a series of beliefs, very often focused on what we cannot do. They are affected by our upbringing, our education, our culture, by others around us.
An entrepreneurial mindset is a set of beliefs, thought processes and ways of seeing the world that drives entrepreneurial behaviour. You must start by believing that it is possible to improve your life situation yourself and live your life on your own terms.
Entrepreneurs do not follow the crowd or look to others for instructions. They listen to their own inner voice and carve their own path. They take responsibility for their own actions and do not blame others for their life situation. By taking responsibility you will empower yourselves to make your own improvements. Even if something is not your fault, by taking responsibility for it, you are empowered to improve it.
Make sure you create short and long term goals - turn your wishes and dreams into goals and plans. Practice turning problems into opportunities – ask yourself what you can do to solve something, rather than simply complaining and blaming others.
Do not admit defeat in the face of small setbacks. Entrepreneurs find success in pushing past hurdles and finding innovative and creative solutions. Change is always part of the entrepreneurial journey. You must embrace it as the chances are your original ideas will change many times as you make progress.
Be open to new ideas and creative thinking as one good idea leads to another. However, always keep your goals firmly in your mind. Entrepreneurs learn not to fear failure but to appreciate it – what does it teach you and how does it help you bounce back as a stronger person?
Focus on growth, not on standing still. Make sure your life is not an illusion of progress where you spend all day running round in circles without actually going anywhere. Keep trying to improve yourself, little by little, every day, as personal growth tends to create success. Have a personal growth plan as well as a business or idea development plan. It is important to become learning-orientated and keep educating yourself. ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education could make you a fortune’.
Spend time with other positive people and seek feedback wherever possible. You can never see yourself as others see you, so you need them to tell you what they see! Listen more than you talk.
Entrepreneurs only look to the past for wisdom and learning. Essentially, they are always forward-thinking. They are acutely aware of themselves and their abilities and know when to ask for help. Entrepreneurs can adapt to changing circumstances and will always collaborate with others as a win-win activity. Everyday entrepreneurs will have to move out of their comfort zone. This means you will need to confront what you are afraid of and, to do that, you will need the courage that comes from strong self belief and confidence.
Entrepreneurs also take action – they do more than they talk! They have the drive and the tenacity to go where others might not. They learn how to solve problems, to be decisive and to keep their focus on the task that lies ahead.
As with anything in life the more you practice the better you get. Practice these behaviours. Work with a coach or network with other entrepreneurs. Develop the habits mentioned in previous articles. When you think like an entrepreneur you become an entrepreneur!
‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”. Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder.
Next week I focus on being an entrepreneur post Covid. If you need any contacts or advice, then do get in touch.
I hope you enjoy this series. As always, please contact me if you have an interesting story to tell and are happy for it to be told.
Breadfruit Consulting (www.breadfruitconsulting.com) is a Vanuatu-based business providing advice, training, coaching, and mentoring to businesses throughout the Pacific islands. Breadfruit specialises in a range of business development activities including ‘business continuity planning and action’, helping businesses to survive in a crisis, designing and starting new, sustainable businesses. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Founding partner at Breadfruit Consulting.