How to Think Like an Entrepreneur
By Ashford University Staff
No matter how smart you are, you need to think like an entrepreneur if you want to succeed. Successful entrepreneurs cultivate a positive mindset that allows them to exceed expectations. Here are some favorite ways the entrepreneurial mind works. Develop these thinking habits in order to meet your goals and achieve big things in your life.
Successful entrepreneurs are open to new ideas, even if those ideas are the opposite of what everyone else thinks. Don't let what other people might think hold you back. Instead, be willing to try new ways of doing things. By experimenting, you can discover what works best for you. Accept the input of others, but don't take their doubts as gospel. Concentrate on flexing your own creative muscle to solve problems.
See Yourself as Dynamic
Don't get stuck in one particular vision of yourself. When your identity hinges on being a certain way, doing certain activities, or having certain interests, you limit yourself. Instead, be open to new ideas about who you are. If you view your identity as fluid and ever-changing, you can more easily experiment outside your persona. For example, even if you haven't been an outdoor person in the past, you might discover you love hiking and camping now. Trying new experiences will stimulate your creativity and teach you new skills.
View Everything Systemically
Entrepreneurs think in terms of systems, always looking for processes that will allow them to accomplish their goals. Instead of focusing on individual events, problems, or relationships, practice looking at the bigger picture. Constantly ask yourself, "What causes this to happen?" Look for solutions that will make your life run more smoothly. For example, if you and your coworker have been fighting a lot, don't look for one quick and easy solution. Instead, look for overall patterns in all the conflicts in your life. You may find a common theme running throughout your relationships. What can you do address them all?
Most of the world plays it safe, but entrepreneurs can't afford to. Instead of holding back because of perceived risks, embrace risk as a way of life. Think about what you actually stand to lose and be willing to risk some of that. Entrepreneurs win big because they're willing to gamble with time, money, and prestige. You can do this, too.
Don't limit yourself to what you think you can achieve. If you think small, you will achieve small. Instead, dream big and then ask yourself what you need to do in order to make those dreams into realities. Once you're committed to a dream and have an action plan, nothing can stop you, but it all starts with allowing yourself to dream big.
The entrepreneurial mind operates differently than other people's minds. In order to think like an entrepreneur, you need to let go of self-imposed limitations, fear of other people's opinions, and the need to play it safe. You also need to step back to see the bigger picture. If you can master these changes in thinking, you will go far in business and in life.
Written by Ashford University staff