After years of working alongside entrepreneurs (and being one myself), I’ve found that there are several qualities they have in common. There’s an entrepreneurship mindset that business owners cultivate in order to achieve success for their companies. There are many things that contribute to this entrepreneurship mindset, and everyone is different. However, here are five qualities that I’ve found to be common among entrepreneurs!
1. They Know How to Take Ownership
This quality is all about knowing how to take responsibility. As an entrepreneur, you are a leader. Part of leadership is owning the mistakes that occur within your company, whether they happen directly because of you or not. When you take ownership over something, you are wholly devoted to its success.
Aspiring entrepreneurs should practice taking ownership in their current roles and responsibilities. You don’t have to be an owner to take ownership. Intrapreneurship is behaving like an entrepreneur as an employee of a company. Intrapreneurs are personally invested in their company’s success and develop creative ways to attain growth. Always remember that you bring value, not time, to the marketplace. Taking ownership allows employees to practice entrepreneurial skills without the financial risk of entrepreneurship itself. If you are a self-starter who takes responsibility, you might have the entrepreneurship mindset it takes to start a business someday!
2. They Have a Strong Work Ethic
There’s no question that entrepreneurship takes a lot of work, especially when you first establish your business. A strong work ethic helps you get back on the metaphorical horse when you fail (and you will fail!) At our nonprofit Tricord Global, we currently provide microfinance loans and business education to aspiring entrepreneurs in Uganda. Part of the reason we chose to partner with Africans is because of their work ethic. Due to circumstance, many of them have learned that if they don’t work, they don’t eat. They are committed to working hard in their businesses to provide for their families and communities, so it’s a joy to help them acquire the resources they need!
3. They Aim for Growth
A synonym for an entrepreneurship mindset is a growth mindset. This isn’t just about personal growth (though that is important!) Entrepreneurs need to have an aptitude for financial growth and expansion as well. Though every business isn’t meant to be an international franchise, the knowledge about how to grow and scale a business allows entrepreneurs to have a larger impact.
Plan for future growth in the present moment. Think 3, 5, and 10 years in advance. What is your vision, and what steps are required to make it a reality? In addition, the #1 thing you need to understand as a business owner is finance. Did you know that 80% of the entrepreneurs that make it past the first five years in their business fail? It’s almost always because of financial mistakes. In an effort to grow their business, they make decisions that their finances can’t support. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, they’re not willing to spend money in order to make money. I see a lot of ministries get stuck because the pastoral staff isn’t willing to cut their own paychecks in order to fund additional endeavors that would allow their ministry to grow.
Entrepreneurs know how to use leverage. This means that they know how to take a little and turn it into a lot. They work smarter, not harder, to distribute their products and services, which brings me to quality #4.
4. They Are Flexible
Entrepreneurs know how to roll with the punches. They’re able to pivot, and they are willing to be flexible with their own position for the sake of the business. As an entrepreneur, you can’t be a ‘doer’ forever. Let me explain.
Say that a man named Jerry becomes a baker because he loves to make cakes. His baked goods are delicious, and his business is a success. As the demand for Jerry’s products increases, he will have to make adjustments in order to meet that demand. So, he hires additional bakers. Now, his time is split between baking, teaching the other bakers, and scheduling shifts. His business continues to grow, and opening another bakery is the only way to elevate his brand to the next level. If Jerry opens another shop, more delegation and administrative tasks will become necessary, so he will have even less time to bake. He will have transitioned from a ‘doer’ to a manager/leader.
People like Jerry have to decide what’s more important to them–being a baker, or being an entrepreneur. People with an entrepreneurship mindset know how to position themselves within their company. They are constantly evaluating where their time and talents are needed to best grow the business.
5. They Pursue Creativity
Lastly, entrepreneurs are creative. Don’t pigeonhole creativity here–we’re not just talking about the painters and the writers here. Creativity is all about applying your unique perspective to your brand. Culture trumps vision. As the entrepreneur, you set the culture of your entire company just by being who God created you to be. Creating a unique value proposition is the first thing you should do when forming your business plan. Essentially, unique value propositions communicate how an entrepreneur’s product or service delivers value to the customer in a way that differs from the competition. The possibilities for creativity in a business are endless and ever-evolving!
What components of an entrepreneurship mindset do you think are important? Let me know in the comments! If you are interested in more entrepreneurship education, I recommend checking out WealthBuilders University. ‘The Effective Entrepreneur’ and ‘Successful Business Modeling’ are some of the many courses we have available for you.