An Entrepreneur’s Mindset
An Entrepreneur’s Mindset is generally different to that of an employed person. Entrepreneurs usually have a distinct attitude and set of priorities compared to those people in paid jobs. (When I use the term entrepreneurs, I am talking about those people who set up a business from nothing). We look at things uniquely and wherever we are, every decision, social occasion we talk about, consider or plan something for our business. If we need a job done, it will never occur to us to ask ‘How do I this’. Our first concern is the outcome that I want to achieve. From there, we will then decide on how to get the task completed.
Our minds are all over the place. How do we earn more income, what products can we sell, who will buy this service? How can we leverage our current services? It is a different outlook, which is not right or wrong, it’s just different.
My personal hell would be a day of shopping for makeup and clothes. It just has no interest for me. I am not really interested in my socks are matching as long as my feet are warm or if my bag is a different colour to my shoes as long as it holds everything I need it to hold. It just isn’t one of my priorities. Now, if it is one of my author’s books, that is a very different story. The font has to be spot on, the formatting and front cover need to tell a story in its own right and the author has to be 100% happy with the outcome, I am slightly anal about that, because to me, it’s a product that I have produced and I want my clients to treasure that product.
Take, for example, walking home yesterday. Just as I was leaving the office, the skies opened with torrential rain. It just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t have a coat with me as the weather forecast said it would be sunshine all day. So, there I am standing the lobby looking at the rain falling and pondering, how am I going to get home. I could, for example:-
- Walk and get soaked
- Call a taxi
- Get a lift from someone
- Wait until the rain stops
Options are available if you think hard
There would be more options if I set my mind to it, Critical Thinking (a very good business term for evaluating all options). I think situations through and make my decisions quickly and run with the consequences. It has served me well and I learn quickly from mistakes, especially as I am a firm believer that mistakes are more valuable than getting things right all the time.
Back to my story. I wanted to walk home as the dog also needed a walk, and the rain would wash her coat, which is a bonus. So, how to get home without getting too wet. Now, I considered my solutions was rather ingenious considering my limited options. Get a plastic bag, cut a hole in the top and arms and like magic an instant raincoat. So, there I am with my pink plastic bin liner, cutting in a hole for the neck and arms to hear someone from behind me question what I was doing.
I explained what I was doing and why. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t just wait for the rain to stop, as she was doing. Her car was 10 feet from the front door. It never occurred to her to walk to her car in the rain and get wet and that a makeshift plastic bag could act as a temporary raincoat for a few minutes. What upset her more was the fact that the pink plastic bag was a Biffa bag, and a trade Biffa bag at that.
Appearances can matter
I have been a member of BNI (a networking group for small businesses and entrepreneurs) for many years. Every so often a member would be asked to give a 10-minute presentation on what their business is and what referrals they are looking for. On one occasion, I took several tools that I use in my business and carried them in an orange plastic bag. As I stood in front of the 35 other members explaining my business and what each tool represented, I felt the presentation went well. It was only after my presentation two women in the group came to me and said they loved the presentation but couldn’t get past the orange plastic bag. They suggested that next time I should use a company branded bag.
It concerned me for a while and what was interesting was that both ladies worked for an entrepreneur, which differs from being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur’s mindset will equate every penny spent to hours worked or jobs completed. Why would they focus on something as immaterial as the orange plastic bag and not the contents of the bag and what I was saying? To them, the importance of someone’s outward appearance was just as important as what is being said or sold. I have taken this on board and retired my orange plastic bag. However, I am still in business and the two ladies are not working for other companies that provide branded products.
Learning Points about an Entrepreneur’s Mindset
- There are many ways to get a task completed, focus on the outcome first and work backwards
- Don’t be guided by someone who has never had the courage that you have shown by setting up your business
- Thinking outside the box is a prerequisite for an entrepreneur, so stand up and yell, “I will do this, and I will do it my way with the results I want to achieve.”