The entrepreneur mindset is often considered to be something you either have or have not got. Yes some people naturally appear to be more of an entrepreneur than others, but what does that actually mean?
Entrepreneurs are those who use their own initiative to create a profit.
You can see that ‘trait’ in some children when they buy and sell sweets, toys, lemonade etc. Adults who open a market stall or use a hobby to make money also display that ‘trait’. Do they all go on to become successful entrepreneurs though? The simple answer is no. Some do of course. People like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Coco Chanel, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump are all on that list.
The other people on the entrepreneur list are those who work from home. Anyone who has taken the plunge into MLM or internet marketing or blogging are all budding entrepreneurs. Sadly some will make money doing this and others won’t.
In my humble opinion those who do make money have developed an entrepreneur mindset, while those who don’t make money have not. It is that straightforward. Some will argue of course that is it all about luck or being in the right place at the right time.
The Entrepreneur Mindset
With my background in psychology human behaviour fascinates me. I could quote all sorts of theories here, but the main one argues that we all have a bias in our thought patterns. That bias means if we succeed at something we believe it to be due to hard work. If others succeed though it is more due to luck. In other words we minimise the efforts of others and maximise the efforts of ourselves.
These cognitive bias exist for many reasons and have been thoroughly researched. (A few terms to search for are selective perception, cognitive bias, confirmation bias and explanatory attribution should you wish to read more about that). What is interesting about this though with regard to entrepreneurs is they tend to have less cognitive bias than others.
Entrepreneurs tend to recognise the fact that other people have worked really hard to become successful. They also recognise that rather than timing being the main reason for success it is due to simply not giving up. The reason for this difference is because entrepreneurs have learned to question and examine outcomes.
Let me explain that a bit more…
You see the brain is always trying to take short cuts. It is performing thousands upon thousands of tasks all at once and so it creates shortcuts to help it perform all of these tasks faster. It is these shortcuts that create cognitive bias. Entrepreneurs do not let their brain take shortcuts and instead look in detail at the reasons something didn’t work. They are constantly using ‘failure’ as a means of feedback. It is a learning curve that allows them to move closer towards success.
In other words, each time an entrepreneur tries something and it doesn’t work they just don’t give up. They take the information gained from the experience and use it to improve the next attempt. This is why those considered as entrepreneurs always seem to be working on a plan or a new venture. It is not about finding ‘the one opportunity’ that works, it is about building skills.
Retraining Your Brain
This is where I get rather excited, because retraining the brain is my thing! Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (or CBT) is all about retraining the brain to think in different ways. It changes thought patterns that are no longer useful to the individual and helps to establish more helpful ones. A lot of the time CBT counsellors are working with cognitive bias. They highlight the assumptions an individual has made and provide evidence that it is an assumption and not a fact.
The idea that luck and timing are what makes people successful are assumptions. They are the brain taking a shortcut to explain why someone else is successful while you are not. If you allow your brain to take these shortcuts it is like saying to yourself that there is nothing you can do to improve and you might as well give up. When you retrain your brain to look at the facts and simply give the situation more thought however, it becomes more likely you will learn something and move forward.
Remove the right place, right time idea and it becomes apparent that everyone has the potential to become successful. Its quite exciting really isn’t it?
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