When you think of a successful entrepreneur your immediately think of personality traits or values that define who they are. Richard Branson is associated with fun. Anita Roddick was an environmentalist. Steve Jobs lived by simplicity. Each one of these evokes an emotional connection with what they were good at (Richard still is).
So what is an entrepreneur? What is entrepreneurship? There are many definitions, but the one that rings true to me is that of Peter Drucker
“This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship – the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”
Does this ring true with you? Do you aspire to think like an entrepreneur?
Here are five features of entrepreneurial thinking based on my work with clients who I mentor to shift their own internal barriers to move on to create incredible change. If you are a business owner and are stuck in a rut, use these strategies to break through the chains that are holding you back:
1. Have a goal and a plan – and work on it
Make sure that your goal is as specific as you can get it. If your goal is to increase your income, be specific about how much. Decide your time frame – when you want your goal to be achieved by. Create your plan to achieve your goal and get started. Don’t procrastinate. If your plan isn’t going the way you want it, don’t give up. The secret is to have a plan. The content of the plan may change, you will make corrections as you go along, but as long as you persist on a regular basis, you will reach your goal. It may be uncomfortable at first. You may feel that you’re not making progress, but after a time things will start happening very quickly to help you reach your goal. Persistence works.
2. Get over your limiting beliefs
It’s very likely that the one thing that is stopping you from achieving what you want to do is YOU. Your attitudes and behaviours are influenced by your self-belief. Stop and listen to the voice in your head. Is it negative, telling you you’re not good enough, or that you can’t afford xyz? Where is that coming from? When you face a problem, sit down and try to write down as many reasons as you can think of (and some) on one half of a sheet of paper why you can’t. Then on the other half, write down the exact opposite. Focus on why you can. It is a really good exercise for working out what in your past or childhood influenced your mind to believe the way it does. When you’ve finished – FLIP THE SWITCH. Use positive wording. When you wake up in the morning, make your first thoughts positive ones as they will influence your mood for the rest of the day.
3. Your five best friends
Jim Rohn, a well-known entrepreneur and motivational speaker said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Look around, who are you spending your time with? Are these people able to motivate you to achieve your goals? Can they help you on your journey? If you friends are living a mundane existence, chances are it is comfortable for you to do the same. Snap out of it. Seek out new alliances to help you get to where you want to be. Start with your goal and identify what skills and supports you’ll need. Identify five people and connect with them. One may be your mentor. One may be someone with characteristics you wish to emulate. One may be someone with the contacts and networks you need. Examine your networks. Are there new networks you can join that can open doors for you.
4. Get a mentor
As Richard Branson said, when you think about the missing link between a promising businessperson and successful one, mentoring comes to mind. On a lonely journey to discovery and success, a mentor provides a trusted arm and beacon along the way. You don’t have to be a business owner to have a mentor. You just need to have a goal and a strong desire to get there. A good mentor will guide you along the way.
5. The power of the master mind
Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich” told of the power of the master mind. Bring two or more minds together and you create “a third invisible intangible likened to a third mind (the master mind). Bring two or more people together to work on their own businesses in a mutual, trusting, tough love environment, coupled with voluntary accountability, will over time, strengthen each business. A master mind group that works well will achieve results through learning, sharing new ideas and stimulating new ideas and business models.
Put these strategies into place and watch as the world moves to make way for you and your goals.