How to Have a Focused Entrepreneurial Mindset
Growing up, how many times did one of your friend’s eyes light up right before they declared, “I have a great idea”? In elementary school, that statement was probably followed by a pitch on why your group of buddies should have a contest to see who could chug their lunch milk the fastest (trying to be the one who kept it down was the real challenge). Now, that one sentence – I have a great idea – is more often followed by an actual good idea and if you’re reading this, chances are one of them came from you. Making that idea more than just a fleeting moment of inspiration is the hard part. Becoming a business owner takes more than smarts and knowing people. It requires an extremely disciplined and ever-motivated mindset that not everyone knows how to get into. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur though, it’s important that you do. Below are some tips to help you get there.
- Stop fixating on your genius. This may sound harsh, and it’s intended to be a little harsh. You are brilliant and just came up with the next big thing. That’s amazing. It would be even more amazing if you’d move on now. The next big thing will never become so if you can’t move past the dream of it, or worse – let someone else get it done before you. You need to get serious about it, sit down, and develop a solid plan. So many fantastic ideas never make it, because the minds that came up with them can’t let go of the dream of what they could be, and never get to the details of making them be. For all of you already established business owners, what can you do to grow from here on out?
- Mentally prepare to hear the word “no.” Imagine yourself pitching your grand idea to investors. You completely nail your presentation. When you’re done, you can’t help but smile because there’s no way they can’t see the potential that you see. Now imagine that when their mouths open they say, “Sorry, but no.” Imagine yourself thanking them for their time and asking them to please tell you why. There are other investors, but the ones before you (hypothetically, of course) have some extremely valuable insight on what you did that simply didn’t work and what adjustments need to be made. When you’re trying to launch your own business, you’ll hear “no” quite often. You need to train yourself to be able to hear that, know it’s going to be ok, and remain focused enough to learn from it and keep going.
- Don’t put down your instrument. When a new musician is learning how to play an instrument, they need to practice all the time. If they learn a new scale and then leave the violin in the case for the next week, it will feel like they have to learn the notes all over again when they finally take it out again in all its out-of-tune glory. Your mind is your instrument. If you stop taking steps to inspire and motivate yourself to keep moving forward, you will stop being inspired and motivated. Getting back in tune can be difficult. Give yourself an occasional mental health day, but don’t put your plans down for too long.
- Don’t forget why you started. Do you want to make a difference in the world? Do you want to be able to see your family more often? Are you tired of struggling financially? Whatever reason you started for, let it be the reason you finish. There’s not much better motivation than that.
Maybe you’re just getting started, or maybe you’ve been running your own business for years. Whatever the case, keeping a strong, entrepreneurial mindset is vital at any stage. Your mindset is your engine. Make sure it’s running properly before you hit the highway.
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About Artemio Flores III
Art Flores is the president of the Entrepreneurs' Organization - San Antonio. He is also the vice president and co-owner of Artcom Associates, Inc. The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a dynamic, global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst…