Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset

How Entrepreneurs frame their thinking in order to maximize their chances for success.
Making the decision to start your own business can be an exhilarating move. By the time you make the leap, you have probably thought through the pros and cons of entering the entrepreneurial life.

From bulking up your savings to perfecting your business plan, certain key items need to be done to prepare yourself for the rollercoaster journey. But more than the practical items, it is also about how you think.  

A big part of the preparation process for an entrepreneur involves re-framing their thinking in order to maximize their chances for success. This means tapping into the entrepreneurial mindset.

According to Entrepreneur,  this mindset is characterized by "the critical, analytical, and fundamentally disruptive perspective that it brings to the world.” It is the ability to navigate within a disruption that is innate in starting your own business.

It is generally agreed that an entrepreneurial mindset stands alone in terms of its importance. Yet it is not a mindset that comes naturally for most. However, it can be learned. 

Donna M. De Carolis, the founding dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University, also describes the entrepreneur’s mindset as a survivor’s mindset.

“Being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before, in order to achieve a desirable goal or outcome. It is about assessing a situation, designing alternatives, and choosing a new way -- or perhaps a combination of ways -- that we hope will lead us to something better."

Here are some of the characteristics of an entrepreneurial mindset:

Navigating Failure. One thing each entrepreneur quickly learns is that failure is part of the journey. But if you have the right mindset, you will never see anything you do as a loss because you are learning from your defeat. Another word for this is grit, a characteristic that we, at Kenyans Come Home, greatly champion. 

In our previous book club recommendation  "Grit" by Angela Lee Duckworth, the author defines grit as passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. Research indicates that the ability to stick with things that are important to you and to bounce back from failure creates better leaders and team players.

Learning Never Stops. Entrepreneurs are constantly learning. Whether picking up self-improvement skills or keeping up with their industry trends, the best of them understand that knowledge is a key part of their success. A hunger for this knowledge,— and a continued pursuit of it— will always serve you well.

Understand Your Personality. When you constantly work on yourself, you begin to develop a greater understanding of and belief in yourself. This information then translates into valuing and championing for yourself—and your business.

An Eye For Talent. Seasoned entrepreneurs have learned to train their eye for talent, the people that will help them grow and perfect their business. At Kenyans Come Home, we have placed a number of successful candidates within startups and we look for candidates who can bring passion, perseverance, and smarts to the disruptive environment of those spaces. Entrepreneurs do the same thing in building their teams.

Sole responsibility. Finally, the level of personal responsibility among entrepreneurs is especially high because they remove all attempts to blame others for personal or business circumstances. Each trial is seen as a way to improve and have better control of their lives.