There is a vast difference between an employee mindset and a business owner mindset. In general, an employee carries out his or her tasks in order to benefit the company they work for and to earn a paycheck. A businesses owner must oversee the entire operation and learn to have people and money work for them.
Part of becoming an entrepreneur is taking ownership of your business. When you own your business, you take greater care in ensuring that things run smoothly. You take more interest in the day-to-day of the enterprise.
If you're looking to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, here are some ideas for you to explore.
Understand Your Weaknesses and Strengths
Credit: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/safari_vacation/9501964248/">SalFalko</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>If you've already spent some time building a business, then you are probably aware of what you're good at and what you're not. If not, take some time to think about your strengths and weaknesses. Consider taking several strength assessment tests, particularly if you ar unsure.
You should also be aware of what tasks you like and what tasks you don't like. Oftentimes the highest value you can offer to others is connected to what you enjoy most and what you're good at. Learn to delegate tasks that need to be done but don't necessarily need to be done by you.
An entrepreneur who doesn't have a drive to learn is not an entrepreneur at all. That doesn't mean that you should try to learn everything about your business and do it all yourself. That is a sure way to become a slave to your company. However, you should always look to grow yourself. Read relevant industry books, listen to podcasts and personal development audios. Leaders are readers. Put a priority on growing yourself on a daily basis.
Set Goals and Dream Big
The fact that you want to become an entrepreneur means that you see greater potential within yourself. Chances are good that you've been in jobs where people constantly underestimated you and didn't task you with items that you thought you were fully capable of executing. No one is more aware of your own ability and capacity than you are.
Set realistic goals based on your aptitude and continually dream bigger and bigger. Entrepreneurial visions often involve solving other people's problems, and therefore encompass a great number of people. For that reason, it's important to see yourself meeting the needs of many. If you don't reach your goals the first time around, don't worry; just keep setting them.
Some of the highest paid individuals in the world are paid to think. Marketing guru Seth Godin often describes what he does as the sharing of ideas. Never underestimate the power of thought. Begin sharing your ideas with others and ask for feedback, especially from trusted mentors and your team. Learn to see both the benefits as well as the potential downfalls in every idea. Don't move forward with a plan until you achieve a holistic view of it.
Prioritize and Act Fast
Credit: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829406809/">Victor1558</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>Sometimes even a brilliant idea is wasted when it is not acted upon. One of the attributes that separates successful people from others is that they place more importance on acting on their plans than waiting for something to happen. If you don't act fast, others could beat you to the punch, poach your clients or win a contract from under you.
Learn to prioritize your daily routine. Consider your goals as an entrepreneur, and come up with a congruent plan. You need to learn to work consistently and persistently in everything. Consider streamlining your schedule and/or removing non-productive activities from your agenda and put important things first.
Iterate and Revise
The plan that you start with isn't always the plan that will get you there. In most cases, you will have to make some tweaks to your plan as you continue to grow your enterprise. Sometimes your service or product just isn't right for the current market, but some fine-tuning could still make it worthwhile. It has been said before that if at first you don't succeed, keep on trying. Those who continue to iterate, revise and try new things are more likely to find a viable niche.
Learn from Your Mistakes
We all know the importance of learning from our mistakes. Unfortunately, fear and emotional pain can sometimes stop us from trying where we have failed before. Just because you've failed doesn't mean that you shouldn't try again. Babies would never learn to walk if they didn't keep getting up after falling. Develop a stubbornness and stick-to-itiveness around your projects. Success in any endeavor is usually seen over the long haul. Don't expect instant results.
Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers and solution-seekers. Where others see insurmountable (but often commonplace) obstacles, entrepreneurs see solutions and opportunities. This is a matter of training your mind to look for possible alternatives, and sticking to your priorities. If all the flights at the airport are cancelled due to snow, an entrepreneur would still look for a way to get to their destination. If a friend's birthday party is coming up and you want to go but you have an important business meeting to attend that night, you might offer to celebrate your friend at another, more convenient time. The problems that you will encounter aren't always as easy to solve, but you should try to follow through with your commitments regardless of what is happening around you.
Build a Team
As an entrepreneur, the sooner you can build a team, the better. Preferably, you should bring on people with skills and expertise that you don't currently possess. Also bring on people who can handle the tasks that you're not good at and don't like to do (these people may not be involved in the high level decision making). Sometimes it's hard to see the whole picture of a business. A team can help you clarify your vision, flesh out ideas, and assist you in becoming more productive overall.
Persist and Persevere
Finally, an entrepreneur persists and perseveres even in the face of great adversity and difficulty. Life happens. You never know when you might get sick or a family member passes away. An investment could go awry or you might lose some businesses along the way. One should not live in fear of such situations. However, it's important to temper big dreams with a realistic and objective perspective. Not all successful entrepreneurs run into huge problems, but many of them still had to persevere through long stretches of time when seemingly nothing was happening with their business.