Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

Adjusting your mindset to be successful in every situation

If you’re like me, I was taught that the way to make money was to get a job. I was programmed to be an employee. The problem was that I am not good at being an employee!

At my first job right out of college, my boss fired me after nine months. Others in the company saw my potential, and they hired me back. This time it took only six months before I was fired again. It wasn’t for lack of ambition or brains. I just had a very hard time being told what to do and following so many rules. Yes, my parents raised an independently-spirited child.

When I met Robert five years later, he asked me on our first date, “What do you want to do with your life?”

I instantly said, “I want my own business!” And three months later I did.

It’s all a state of mind

It’s clear that there is a difference between the mentalities of a serial employee versus a serial entrepreneur. In order to mind your own business, you do not have to quit your job and become an entrepreneur. But you do need to learn how to think like one.

We are products of our environments. People, our surroundings, and the values we live by all influence who we become and how we think. The mindset of a longtime employee is different from the mindset of a staunch entrepreneur. One is not better than the other. One is not right or wrong. The thinking is simply different. Here are a few distinctions between the two:

The thinking of an employee

  • Values the security and guarantee of a steady paycheck over the uncertainty of greater wealth
  • Prefers a job with few problems
  • Dreadfully fears making a mistake
  • Strives for a higher paycheck and job promotions
  • Values time on the job over results

The thinking of an entrepreneur

  • Operates without a safety net and knows there is no guarantee of a paycheck and may work for years without paying herself
  • Gets paid for solving problems
  • Looks for new answers and new challenges and is always learning
  • Is willing to make mistakes and learn from them
  • Is driven by passion and purpose, and has a mission
  • Knows that results are what counts, no matter how much or how little time it takes

It’s not difficult to adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset. From the previous entrepreneur list, let’s just focus on three traits:

1. Understand your mission and purpose

My friend, Kim Snider, a successful investor and outstanding educator, always asks her clients, “What is your money’s higher purpose?”

What is the mission for you and your money? What do putting your money to work and minding your own business help you to achieve in your life? As you pursue your financial goals, always keep your mission and purpose at the forefront.

2. Remember that results are what count

You can talk, you can plan, you can research, you can keep very busy and put in a lot of time, but at the end of the day, the question to answer is: How much money did my money make me? In the world of investing, the bottom line is everything. And results require action. This is why, at some point, if you haven’t already, you’ve got to pull the trigger. You’ve got to get in the game. You’ve got to put some money on the line.

When investing, your focus must be on results, on the bottom line. We have a saying in our company: What you focus on expands. If you focus on the return on your investment, then your returns over time will most likely increase.

3. Always keep learning

Looking for new answers and new challenges? It’s simple. The smarter you are with your money, the better your success. The learning never ends because the markets are always changing. And they are more volatile today than ever. A new economy is emerging, and what that will look like, only time will tell. Yet, it’s clear that to be financially secure today takes new thinking, new ideas, and new education.

If you assume that the old economy is coming back or that what worked for you in the past will work again in the future, then chances are, you will find yourself in a financial struggle. If, on the other hand, you actively pursue your financial education and look for new answers, then you will start to see opportunity where others see doom and gloom. It’s all about thinking differently about your money.

When it comes to you and your money, it makes no difference if you are an employee, an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time student. What matters is the mindset you bring to your business—your asset column. When it comes to your asset column, every one of you is a business owner. Now it’s just a matter of thinking like one.

Original publish date: February 13, 2014

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