How to develop an entrepreneurial mindset

An entrepreneurial mindset is a way of thinking that enables you to overcome challenges, be decisive, and accept responsibility for your outcomes. It is a constant need to improve your skills, learn from your mistakes, and take continuous action on your ideas. Anyone thinking of starting a business needs to work on their entrepreneurial mindset.

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is like learning to ride a bicycle. The only way to learn is to actually ride the bicycle. You can read all the books on bicycle reading. You can watch TED talks on bicycles. But you won’t learn how to ride this way. The only way to learn is to get a real bike and start riding it. 

These are some of the attributes of an entrepreneurial mindset you will need to learn. 

Resourcefulness: Resourcefulness is all about using available resources to solve problems. As an aspiring entrepreneur you are going to be bombarded with all sorts of problems. Several constraints will be placed in your path. As long as you are resourceful you will figure out a way. Our manufacturing business was started in a tiny kitchen with little or no capital and lack of business experience. Despite this the company has grown steadily.

Agility: Things will never go as planned. So prepare to change and adapt as you go. When we started our manufacturing business we sold our ketchup in supermarkets. The product didn’t move because it was more expensive, unknown and the packaging wasn’t differentiated. So we immediately switched markets and went after schools. This gave us some traction.

Resilience: There will be failure along the way. Make sure you get up and keep running after each failure. The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown our biggest market which was schools. The closure of schools wiped out almost 50% of our cash flows. So we decided to expand our reach outside schools with our new product called enkooge (tamarind juice). We have seen a lot of growth outside schools since then.

Accountability: As a budding entrepreneur you have to learn to take responsibility. If you decide to go into business there is no blame game. You can’t blame the employees, or the economy, or the politicians, or the government agencies for your business problems. The buck stops with you. Everything is on you!

Confidence: Getting into business is a confidence game. Just fake it until you make it. When we got into the manufacturing business we really didn’t know what we were doing.We just believed we could figure it out along the way. And we’re still figuring it out. All the successful people you see around have deep seated insecurities. They have just managed to hide them well and do things irrespective of their fears.

Decisiveness: Once in business you need to be decisive. Successful people make prompt decisions and they rarely change them. You will need to make decisions on hiring, pricing, products, markets, advertising, operations, financing, suppliers, etc. There is no time to dilly-dally. The decisions will never be perfect but you have to make them anyway!

These are some of the key traits of an entrepreneurial mindset. Anyone willing to do the work can develop an entrepreneurial mindset. 

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