When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being my own boss someday. Somewhere along the way, I forgot about this dream. I completed college and joined the 9-5 rat race… believing this was all there was.
It wasn’t until I became a mom and decided I wanted to be more present in my children’s lives that I realized I had this unfulfilled dream… a dream where I can be in control of my life and work toward my own goals rather than someone else’s.
Fast forward to today, and I was able to quit my 9-5 and every day is another opportunity to grow my business. If there’s anything I’ve learned since becoming an entrepreneur, it’s that the mindset I learned in the corporate world is vastly different than the mindset of an entrepreneur.
What sets entrepreneurs apart from other people is their unique mindset. They’re passionate and dedicated, and they think outside the box. These unique traits aren’t something you’re born with. You can learn the mindset you need to become a successful entrepreneur.
1. Face Challenges Head-On
Entrepreneurs see fear as a challenge. In fact, to be an entrepreneur, you need to love challenges. Facing down challenges is how you grow, and successful business people know this.
When I first started, I had no clue how to put together a website, let alone what WordPress even was! I spent countless hours researching and editing until my modest proofreading website was created. Sure, it wasn’t perfect but the important thing was that I figured it out.
If you’re new to being your own boss, then take baby steps and move just a little outside your comfort zone bit by bit. Try to remember the first time you did something that scared the crap out of you. Yes, you wanted to curl up and die, but you got through it and even realized it wasn’t so bad. Remember when you had to get and give a speech in front of a room of people? Yikes!
2. Learn from Everything
Entrepreneurs see absolutely everything as a learning experience. This includes both successes and failures. In fact, errors and mistakes teach you much more than your accomplishments do. When you fail, you can analyze the failure and figure out what went wrong so that you can do it right the next time. This is not the time to be stubborn and let your ego get in the way.
When I first launched my freelance business, I was so excited for clients that against my better judgment accepted work from a horrible client! Our working relationship was so toxic that it even caused me to resent my business. You can bet I learned from that experience.
Rather than view misses as failures, successful entrepreneurs look at them as learning opportunities.
3. Meeting the Needs of Your Audience
Entrepreneurs focus on solving problems. They focus on finding solutions to others’ problems before their own. This is how they’re able to create such great products and services. They listen to people, grasp the challenges they’re facing, and then get to work looking for solutions.
When you offer a solution to someone’s problem, they will happily pay you for it. It’s a win-win situation all around.
4. Network for Growth
A successful business owner needs to know many different people in many various fields. These valuable contacts can offer you their expertise and help when you need it.
For this reason, entrepreneurs should talk to everyone everywhere they go and see every person as a potential contact. This includes people outside of their industry. You never know what kind of person might be valuable to know. If you want to grow your business, get in the habit of getting out of your orbit and meeting new people.
For introverts like myself, this is a scary task, but keep in mind you can do some of your networking online… which makes it less scary, I think.
5. Think Beyond the Customary Paycheck
Workers are used to trading their time for dollars and expect to be paid in a timely manner, but entrepreneurs take a longer-term view. An entrepreneur doesn’t work for their pay. They know that there is no instant pay gratification. And everything they do must be an investment in the growth of their business.
Entrepreneurs understand and stop expecting everything to be free. They build a system that generates revenue. To be an entrepreneur, you have to break out of the “working for pay” mindset because it can take significant time before you’re profitable.
6. Take Action
Finally, entrepreneurs take action. The best-laid plans are pointless if you never take that first step. An entrepreneur knows that you learn as you get out there and do it, not as you sit idly by.
If you keep waiting for that “perfect” time, it will never come. Hate to break it to ya, but there is no perfect time. There will always be a reason to pause, an obligation that comes up, a significant event you must deal with. You will always be pulled in X number of directions. It’s up to you to take action.
Your Next Steps
Being an entrepreneur and making those hard decisions is not always going to be fun. You may even resent it and want to give up, but think about why you started in the first place.
You know you can do more with your life because you deserve more than the unhappy 9-5 grind. Change your mindset by facing your challenges, learn whenever you can, focus on others’ needs before your own, reach out to people, understand success takes time, and above all else actually start.
Which one of these traits are you going to focus on first? Let me know in the comments!
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