develop the mindset of an entrepreneur

Why Having the Mindset of an Entrepreneur is Essential: No Matter What You Do for a Living

Today’s business environment requires unprecedented levels of skills & knowledge but the real key to success is MINDSET.  Technology has given us the opportunity to be productive at any hour of the day and any day of the week.  But, it has also provided numerous distractions, unthinkable volumes of information, and the need to be self-regulating and accountable, especially when working remotely.  These conditions closely resemble the life of an entrepreneur…. The “Eat only what you hunt, kill, and prepare” environment that a new business owner lives every day. Although there are many attributes of a successful entrepreneur, I found there is one that has now become a necessity for almost every class of worker – the MINDSET of an entrepreneur.

Successful entrepreneurs understand and embrace the 80/20 Rule.  80% of their success will come from 20% of their activities (Pareto’s Principle).  The key is to determine what their highest value activities actually are and then do more of them.  Conversely, they also identify the 80% of their activities that do not produce results so they can do less of them or eliminate them entirely.

Developing the Mindset of an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you determine when your day starts, when it ends, and what you need to accomplish in between.  There is no boss dictating your schedule and therefore, you have to hold yourself accountable to get things done.  This creates the need to set ambitious and realistic goals and then the strategy and tactics to achieve them.  These goals are always aligned with how they want to live their lives and what they want to provide for their family.  There is a deep emotional connection to their business goals because success or failure will impact much more than some inanimate, corporate bottom line.  So, employers need to think about how they can make that connection for their staff also.  A personal, emotional attachment to specific goals that are aligned with the overall corporate strategy is extremely powerful.

Successful entrepreneurs know that personal development and the acquisition of new skills and knowledge are imperative if they want to stay ahead of the competition.  This same mindset and discipline needs to be instilled in every worker.  “If we are not moving forward, we are falling behind” is a mentality that I see in all successful entrepreneurs.  Yet, I also see these same business owners embrace the reality that there will be “crunch times” and sacrifices that need to be made but a healthy work/life balance is critical to long term viability, happiness, and sanity.  That is why their “Time Management” skills rapidly develop.  They know it is not necessarily the time they put in, but what they put into their time.  They learn how to block schedule their day, leverage technology, delegate, outsource, and focus only on their “highest value activities”.

Successful entrepreneurs know there will be set backs, and plain ol’ lousy days from time to time.  But, they put it behind them and wake up the next morning with a fresh attitude and optimism that is infectious.  They don’t dwell on their failures, they celebrate their wins.  They don’t blame others for their failures, they accept responsibility. 

I can go on with other components of a successful entrepreneurial mindset but the message I want to leave you with is this: Before you spend more time and money on learning new skills, advancing your education, adding more letters to the end of your name or grabbing some other shiny object, focus on developing the mindset of an entrepreneur.  The “Attitude Determines Your Altitude” posters you may see from time to time are not there for decoration.  They are there to remind us that 85% of our success is determined by our Mindset and that our Thoughts control our emotions, our actions, and ultimately our Results.


A graduate of Rutgers Business School, Nick is a Brian Tracy certified corporate trainer and business coach, a licensed Navigational Conversation program facilitator, and practice mentor. Today, Nick works with entrepreneurs in multiple industries and does executive coaching in the financial services arena. He is also the owner of FocalPoint Business Coaching of New Jersey and is the NJ Area Developer for FocalPoint International. Nick is active in several prominent business associations including the New Jersey Business & Industry Assoc., and serves on the board of the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council. Married for 30 years, Nick and Eileen have two successful boys and split time between their homes in New Jersey and North Carolina. Nick enjoys golf, exercise, and spending time with family. To learn more about Nick or to contact him directly, click here.

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