The use of the word ‘entrepreneur’ is becoming more and more widely used to describe a larger number of people. And because of this, I thought the word was losing its meaning. I would meet people who were fresh out of high school and working in a bar who would turn to me and say they were ‘entrepreneurs’. I started to feel disheartened by the use of the word and no longer felt comfortable putting myself in the same category.
Over many years I have read multiple books and articles on the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ and the ‘entrepreneur mindset’, all with differing opinions. But after everything I have read and how I see the business industry evolving, it is my belief we are all entrepreneurs.
So if you answered ‘yes’ to being an entrepreneur, you were 100% right. If you answered no, it is my opinion you’re wrong.
One article that I read that provides a similar opinion is ‘ We Are All Entrepreneurs: It’s A Mindset, Not a Business Model ’ by Donna M. De Carolis (written 9 January 2014). This is one of my favourite articles in relation to entrepreneurship and it ignores the jibberish that most articles like to put together such as ‘top 10 reasons why you are an entrepreneur’ and so forth. So if you answered no, read this article and think whether or not now you will change your mind.
I definitely believe some of us are harnessing our entrepreneurial skillset more than others, but it is my belief we are all, in some way or another, entrepreneurs.
We were all designed with the need to innovate, change and grow.
The Power of Mindset
I want to talk about a topic very interesting to me and that I have come to accept as a very powerful tool; the power of mindset.
For so many years I honestly had the opinion that mindset had no place in business, that it was a matter of working harder, faster, smarter and longer than the guy sitting next to you. Being in the trenches it was hard for me to see it, the true power of my own mindset.
I wanted great things, I wanted to beat the guy sitting next to me. At no point did I think this had anything to do with mindset, I didn’t really think anything of it. I would just show up every day to win and earn more money. Looking back at my mindset I can see that winning and earning more money were simply my ‘drivers’, my ‘why’, and my mindset was purely a tool.
So, grab a pen and paper and write down what your ‘why’ is.
Why are you reading this right now?
Why are you an employee?
Why are you an entrepreneur?
Why are you a small business owner?
If you can’t determine your ‘why’, you will struggle to get that mindset right. Once you have your ‘why’, email it through along with any questions you may have to email@example.com .
So to continue on …
Ever since I moved into small business ownership the concept of mindset has become a lot more evident and a much greater tool. I have had the pleasure to help guide and motivate my staff to help them develop a proactive and positive mindset. Not only that, but I have continued to become aware of its true potential for myself, I am finally in tune with the power of my own mindset.
A story I would like to share (and I’ll keep it as short as possible) is a story I tell my staff and is a true story through my eyes. It involves myself and a work colleague at the time. For the purpose of this article, let’s call this story ‘The employee mindset’.
So this story takes place early in my career when I was making a simple $32k plus super, terrible pay and I had actually taken a pay cut for this job. But I knew when taking this job that I was capable of achieving much more and I knew that if I worked hard I would. So I started work with a positive work-hard mindset, knowing that $32k was the worst pay I will ever be on. From there I made it my mission to be the first in and last to leave every day. Why? You ask. Well, I knew my worth then, I knew that my only resource was time. I had no experience, no knowledge and lacked the abilities one needed to be in a more senior position. So I threw my great resource forward, my time.
Now on to my work colleague. She started before I did, not the exact same pathway, but had started on around $35k plus super with a few more months experience than me. Her mindset was very different to mine though; from what I put together from our lunches and work drinks, she felt undervalued instantly and she showed it. She complained about her superiors regularly, about pay regularly and chose to show up right on starting time and finished right on time as well. I understand one is paid to work a standard amount of hours and just keep in my that’s not the point I’m trying to get across here. It is mindset, and I believe her true value was the same as mine, time. But she was not willing to give time because they didn’t pay her accordingly.
Long story short, within three years I went from $32k plus super to $65k plus super as well as significant performance bonuses every 6 months.
My work colleague left after approximately 3 years on $42k plus super. See the difference?
I’m not saying there were no other potential factors, but I can only provide an opinion on what I know. And that is that – I worked harder than the guy sitting next to me with a mindset that if I proved myself I would be rewarded. And I was, over and over. Whereas the contrasting mindset was ‘give me money and I’ll prove myself’. I don’t believe in this mindset. To me, it is an excuse to not achieve your full potential. And don’t get me started on excuses, I’ll be doing a separate article on that one.
To finish up this story, I am now a successful small business owner with three businesses I am currently co-managing with other directors and I have achieved a remuneration well above the $65k salary. All I know of my ex-work colleague is that she is still working a 9 to 5 job, high chance she is still unhappy in her career.
So the power of mindset has helped get me to where I am today and I have started giving my mindset the attention and respect it deserves. I’m so appreciative that I get up every day wanting more, driving myself while always enjoying myself and being happy.