As you grow your company, you may feel locked in a constant struggle between two different priorities. You need structure and discipline to grow effectively without stress or drama. But you don't want to lose the scrappy spirit that got you here in the first place. It's a tough balance to strike. I found a way to manage this by embracing the mindset of an entrepreneur.
I define it as all the attitudes and beliefs associated with your drive to take innovative business ideas and turn them into reality through action and grit. If you want your business to thrive in the face of rapidly developing trends, technology, and people practices, the entrepreneurial mindset will serve you well.
And the good news? It's still possible to develop it even when it feels like the demands of your business are pulling you in all directions. Just by making an effort to embody it, you can position yourself to meet everyday challenges and experience growth.
If you want to embrace this mindset to better yourself and your company, there are some habits you can practice every day, just like I did.
Become a learner.
The most successful entrepreneurs are willing to learn. It doesn't matter if you're the leader of a team, an intrapreneur, or solopreneur. You'll never reach a point where you're finished learning, so you might as well take in as much as you can. This is one of the best ways you can evolve faster than your business and drive it to the next level.
Thanks to our digital world, learning is easier than ever. Online courses, videos, and articles are just a Google search away.
Develop a growth mindset.
Not to be confused with an entrepreneurial mindset, a growth mindset means you believe that talents and abilities can be developed through time and effort. Leaders like this are more resilient, spot more opportunities, and-- most importantly-- don't waste time and energy focusing on setbacks. Instead, they focus on solutions, processes, and growth-- all qualities you will need to build a growing business effectively.
As you lead your team, accept that change is a fixture of growth. Start focusing on progress rather than failures.
It is not enough to simply have an idea. All sorts of people have great ideas, but few act on them. This is one of the most important entrepreneurial traits -- bringing the thing you dreamed of into reality.
Entrepreneurs often work with few resources, cash, or knowledge power. This makes experimentation a reliable way to test product-market fit. Pick your best ideas and come up with low-risk ways to test them. Then repeat as needed.
Get clear on your vision.
Clear, long-term goals are essential to the entrepreneurial mindset. Not only do they empower you as the leader, but they also enable your team to bounce back from all the challenges you'll encounter along the way and quickly refocus. Take the time to create (or reflect on) your own and your company's long-term goals.
What are your strategic goals for this year and beyond? For what purpose does your company exist? Work through these questions. Write them down and share them with your team and your company.
Assess your own performance on a regular basis. What could be improved? Do you have any blind spots? What should your next steps be? Get objective. Don't be afraid of criticism or honesty. When you experience a setback, use it as another opportunity for reevaluation and growth.
Make some improvements, and then verify if they're having the desired effect. This can be the difference between spinning your wheels and getting that boost to success.
Scaling a successful business is a long road. Along the way you'll face tough decisions, endless drama, moments of panic, and the burden of knowing that it all rests on you.
Make the journey easier on yourself. An entrepreneurial mindset won't solve these challenges for you. But it will give you the tools you need to overcome them with resilience, creativity, and just a little bit of extra luck.