What are the necessary qualifications for an entrepreneur? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.

Answer by Peter Baskerville, teacher and edupreneur, on Quora:

Being entrepreneurial is what qualifies you to be an entrepreneur.

In entrepreneurship, you don't prepare and then do, you do as part of your preparation. Nothing prepares you to be an entrepreneur better than the lived entrepreneurial experience that thinks and acts like an entrepreneur long before the role becomes self-evident, be it in business, art, causes, work, play, sport, or life in general.

Entrepreneurship is an open invitation to 'whosoever will', but so few accept the challenge of adopting an entrepreneurial mindset and living the entrepreneurial life. Those that don't, see only the risk and the fear; those that do, only the 'calling' and the self-fulfillment.

Now the eventual qualified good judgement of the entrepreneur is founded on a life of entrepreneurial experience, and entrepreneurial experience is what we have learned from the bad judgments that we have made on our entrepreneurial journey.

So what, then, is entrepreneurial thinking? What defines the entrepreneurial mindset? Well, this previously published article covers it well: How Do Entrepreneurs Think?. Here are the key summary points:

Being entrepreneurial and thinking like an entrepreneur means:

  • To think in actions: The entrepreneurial mindset craves action, so much so that it twists the age old maxim to read - "Fire, Ready, Aim."
  • To think in possibilities: Entrepreneurial thinking is not constrained by the realities of the present. Entrepreneurs see the reality of possibilities that are not yet evident to others.
  • To think in ambiguity: An ability to function effectively and move forward decisively in the world of conflicting views, uncertain outcomes, and unresolved issues.
  • To embrace risk: Entrepreneurial thinking believes that opportunities are more likely to be found by embracing and managing risk rather than simply avoiding it.
  • To think in patterns: Entrepreneurial thinking is always looking for cause and effect patterns in the world. Understanding the concepts and patterns from existing worlds helps entrepreneurial thinking to explain innovations in worlds as yet unseen.
  • To think incessantly: There is no off button in entrepreneurial thinking. It is incessantly curious, opportunistic, and optimistic.
  • To think internally: Entrepreneurial thinking is never seeing yourself as a victim of external forces. Entrepreneurial thinking sees every life event (good or bad) as an opportunity to understand and manage, then master.
  • To think of value-add: Entrepreneurial thinking focuses primarily on creating new value for others (by increased benefits or reduced costs) and then finding a way of securing a slice of that increased value for themselves.
  • To think of making meaning: Entrepreneurial thinking imbibes an inherent desire to make a difference (sometimes, all the difference) and to make their world a better place.

Who knows when any one of us will be given the opportunity to be an entrepreneur, but if you want to be fully qualified for that moment when it arrives, then adopt entrepreneurial thinking now and start practicing the principles listed above in the world in which you live today.

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