When you see a glass of water, do you think of it as half full or half empty? The way you answer could be a key factor in your future success.
A report from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) says 27 million working-age Americans are starting new businesses. But half of small businesses fail within the first five years, according to the U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why?
It all comes down to mindset. Those with an entrepreneurial mindset are more likely to be successful in business. In fact, entrepreneurs earn on average 50% more than those who are working in the same industry and have the same education, according to a study from the Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Entrepreneurs are wired to achieve greatness, but that doesn't mean you can't adopt their way of thinking. Who knows? By changing your mindset you may be able to change your business's future. Here are nine ways to start thinking differently and get into the mindset of an entrepreneur:
1. Be passionate
First and foremost, entrepreneurs are extremely passionate about what they do. They have to be, because they give their whole selves to it. They build their businesses from the ground up, often at great personal sacrifice. Whether it's inventing a new device like Steve Jobs did for Apple, or founding a groundbreaking company like Jeff Bezos did with Amazon, entrepreneurs throw themselves, mind and body, into their work.
Think about what you're passionate about. If you can focus on doing work that you truly care about, you'll be more likely to find success.
2. Don't be afraid of hard work
That passion needs to be there because it takes a lot of work to get a business up and running. Without passion, the work will feel tedious and you won't find any joy in it. Entrepreneurs invest a lot of time and energy into their business, blurring the line between work and home life. But they'll do whatever it takes to follow their dreams.
In 1923, Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, wrote in McClure's Magazine, "I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night."
3. Practice discipline
Entrepreneurs are extremely focused on their goals and do not stray from what they have set out to do. While they spend a lot of time on their business, they use their time wisely, planning out their day and making sure no time is wasted. They know there are no shortcuts and that putting in the work is the only way to achieve success.
Being disciplined comes naturally to entrepreneurs. But for most people, discipline takes effort. While you don't need to be too strict, you do need to know what you want and do what you need to do to get it.
4. See challenges as opportunities
When entrepreneurs are faced with a problem, they don't back down and run away. They face it head on and look for ways over, under, around or through it. While most people stress over challenges, entrepreneurs thrive on them.
There's no way to avoid setbacks in business; they are almost a guarantee. So it's important to be prepared for them and use them as opportunities to learn and grow.
5. Challenge the status quo
Entrepreneurs don't accept things the way they are. Instead, they look for ways to improve things and make changes for the better.
In an interview with TIME Magazine, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, "People will always try to stop you doing the right thing if it is unconventional."
Think outside the box and don't be afraid to dream big. Entrepreneurs don't worry about what other people think. Instead, they focus on doing what they see as right and necessary to accomplish their goals.
6. Take risks
In an interview with Wired, Bezos said, "The common question that gets asked in business is, why? That's a good question, but an equally valid question is, why not?"
Entrepreneurs aren't afraid to do things that scare them. They like to get their hands dirty and do things other people wouldn't think of doing. Often, those great risks pay off. As the saying goes, the bigger the risk, the greater the reward.
7. Don't be afraid of mistakes
According to research from the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, being able to bounce back from failure is a key characteristic of successful business owners. Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and other entrepreneurs all failed several times before finding great success.
Just like anyone else, entrepreneurs often make mistakes, but instead of giving up, they learn from them. They don't let failure keep them from continuing their work. When you make a mistake, think about the lessons you can learn from the experience. How can you apply those lessons to your future projects?
8. Accept others' advice
Entrepreneurs are exceptional listeners and understand the value in a perspective other than their own. They know that to grow, they need to be constantly improving and looking for new ways of thinking - and that often means consulting peers.
Don't dismiss other's comments or criticism right away. Be open to it; you may start to see your situation or business in a whole new light.
9. Look to the future
On his blog on Virgin's website, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, wrote, "Entrepreneurs can inspire new movements, create new jobs and stimulate economies. They can encourage people to be more entrepreneurial and sow the seeds for the next generation of job creators and innovators."
Entrepreneurs are always dreaming and inventing. But instead of keeping those dreams to themselves, they make them a reality.
Think about the future of your business. What can you do right now to change things for the better and find success? Let me know in the comments below: