Mindset & Confidence

7 Powerful Secrets to Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset

BY Alicia Castro

two women on their phones

2020 has arrived! You've been hard at work growing your business and developing your skills. Why not take it a step further and upgrade your mindset to maximize your success?

What is entrepreneurial thinking?

Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset that focuses on problem-solving, innovation, critical thinking, creativity, and willingness to change. It's the ability to think outside the box without being confined or restricted by societal ideas, structures, or expectations.

Whether you're a full-time entrepreneur, a side hustler, or a 9-5er who wants to shake it up and uplevel your performance, here are a few tips on how to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset so you can find more success, more balance, and more fulfillment in your personal AND professional life…

1. Dust imposter syndrome off your shoulders

It's not that those with an entrepreneurial mindset don't struggle with thinking they're not good enough, wondering if they have what it takes, or if their efforts are effective enough.

They do.

But what makes entrepreneurs different when it comes to imposter syndrome is that they don't let it define them.

According to fellow BossBabe Taharah Saad in her article “How to Not Let Imposter Syndrome Steal Your Defining Moments,” the first step to defeating imposter syndrome is to recognize the symptoms:

  1. your ideas aren’t worth sharing, and better kept to yourself.
  2. hiding in the background and not speaking up in meetings or social situations.
  3. wondering if you're a fraud & that at any moment someone is going to realize it, call you out and say you don’t belong.
  4. your accomplishments are not enough.
  5. when you're successful, it's just luck and not the result of your hard work.

The thing is, entrepreneurs have a unique desire to rely on themselves. And oftentimes that can mean putting extra pressure on yourself to succeed. Their drive to succeed and ambition can often lead to a “this is not enough” and then “I am not enough” mindset.

To push past it, resist negative thoughts and start writing down all your wins.

Confidence is built from repeatedly doing what you say you're going to do, pushing past the fear, and doing it anyway.

Write out affirmations that target your doubts every day and reread them while you're commuting, on coffee breaks, and hang them up on your wall (or save them as your cellphone wallpaper or desktop image)

Want more tips on how to beat imposter syndrome? Check out this article, “How to Be a Confident Leader Even When You're Not Sure of Yourself” by Nicole Lampkin.

2. Broaden your perspective

Are you viewing business challenges at work from a single perspective? Try stepping back from the details and looking at the larger picture. Remove your emotions from it.

Have you challenged an old process, strategy, or viewpoint recently?

To develop your entrepreneurial mindset, read articles about an opposing point of view. Even if you disagree, are any of the points valid if you put yourself in their shoes?

Take a new way to work. Try eating a meal you're not too fond of.

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and get out of your normal routine. After all, even your eyes get used to seeing in the dark once you've been in it for a while.

Shake up your perspective and get more growth mindset tips in this article How to Be Your Own Best Boss” by Eva Steortz.

3. Strengthen your creativity muscle

An entrepreneurial mindset requires the constant creation of new ideas. But in order to be innovative on a deadline, you have to set yourself up for creativity generation.

But…whether you're an eloquent poet or the queen of graphic design, finding inspiration and getting past the dreaded blank page syndrome can be tough.

To prime your mind to generate more ideas, start small:

Scour your environment for ideas.

Is there anything you don't like?

Does anything need improvement?

What would you like to see more of?

Look out for thoughts like, “that'd be great if I only had…” or “If it were me, I would…” – those are new ideas!

Start from there and jot down 10 ideas on how to improve your environment. As you practice more, look for ways to improve, change, or shake up parts of your everyday life. When it's time to come up with creative ideas, you'll find that your creative muscle is already warmed up and ready to go.

Want more tips on how to think more creatively more often? Check out this article on how to get inspired on-demand, no matter where you are.

4. Be chameleon-like when challenges arise

Who here freaks out when something unexpected comes up in your career, life, or business? Often times when challenges arise, we let the panic, stress, and fear of failure consume our thoughts. We often waste valuable problem-solving time worrying about now having a problem and not knowing what to do or how to solve it.

The thing is, life will throw you a whole bunch of lemons. You can either stare at them or find a way to make lemonade.

Entrepreneurial thinking requires that you remain flexible if your plan A fails. But how do you exercise that muscle? Start thinking about alternate ways to do your everyday tasks. If you're delayed during your commute, is there another way to get to work?

What would you do if all of a sudden your boss gets sick and is unable to lead the presentation you were just supposed to be attending and now you must speak to everything? What would you do if you're working on a report but the data is missing?

The key here is not to focus on the stress that a new problem can cause, but to rely on your flex muscles to make a mindset pivot when required.

Put those adaptability muscles to the test and learn how to deal with and create change with advice from Seth Godin in “How to Create Change and Do Something That Matters” by Darrah Brustein.

5. View problems as opportunities

An entrepreneurial mindset views problems not as roadblocks or “bottlenecks” but as a golden ticket of opportunity.

When problems pop up, it's the perfect time to put your thinking cap on and start brainstorming solutions.

You're probably not the only one with this problem. In fact, working through it and developing a solution for the problem you identified can be another idea for a new business, product, or service. Hello, new income stream!

If you're at a 9-5, use this way of thinking to get people to stop talking about a problem and to actually take action. It'll help develop your professional brand as a problem solver and critical thinker who doesn't just talk about the obstacles but actually does something about it.

6. Hone in on your communication skills

Communication is a key part of most skillsets, but entrepreneurs have to take it a step further.

Whether pitching for new ideas or new business, entrepreneurs must be excellent storytellers who have clear and concise messaging that speaks to their audience's pain points and transformation.

If you struggle with communicating clearly, focus on one big idea. Ask yourself these questions before speaking, creating a presentation, or writing:

  1. Can I say this with less words?
  2. Are these words too jargon-y?
  3. Who's my audience? What's their attention span like?

Ask yourself, what's the one key takeaway they need to know? And develop your story, sale, presentation, messaging, or content around that big idea.

Remember, what you say and how you say it matters. And to avoid a major communication mishap common among women, make this article, Two Little Words That are Costing Women Respect in Life & Business” by BossBabe writer Laura Charelle, required reading.

7. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

Ever taken a business class? If so, you might remember that you're often taught as business owners or even employees that risk should be minimized as much as possible. Realizing profit and success should be done without exposing the business to major risk.

The BIG problem with that? You can miss out on major opportunities when you try to stay in the safe zone.

Sure, you can be successful in leaving risky opportunities to the wayside, but what if the way to really achieve your goals and get where you want to go faster is by doing something completely unconventional?

In order to build an empire (whether it's at your 9-5 or in your business), you must risk failure.

To get something you want but you've never had, you must do something you've never done.

The best way to do it?

Take a page from the books of women like you who have done exactly that: risked it all, did something uncomfortable, and ultimately got results they never dreamed of having.

Check out this article “Build An Empire They Said, But First You Must Fail” to hear how successful female entrepreneurs didn't know where they were going, failed, and still came out on top.

Which way of thinking are you going to dedicate yourself to trying out this month? Comment below:


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