Entrepreneurial Mind for Non-Entrepreneurs
These days, entrepreneurship is on everyone’s mind.
With the pandemic eliminating millions of jobs, entrepreneurship has become more encouraged than ever. Even I encourage it.
That said, since I first proclaimed my opinion, I have received many responses from people, saying they are just not ready for it or they simple choose not to be business owners.
And that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that.
However, just because we do not want to start our own businesses does not mean we cannot think like business owners. In fact, more and more companies want people who can think and strategize like one.
Entrepreneurial Minds Promote Innovation
Forward-thinking companies always aim to innovate. They strive to be pioneers or creators of solutions that accelerate and simplify how we do things.
For that to happen, these companies value employees who are incredibly open-minded.
These minds rarely cover their eyes from anything they see in front of them. Actually, not only do they see what is in front, but they observe and study. They are curious, which leads them to ask questions which motivates them to challenge the status quo and design unconventional solutions that work.
Exercise: Grab a notebook or a journal. Once a day, write down one entry a day about something you saw that you thought was clever and creative, something that make you curious and wonder, enough to ask questions and study it.
Entrepreneurial Minds Champion All Ideas
Throughout my career, I have had two mentors who truly epitomized this concept. One taught me to log ideas everyday. The other told me that if an idea swims in my head for three days, it is time to write it down.
These recommendations reflect how much companies from all disciplines care deeply about generating ideas. 3M is an early adopter to this, and now, Apple has mastered it.
For one day a week, these companies encourage their employees to abandon current projects they have at hand and explore new ideas, whatever that idea may by.
Therefore, creativity is not only boosted. It is urgently desired.
Cultivating new ideas opens the door to novel products, services, and processes that advance industries.
Exercise 1: Similar to the exercise above, grab a notebook or a journal. Every day write down at least five (5) ideas about anything that pops into mind.
Exercise 2: If an idea, business related or not, simmers in your mind for at least three (3) days, that means it is time to write it down in black and white. Whether your favorite record-keeping tools is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or a voice recorder, write down everything you imagine your idea to be. For instance, if it is a business idea, sketch out the business model, doodle the product, or draw out the operations process if you have thought that far. Everything.
Entrepreneurial Minds Take Calculated Risks
Everything involves risks.
There is risk in eating. There is risk in sitting. There is risk in sleeping.
Life is all about taking risks.
And risk is the fundamental ingredient in every advancement in society. It is the driving force that dictates the growth and longevity of a company.
What really makes or breaks a decision is the amount of information gathered ahead of time.
The more information we collect, the less ambiguous the decision is.
So do not make important decisions blindly. Know what we are dealing with. This makes ambiguity more comfortable.
Exercise: Pick a decision you have to make right now. It could be lunch. It could be choosing your next vacation destination. It could be investing in a hyped up stock. Whatever it may be. Then take out a piece of paper and divide into two columns. One column is for the worst things that could happen if the risk is taken. The other is for the best things that could happen. Once done, determine how much the rewards outweigh the risks.
Entrepreneurial Minds Know When to Execute
Okay. Research and analysis definitely govern countless high-stake decisions.
However, one can research and analyze until the cows come home. If that is the case, no one would go anywhere.
Companies love people who can gather enough data and conduct enough calculations to mitigate risk. In other words, entrepreneurial minds are resourceful enough to understand how to reduce risks so that the rewards undoubtedly eclipse the risks.
At that point, they know it is time to pull the trigger.
Entrepreneurial minds also do not take the full plunge. They take incremental steps. This usually aligns with operations at most companies nowadays. It is why agile project management, Kanban, and Scrum frameworks are so prevalent in this day and age.
Exercise: Have something you have been wanting to do forever? Just do it! Baby steps!
Think Like a Boss
We do not have to literally be the boss to think like a boss.
And companies crave to fill their workforce with leaders who can be future bosses.
As we grow, we evolve. We can either take the backseat and let others drive, or we can take the wheel.
Companies I know rather take the wheel.
So exercise our creative juices. Know that we do not have to be more risk tolerant to improve our ability to mitigate risk. Then when the time comes, we will be really to fire.