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  • Writer's pictureMichael McClanahan

Enabling the Entrepreneurial Mindset: Step 2 – Establishing a Positive Mindset

Entrepreneurs are people who have the vision to identify and capitalize on risky and new business opportunities. However, underneath the veil lies abundant skills that allow the pioneering spirit to flourish. These skills are not necessarily something the individual is born with, but a conviction and willingness to seek out and exploit innovative ideas. As a result, this enables people of all ages and walks of life to seek out these attributes and build upon them daily to seize opportunities and create value.

To ensure success, the entrepreneur must recognize the drive to find the next big thing will come through setbacks and failures; therefore, a resilient mindset is necessary. Facing adversity head-on and learning from experience are practical ways to harden the entrepreneurial mindset in the right frame. However, coping with stress most effectively takes a combination of thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. The first step is cultivating a positive mindset.

A positive mindset starts with paying attention to the positive aspects of things and eschewing pessimism. Even though the current result failed, there are many positive takeaways from a given circumstance to leverage and avoid next time. Demonstrating gratitude and thankfulness to the supporting cast can also energize and show the appreciation put forth in the quest to find the it factor. The goal should constantly challenge negative thoughts and use them to reframe the situation positively. Setbacks become building blocks. Failure exposes success.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.” therefore, an entrepreneurial mindset embraces challenges and recognizes that everything meaningful results from hard work and working outside one’s comfort zone. Challenges are opportunities to grow and learn from, and the desire comes through running to the fire instead of running away from it. Stepping outside the box and taking the necessary and calculated risk helps encourage an entrepreneurial mindset. Setbacks become temporary and not viewed as a reflection of the individual’s self-worth. The result is acting on instinct and not on reckless abandonment. The outcome will leverage educated guesses against measurable goals that challenge the status quo and contribute to the desired end state.

Positive self-confidence is a desired state of mind. A conviction and belief in one’s innate abilities and strengths are crucial, not to the point of delusions of grandeur but to having the insight to practice and possess self-compassion and avoid harsh self-criticism. Establishing realistic goals and celebrating one’s victories, big or small, throughout the entrepreneurial journey can help to maintain a critical balance between one’s expectations and overall desired outcomes.

Entrepreneurial mindsets also flourish when coping mechanisms enable balance. Exercise, meditation, mountain biking, hiking, etc., are all positive examples of managing stress in a healthy manner. Sometimes, seeking support from family, friends, and even professional therapists might help to solidify and gain the necessary insights to remain focused on the end state. Maintaining mindfulness while staying grounded in the present helps to take off the edge during periods that lack the momentum of creative energy needed throughout the journey.   

Resilience is also found in relationships. Strong affinities and relationships with others can help energize a resilient mindset. Actively seeking out mentors and role models who exude sought-after personality traits can also help feed positive energy into the entrepreneurial mindset. Engagement in extracurricular activities that bring happiness and balance will also feed the competitive spirit and drive and provide a means to rally around success in other parts of the entrepreneur’s life.

A resilient mindset is essential to the entrepreneur and is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness, perseverance, and continuous practice. The overall goal is to adopt an overall positive outlook that is willing to embrace the necessary challenges through self-confidence and thoughtful coping mechanisms that rely on meaningful relationships to enrich the entrepreneurial mindset. The intent is to emerge stronger and develop inner strength and flexibility in one’s pursuit of finding the next big thing.


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