An Entrepreneur vs having an Entrepreneurial Mindset

We don’t have to be entrepreneurs, but we can have an entrepreneurial mindset. Here’s how and why I think it can contribute to the success of your business.

Whilst I was off on maternity leave, I found myself spending more time than usual having conversations over coffee with friends who are entrepreneurs. They are starting a new business after having a family or they have left their corporate jobs to pursue something they enjoy doing. I find those types of conversations so interesting…do I want to be an entrepreneur? Currently, absolutely not. But that doesn’t stop me from being inspired by these people and continuing to develop an entrepreneurial mindset as part of AAB Consulting.

Firstly, what is the difference? An entrepreneur is a businessperson who is the owner of a business venture or a start-up. They have taken the risk to start a new business, with the hopes of turning it into a profitable venture. Entrepreneurs identify an opportunity and are willing to take on the challenge of building a business from the ground up. They are willing to invest their time, money, and resources to make their vision a reality.

I have worked for some brilliant entrepreneurs, Tom Bell, Gary Conway, Mike Bain and now Lesley Fordyce and Mark Bell (Tom and Mark not related – as far as I know!) Thanks all for your openness and trust, I’ve learnt a lot from you about tenacity, pivoting, perseverance and doing the right thing.

However, having an entrepreneurial mindset is a way of thinking that is focused on creating value and finding opportunities in various aspects of life. This mindset can be characterized by creativity and innovation, risk-taking, flexibility and adaptability, focusing on customer needs and continuous learning.

That got me thinking, we do plenty of work supporting entrepreneurs and helping them to figure out how to grow their businesses, how can we as business advisors harness our entrepreneurial mindset to ensure we are encouraging entrepreneurs’ growth in a relatable and informed way? One suggestion is by embodying the characteristics entrepreneurs have, in our daily work.

This is what I have come up with:

  1. Creativity and Innovation - We should encourage each other to think outside the box and push boundaries to cultivate innovative solutions to problems, improved processes, and new products or services. Ultimately, we can end up with increased efficiency and competitiveness.
  2. Being on the lookout for new opportunities – Being aware of the business landscape and identifying new opportunities is key. We should have an idea of what is coming down the track and be ready to act and mobilise quickly when required.
  3. Risk-Taking - Taking calculated risks can lead to new opportunities and growth for the company. An entrepreneurial mindset can help us become more comfortable with taking risks and seeing failure as a learning opportunity.
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability - Adapting quickly to changes or new opportunities in the market is crucial and can lead to increased resilience, which is essential in today’s ever changing business environment.
  5. Focus on customer needs - Continue to be customer-centric and focused on meeting the needs of our clients leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  6. Continuous learning - We are lifelong learners and should continually seek out opportunities for growth and development leading to increased job satisfaction and opportunities for career advancement.

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