September 14, 2018 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Sometimes, it can seem like entrepreneurs are endowed with an extra gene — born with a superpower that makes them different and more innovative than other people. But, it’s simply not the case.
There is no difference between the brain composition of an entrepreneur and a non-entrepreneur. The entrepreneur has simply trained their brain to adopt certain mindsets that make them approach the world in a creative way. Are you ready to think differently?
Here are four vital traits of good entrepreneurs you can adopt:
1. They make lemonade out of lemons.
It’s been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” For an entrepreneur, when they see a problem or inefficiency, their mind quickly begins constructing creative solutions. This is how they are inspired to create innovative products or services.
For instance, did you know that the first can opener wasn’t invented until about 50 years after the can? After years of opening cans with hammers and chisels, it took someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to invent a tool to streamline the process. While the first can opener didn’t take off right away, the design eventually eventually evolved into the modern can opener which is still used today.
Seeing opportunities in everyday obstacles is a typical trait of entrepreneurs. Who knows what you might dream up if you shift your mindset to one of opportunity!
2. They put an emphasis on improvement.
As motivational speaker Jim Rohn puts it, “Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
A true entrepreneur isn’t the type to shrug and say “good enough”. They are constantly trying to improve their lives and the world around them in any and every way possible.
To foster self improvement, an entrepreneur might keep a work log or journal in which they detail what they do throughout the days and the results of their efforts. Over time, they will be able to look back and notice trends in their productivity and what types of efforts are yielding the best results. This might allow them to shift their schedule or change processes in ways that streamline their work and make them more effective. They’re constantly thinking of ways to not necessarily reinvent the wheel, but to make it roll a little more smoothly.
3. They’re not afraid of uncertainty.
According to Harvard Business School researchers, one of the key traits of entrepreneurship is comfort with uncertainty. “Measures skills and behaviors associated with being able to move a business agenda forward in the face of uncertain and ambiguous circumstances.”
For entrepreneurs, fear and faith cannot coexist. This doesn’t mean that they are reckless or unaware of risk. It’s more that they have such an inherent belief in what they are doing that they are able to power through these obstacles. They are able to zero in on their dreams and desires to the point where they are so focused that fear cannot hold them back.
To adopt a fearless mindset, entrepreneurs need to have extremely clear goals. This allows them to map out a plan for how to attain them. Yes, they may veer off track at points, but ultimately they are able to stick to their conviction and move forward confidently in the direction of their dreams.
4. They give freely.
What goes around comes back around. As an entrepreneur, there’s plenty of value in adopting a mindset of generosity.
As reported by the Harvard Business Review, generosity might be one of the biggest keys to success for big businesses like Nordstrom and Netflix.
This is true for a smaller scale, too. Entrepreneurs know that when they give to others, they are investing in themselves, too. For instance, if they act as a mentor to someone less experienced, they recognize that they stand to gain perspective on their own career, and that their mentee could potentially turn into a great employee or colleague at a later point.
However, entrepreneurs recognize that sometimes the benefits of generosity are intangible. It’s more about good karma. By treating people with respect and being open to helping them, entrepreneurs are more likely to receive support in return when they need it.