Business Advice

6 key steps to develop your best skill: an entrepreneurial mindset

- April 15, 2022 4 MIN READ
Young business woman standing outside with arms crossed

So, you want to be an entrepreneur? It’s all in your mindset and fortunately, it’s a skill you can develop says Alan Manly, OAM, CEO of Universal Business School Sydney. He reveals the six key steps to developing a strong entrepreneurial mindset that will see you reaching your goals.

With the world having changed dramatically in the space of two years thanks to the pandemic, the opportunity for new ideas and businesses has never been greater.

The way people work, the technology they use and problems that need solving are already evolving at an ever-increasing pace, and it’s going to take clever people to find new solutions.

For those individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset, now is the perfect time to embrace this changing world and capitalise on your own cleverness.

6 key steps to develop an entrepreneurial mindset

An entrepreneurial mindset is not just an asset in this new world, but a skill. The good thing about skills is that they can be developed. So, how do you further develop that skill?

Post-it notes with the words 'new mindset, new results'

Step 1: Drawn to opportunities

Opportunism can be described as the practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances.

Opportunism is a latent skill within every entrepreneur that is worth developing. To advance your skill, convert that chatter into meaningful thought by drafting a one page product/service description. The one page will continue to grow as more of your thoughts flow.

It can be off-putting for others when you are quicker than them to grasp a business opportunity. And beware – it can also be very annoying for others if you are always talking about your ideas and not following through.

Step 2: Innovation

Improving old processes is innovative. Often small improvements on a large, well-established customer base can be worthwhile and profitable.

The big and often daring opportunities are found when some bold new ‘out of the box’ thinking is let loose.

Crazy ideas may seem childish, but being brave enough to let that inner child test new ideas demonstrates another entrepreneurial instinct. You have to be confident enough to be seen as ‘crazy’ to develop that entrepreneurial mindset.

Step 3: Create new value

This is the driver that converts ideas into money. Smart implementation of new ideas creates value. The real test, of course, is if anyone would really pay for your new idea?

Here is where an entrepreneurial mindset skill needs to be applied. Your great idea is just that, until it is commercialised. Compare the market for similar services. Would your idea improve that service for others or just better suit your personal style?

The real commercial test is: would anyone (other than you) pay more for an improved service that uses your innovation?

It could be that the service provider may be able to offer a better service, but that doesn’t make it commercially viable. A great idea is not only a new way of doing things but has to deliver something better, that others are prepared to pay for. Your idea must improve service, potentially creating value, and either increase sales and/or reduce the service cost.

Write up the full story of how your idea would achieve commercial advantage. This is not only a product description in the making, but an assessment of how your product improves service and saves money. This will also need to be formalised in a spreadsheet. Step by step, you will have started assembling the components of a business plan.

Group of entrepreneurs and business people at networking event

Step 4: Learn about entrepreneurs

The more you read about entrepreneurs, the more you will realise that they come in all shapes, sizes and ages. This fact is perhaps one of the most inspiring for those wishing to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

If reading is not your preference, simply look on Youtube and search for ‘entrepreneurs’. If ever you thought you were alone with your wacky ideas, not anymore!

Step 5: Network with entrepreneurs

Having studied from afar and concluded that you have a basic entrepreneur’s mindset, it is now time to get your development into top gear.

Join groups and events that sound likely to be entrepreneurial. Ask for advice. There is always someone at these gatherings that not only knows more than you, but are often delighted to share some valuable experiences.

When told as humorous stories, the wisdom is often just below the surface – these tales may save you learning a few hard lessons firsthand. You will also have learned to talk the talk.

Step 6: Plan to survive

The entrepreneurial journey is a marathon, not a sprint. You will meet both friends and enemies along the way. External enemies are called competitors; enemies from within are a far more powerful variety, often former friends and associates.

An early lesson for entrepreneurs is that you need to look after number one to be number one. Whatever it takes, be flexible. Persistence is not just maintaining the good fight, it is the art of staying in the game.

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