This post is for those who don’t understand how entrepreneurs are wired, or perhaps you are trying to understand more about yourself. Entrepreneurship and everything that it represents is exciting to me and gets me out of bed every morning with a smile. Having the opportunity to impact other people on your own terms is an amazing opportunity and it is an option for everyone.
People who have never run their own business struggle to understand what it’s like to run a successful business. The mind of a true entrepreneur rejects the mainstream ways of thinking. Most people seek security from an employer, while entrepreneurs set out to create their own security. The majority of people swim downstream with the masses, while entrepreneurs go against the current. Society expects us all to conform to what’s popular and common, but the great entrepreneurial innovators are disruptors. Not in a bad or harmful way, but rather they choose to do something different.
It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
Think for a moment how different our world would be without people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and countless others. It’s insane to even try to imagine. Everyone enjoys the products and technology that they have brought us all, yet people still suggest that we should all do things a certain way. Now let’s discuss a few examples of how the mind of an entrepreneur works.
Opportunities versus Obstacles
Career focused professionals focus on the obstacles in their career path that lie between where they are and where they want to go. There is a process and time involved in climbing the corporate ladder and a career track to follow, in most cases. There are limitations to a person’s income based on the position that they are in and set hours that must be committed to as well. These people often times have to work on teams, attend regular meetings and conference calls, and go to company functions too. All of these commitments are part of the territory and require a significant time commitment that comes out of the available 168 hours that we all have in a week. Career professionals often get overwhelmed by all of these obstacles in their busy weeks and their lack of control over it all doesn’t help matters either. I can relate because I have been there, more than once, myself.
Entrepreneurs think about creating the circumstances that they cannot find, instead of hoping that someone else gives them exactly what they want. Entrepreneurs don’t waste time hoping that their big break just shows up. They are innovative and work in creative ways to make things happen. The mindset is very different, with the focus on solutions rather than obstacles. Viewing the world through different lenses can offer a completely different experience in the daily journey, known as ‘life.’ I have no issues at all with my career-minded friends, but rather I want to examine some of the differences in the mindset between them and the slightly nutty entrepreneurs. It takes both types to make this world go round, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to make someone else or yourself rich. Those are the only two options that all of us are working towards.
Fear of Being Idle versus Fear of Moving
For a majority of people, fear is the reason that they do not take risks. The fear of losing money. The fear of embarrassment. The fear of what other people will think. The list goes on forever, but the fact remains that it prevents most people from doing the things that they want to do. I talk to people all of the time that work at ‘regular’ jobs and have great ideas, but they are too scared to try something new “in case it doesn’t work out.” They view their current situation as ‘safe,’ even though they could literally be fired at any moment. Another line that I hear is about the “need for benefits.” Yes, most companies pay a portion of this cost, but I hope people realize that they can just buy their own at any time.
For entrepreneurs, the fear of not chasing their dreams or reaching their potential is greater than the fears listed in the previous paragraph. It is also a fear encompassed mindset, but the view of the employee based situation is very different. One views it as ‘safe’ and the other as ‘too safe.’ The fear of staying where they are in life and a missed opportunity is the greatest fear of all.
Does that make sense?
This is a really interesting area for me because I find the mindset of others fascinating. What makes most people stay, makes others flee.
Retirement versus Vision
I grew up in a world, where everyone around me wanted to work for a good company so that they would have a good retirement. Today you see it with the obsession about maximizing the investments into 401k, etc. for the future. I think that this is all good practice, but entrepreneurs are driven by the vision of what they want life to be, instead of how their life will end. Career focused people retire in their golden years often with their best physical and mental health already behind them. Entrepreneurs are driven by the idea of having no caps on their income and by having control over their time, sooner than later. Both sides value hard work, but the timeline for the big rewards are different.
I know that I have made some generalizations about career minded people and entrepreneurs that aren’t going to capture all people, in all situations. My intention was to bring some differences to light in a few key areas where someone can easily see the differences in the thinking. Do you have any additional ideas on someone can decipher the mind of an entrepreneur?
Let’s hear them in the comments!