Entrepreneurial Habits of Mind

Wondering what an entrepreneurial mindset includes? Here’s one guide.

In our program we’ll be talking a LOT about many habits of mind around entrepreneurship. These habits, in general, have been heavily documented in the excellent text, “Students At The Center“, and in a separate post, Cameron Herold in a TED Talk also discusses his perspective on these habits as they apply to entrepreneurship. We’ve attempted to align them in the table below. We hope you find enlightenment in them.

Habits of MindEntrepreneurial Mindset
PersistingEntrepreneurs are nothing if not persistent. Often taking persistence past the point of rationality, but few successful entrepreneurs have reached success without persisting past significant negative reaction. Negative responses almost become a badge of honor like a rite of passage.
Thinking and communicating with clarity and precisionFor reasons of efficiency and risk management, entrepreneurs must make clear-headed plans that are communicated to others effectively, yet simply
Managing impulsivityThis goes with responsible risk-taking
Gathering data through all sensesYes, and through their network of communications
Listening with understanding and empathyYes, as part of getting to know their customers needs better than their customer does
Creating, imagining, innovatingYes, but not randomly
Thinking flexiblyYes, and looking for similarities and connections with other ideas
Responding with wonderment and aweEntrepreneurs go beyond awe and ask why and how to make something better
Thinking about thinking (metacognition)Entrepreneurs have to know their customers better than they know themselves.
Taking responsible risksNo good entrepreneur is reckless
Striving for accuracyYes, but not at the risk of missing an opportunity by demanding perfection at every step. Entrepreneurs understand the benefit of being a first-mover.
Finding humorRequired to persist past the negativity and challenges
Questioning and posing problemsYes, part of the systematic creativity process
Thinking interdependentlyYes, they don’t need to DO everything
Applying past knowledge to new situationsGoes with thinking flexibly
Remaining open to continuous learningMaking mistakes is the key to learning and a willingness to take responsible risks imposes a natural learning process.
And Entrepreneurs are much more
PlannersGood entrepreneurs understand sequences of effort and are able to communicate these plans
OrganizersEntrepreneurs know how to find and bring talent to them
StrategistsEntrepreneurs study their environments and make choices that take advantage of weaknesses while protecting their strengths
The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Author: Jim McLaughlin

Aerospace Engineer & Mathematician, Retired Senior Manager – Boeing, R&D Program Management, Innovation Process & Strategy, Prior (Failed) Candidate for State Representative, Consultant to Small Businesses, SBIR and Aerospace R&D opportunity pursuit, Program & proposal management, Business & product strategy, Researcher, Writer, Presenter, Creativity Techniques, Entrepreneurship Mentoring

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