Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires more than LLC paperwork and an ergonomic chair for the home office; it requires dedication to learning how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and shifting your outlook from one of scarcity to abundance.
But how do you get started cultivating the mindset of a business owner? What does an entrepreneur mindset look like? And what’s the best (and quickest) way to a real estate business mindset?
Here’s a quick primer on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in seven days or less that will have you prepped and ready for taking your business to the next level.
A Quick Primer on How to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Monday: Break the “Hourly” Mindset
One of the biggest conundrums would-be entrepreneurs face is how to master the employee vs entrepreneur mindset. This is understandable; if you’ve worked as an employee for quite awhile you’re generally used to three consistent themes:
- A stable paycheck
- Being told what to do
- Being paid for your time
Unfortunately, while these three items can make one comfortable — at least temporarily — it’s no way to build wealth. And your first lesson in business mindset 101 is to realize you can only build wealth from activities in which you’re paid for products and services you create, not for the time you spent working.
This can come as a shock to many newbie entrepreneurs, especially when that marketing campaign or deal they spent hours on doesn’t come to fruition. But realize as long as you have a “time card” mentality, you’ll likely end up with a “time card” paycheck.
Tuesday: Commit to Continuing Education
Being successful in any endeavor, particularly in business, requires continuous, meaningful education. And if your aim is to develop a real estate business mindset it’s important you commit to, and cultivate a love for, learning.
Of course, this includes classes, webinars, and articles that can help you stay on top of best practices and market trends that affect the real estate investing business. You could also take a few community college business classes, or subscribe to periodicals such as The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and Forbes Magazine, to boost your business savvy.
But this also means becoming a voracious reader of books on a variety of topics, not just real estate investing. From Steve Jobs biographies to an in-depth look at the Disney marketing empire, cultivating the habit of continuous education will not only make you a more well-rounded person, but also give you ideas for how to optimize your entrepreneurial venture.
Wednesday: Take Responsibility for Everything in Your Business
One of the most important steps to developing an entrepreneurial mindset is learning to take responsibility. When people function as employees, they have a responsibility to do their jobs well and to take the blame when something goes wrong with their particular efforts.
However, an entrepreneur has to take responsibility for everything that goes wrong throughout the entire company. They do the hiring, put systems in place, and must ensure every dollar spent has a positive ROI (or else the “business” is little more than a hobby).
This may sound obvious, but many would-be entrepreneurs get tripped up “waiting” for something to magically happen to save their floundering business. If something goes awry in your business, you must take responsibility for it and take necessary steps to correct the problem.
Thursday: Learn to “Fix It In Post”
In the film business, a director will often shoot hundreds of feet of film — whether physical or digital — in the hopes of capturing memorable performances that bear some semblance to the original screenplay that served as a blueprint.
But no one is under any apprehension that everything is perfect when principal photograpahy concludes or even what order the scenes are in yet. The assumption is they’ll “fix it in post” and the movie will be put together in post-production.
The same holds true for your business. Don’t wait until you have the most organized business plan or detailed marketing blueprint to get started. Have just enough of a plan to give you the confidence to get started. You’ll learn far more by doing than by studying, and you’ll be able to “fix it in post” much quicker than you thought possible.
Friday: Invest in Your Network
The term “networking” has been so overused it can make you groan when you hear it. However, proper networking is key to any business success, and continually developing relationships is not only good for your bottom line — and vital as a real estate investor — but can also keep you sane during those up-and-down entrepreneurial times.
There are many different ways to cultivate your network. Social networking is a great way, especially through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Maintaining contacts with your college graduating class — or fellow students through an online learning community— can provide a pool of investment partners. You could even keep in contact with would-be sellers and buyers. They like to be social too!
Just know no matter how cliché “networking” sounds, the aspiring entrepreneur must devote time to this powerful and effective strategy to see their venture get off the ground.
Saturday: Plan for Failure
Every business will have at least a few failures, especially as you get your entrepreneurial feet wet. A marketing idea that seemed foolproof may not be as sound as initially thought. Supplies will cost more than you anticipate and that deal that was “guaranteed” to come through, might not.
The key is to “reframe” your failure as a learning experience; something most successful entrepreneurs learned to do. Henry Ford failed spectacularly a number of times before he found success. Mark Cuban failed at a number of jobs — including being fired from his waiter job — before he struck it rich and sold his company to Yahoo.
Instead of being embarrassed by your difficulties, embrace them. As Cuban said himself: “I learned it doesn’t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once.”
Sunday: Don’t Stop Three Feet From Gold
It can be difficult to stay positive when things go wrong, and all the evidence points to your failure as a real estate entrepreneur. But as Napoleon Hill recounted in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, often success is just around the corner, if you keep looking for it.
Hill tells the story of R.U. Harby who, with his uncle, were digging for gold in Colorado. When all the drills dried up, and there was no gold to be found, they sold their drilling machinery to a “junk man.” This “junk man,” in turn, brought in an engineer and found huge gold reserves just three feet from the original drilling spot!
Harby later became a millionaire salesman, and believed he owed his eventual success to never stopping “three feet from gold again.” So, even as things look bleak in your business, keep digging for entrepreneurial gold; it might be closer than you think.
Next Stop, Your Entrepreneur Mindset
Learning how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset doesn’t have to require an MBA or millions of dollars in venture capital. In fact, as the somewhat tongue-in-cheek theme of this column suggests, you can do it less than a week (take as many as ten days, if you need).
All it requires is for you to be willing to embrace failure, learn as you go, and step far outside your comfort zone. Because it’s only outside your comfort zone where real wealth, and entrepreneurial success, lie.