It was Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, Inc., who suggested “A true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” When attempting to carve out your own slice of the entrepreneur pie, having the entrepreneur mindset stamped in every fiber of your being can go a long way toward turning those dreams into reality.
The trouble is, few of us come out of the womb with a fully-formed entrepreneur mindset in our DNA. We may have been an employee so long we don’t even know what the mindset of an entrepreneur actually looks like. Worse yet, we may be so psychically drained from our nine-to-five (more like 9-7, these days) vocation, that we have little time, energy and motivation to cultivate the business owner mindset we so desperately crave.
For those of you who have the courage of a Richard Branson or ingenuity of Steve Jobs coursing through their veins, you may already have the business mindset you need for your real estate investing career. But for those trying to cultivate the entrepreneur mindset, all while still receiving a W-2 from your full-time gig, here are four secrets to building an important entrepreneurial foundation, even while you’re still working for someone else.
Creating The Entrepreneur Mindset (While Still Working For Someone Else)
1. Focus on Value, Not Time Spent
This can be a challenge, when you’re still pulling a paycheck for your 40 hours a week. But to cultivate a business development mindset that sets you up for success, it’s vital that you start to focus a majority of your energies on the value delivered by your efforts, not how long you spent delivering those results.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re creating a pitch to a private money lender or writing a vampire novel, the consumer does not care (nor should they) how long it took you to create something; they only care how that “product” benefits them.
While you’re spending your time at your day job, ask yourself two questions: What’s the value I’m trying to deliver here? How could I get this done quicker and more efficiently? (Worst case, you become a more productive employee!)
2. Face Your Fears
Want to know the best way to conquer your fears? Well, it sure isn’t wishing there was no such thing as fear itself.
The best way to face your fears, especially those related to making the big leap from employee to entrepreneur, is to cultivate the ability to face your fears — to act even while you’re terrified of making mistakes.
Perhaps you could simply address your fear: “Hey fear, what the heck is going on? Why are you trying to sabotage me?” Or, perhaps you could reinterpret those butterflies in your stomach as a more positive emotion. Studies have shown that people who say “I’m excited” when fearful are much less-likely to feel immobilized by their fears.
Whatever tactic you use, learn to “eat fear for breakfast” and keep moving forward on your entrepreneurial progress, even while you’re shaking in your boots with anxiety.
3. Create an Entrepreneurial Tribe
We’ve all heard the notion first presented by personal development author Jim Rohn: we are the “average of the five people we most spend time with.” In a business mindset context, this means spending time, whenever you can, with other entrepreneur-minded folks.
Unfortunately, many of your friends and family will see you attempting to answer that age-old question: “what is an entrepreneur mindset?” Imploring you, instead, to focus on the safety and security of a job in which you work for someone else.
What you may not realize, however, is that this can slowly, over time, sap your motivation and desire to become an entrepreneur. Conversely, if you spend more time with people who value the entrepreneur mindset, not only will you have a support group with which to bounce ideas off, but, in many cases, you’ll also have a mentor who can help you guide you in your business quest.
And who knows, you might just develop the business mindset and leadership skills you need to lead a team and inspire others to help you reach exponential company growth.
4. Make Decisions Quickly
If there’s one secret to developing a business owner mindset, it might be something we already know: learning how to gather as much information as you can, and making decisions quickly.
This will not be easy, at first, especially if you’ve been an employee most of your life. But building up your decision-making muscle, and favoring speed over perfection, is vital if you’re going to fulfill your potential as an entrepreneur.
You can start small, if you like, by learning how to make quick decisions about things such as what to have for dinner or which movie to watch. Before you know it, you’ll come to realize that making any decision, even if it’s not the right one, is always preferable to making no decision at all.
Even with a bad decision, you’ll get feedback. When you get feedback, you can quickly change course until you find a strategy that works. Deploy a similar approach to your entrepreneurship journey, and there’s very little that can stand in your way.
“The Best-Laid Plans”
No matter how carefully you strategize, and how much preparation you do, the key is to realize that things won’t always go according to plan.
Marketing campaigns you run won’t work. Private lenders won’t take your call. Home sellers won’t negotiate. But the more able you are to develop the entrepreneur mindset, especially if you’re still in the grind of the nine-to-five, you’ll start understand that “fortune favors the bold.”
By taking consistent action, and learning from each mistake you make, you’ll always be making progress (that might be the only “secret” you have ever needed).