The Entrepreneur Mindset
The entrepreneur mindset is a powerful way of thinking: It’s a mindset that allows us to overcome obstacles, learn from our mistakes, make tough decisions, and ultimately celebrate our wins.
Here’s my ultimate guide to tackling mindset as an entrepreneur — including powerful strategies to get you thinking like an entrepreneur.
How Self Care Contributes To The Entrepreneur Mindset
Early in 2015, my life took an unexpected turn. What followed was a struggle with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks until I began focusing on self-care.
I learned about mindfulness, mediation, and positive neuroplasticity, which helped me make several positive changes in my life and my entrepreneur mindset.
Today I feel very happy and fulfilled, especially when I share what I have learned with others.
One of the major steps I took in overcoming my depression was taking a personal growth course called Foundations of Well-Being. The online course by Rick Hanson, PhD., showed me how to experience more joy in daily life, free myself from painful experiences, and be more mindful.
It’s a wonderful course for anyone looking to learn more about self-care and mindfulness.
Meditation Can Help You Reach Your Peak Performance
The course helped me develop positive self habits like meditation and yoga, which, in turn, helped me shape a healthy entrepreneur mindset.
Did you know that meditation can be just as beneficial for an athlete as for an entrepreneur? Meditation can decrease anxiety, give you greater emotional regulation, and nurture gratitude.
It can help entrepreneurs work through the stress of owning a business and help them reach peak performance.
For myself, in particular, meditation helped me transform a painful void in my life into a place of healing. The walk-in closet once occupied by my husband became my yoga closet, a space to reconnect with myself and let my breath take over my feelings of fear and anxiety.
You can start your meditation practice slowly. Simply find a comfortable spot to sit or lay in, and set a timer for 1 minute. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. When a thought or physical sensation disrupts your focus, try to return to it. As easy as it sounds, I understand it can be difficult to start your practice. Here are my favorite meditation resources to help get you started.
Reaching Self-Awareness Through DISC
Have you ever heard of DISC? It’s the most widely used behavioral assessment tool, measuring four behavioral styles: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance.
It’s a way for you to become more self-aware of your behaviors so that you can better adapt them to your environment. Your DISC report can help you improve your communication and influence in the world around you — while working on the entrepreneur mindset.
When you better understand yourself, you can appropriately respond to challenges, influence others to your point of view, and choose how to respond to rules set by others. I worked with a DISC coach for 10 years to continually develop and grow my professional career. Now, I am a certified DISC-certified coach myself and I bring this helpful service to others.
Keeping Balance, Control & Organization As An Entrepreneur
I’m going to be honest with you: I burned out in 2018. I was working 60 hours a week so that I could avoid going back to the 9-to-5, 40-hour week — telling myself that at least I could decide when and where I worked.
I picked up every project that came my way, which left me spreading myself thin across different markets and industries. Until finally, I hit my breaking point.
My entrepreneur mindset was completely off-balance, so I took a step back and reevaluated the business I was creating. I identified the projects I was truly passionate about and challenged myself to give them my full attention, even when the income I received from them wasn’t enough to live off of.
Then, the most exciting thing happened. The more I focused on the things I was passionate about, the more client work came my way. And that’s on thinking like an entrepreneur.
How Do I Work Toward My Vision?
Entrepreneurs often tend to look at the bigger picture of what they want to achieve, yet this big picture is often out of their control.
Instead, the entrepreneur mindset should focus on the small day-to-day actions that will build upon each other to bring that vision to life. Here are a few tasks that will help you stay on track:
- Create a vision statement: Paint a clear picture of your goals and objectives.
- Develop an action plan: Create a list of projects, tasks, and subtasks to achieve them. Then schedule them on your calendar.
- Execute every day: Tackle one task a day and make sure to get it done.
- Celebrate your success: Write down your daily accomplishments.
Routines, workflows, and checklists are key to reaching your vision.
Creating a routine can benefit you by providing you with regular focus. This can look like a morning routine, weekly routine, or even routines for creativity or blogging.
Whatever the routine is, make sure it is regularly scheduled and you keep it consistent. This way you can slowly condition your mind and body to complete that routine, and the easier it becomes.
Workflows give you a clear process to follow for completing certain tasks, in a specific order. You’ll no longer have to guess about what to do and when. A workflow is designed to streamline your to-do tasks.
You can use checklists to stay on top of your routines and workflows.
How to Conquer Working from Home with Kids
In our new reality, getting work done is more challenging than ever. Not only do we have to get our work done, but we also have to help our kids get their work done.
Here are three strategies to better work from home with your kids:
- Set a schedule
Even after school ends, I am still adhering to a daily routine with my kids. This means we are sticking to our daily morning walk, completing learning activities, doing household chores, and going to bed at a consistent time.
Retaining a sense of structure can help both you and your kids enjoy the time you have together, without the stress of not getting your work done.
2. Keep busy
To minimize the time my kids spend on their phones or tablets, I am giving my kids learning activities even though they’re on summer vacation. I am testing out a few homeschool programs and making sure they complete their household chores every day.
3. Keep moving
Make movement a priority. This is why we start our days with a morning walk. At lunch, we play outside. It’s important to get outside and move when you’re spending so much time in front of a computer. These breaks give you and your family time to bond while getting some exercise in.
Why You Need To Write Down Your Ideas
Have you ever been lying in bed when an amazing idea pops into your head? But then you carry on with what you were doing only to forget about your idea? Then later you find someone else executing the same idea you had a few weeks later?
This is why you need to grab your ideas and jot them down as soon as they come to you. Write it on a scrap of paper, text it to a friend, or tell whoever you are with.
Then transfer these ideas to your idea repository. This can be a single notebook, a spreadsheet, or even a digital tool like Asana where you’ll keep all of your ideas in a single place.
When all your ideas are in the same place, you’re able to see the big picture. You can find out what ideas can be consolidated, strung together, or created into projects. As Steve Jobs once said, “creativity is just connecting things.”
Setting Necessary Boundaries
Quitting your job and starting your own business is scary. You might be pouring 200% of yourself into your business at first, just hoping that it’ll pan out.
The problem with this is that you can quickly fall victim to burnout. This can be devastating for the entrepreneur mindset.
The Pareto Principle states that 20% of an activity will produce 80% of the results — which means as entrepreneurs, we need to work smarter, not harder.
Something that’s helped me in the past was to create new boundaries for myself and my business.
This includes working hours because when you work for yourself, it’s really easy to take client calls or answer emails at all hours of the day. It also includes determining new minimums for projects and moving away from the “desperate for work, I’ll take anything” mode.
You also want to make sure to avoid black hole clients: These are clients that suck the life out of you because they think you are going to do everything for them. They need extra help that you aren’t being paid for, and they hold you responsible for their failures without doing their part.
With the proper boundaries, you can avoid this trap of over-delivering and being taken advantage of by black hole clients.
Is it a Good Time to Start a Business?
In light of the recent workplace changes, the ability to work from home and spend time with your family may have sparked some mindset shifts.
Perhaps you’re considering shifting to self-employment, and I want you to know that it’s totally possible. However, like anything else in life, starting a business comes with a lot of trial and error.
You’re guaranteed to learn more about yourself, your perseverance, and your capabilities in the process — and that in my opinion is a win-win.That being said, I believe it’s a great time to start a business! Check out my top resources for starting your business here.
Staying the Course
Running a business requires a whole lot of work. On one hand, we get to do the things that we’re good at and I love, mostly on our own terms. On the other hand, we have to do the things that maybe we’re not so good at to make a living.
Sometimes we fall into a slump, and that can really impact our entrepreneur mindset. For me, I’m struggling with creating content.
I want to show you how I’m tackling this. I’m focusing on specific tasks for a specific, unbreakable time slot. For example, I’ll only work in 25-minute intervals with a specific task and only that task. Then I’ll take a 5–15 minute break in between each interval.
That being said, here are six tips to get you of a slump and help your business to thrive in uncertain times:
- Set up space: Give yourself a dedicated workspace in your home.
- Create a new routine: Aligning your schedule with your kids can help you establish positive, productive work habits.
- Identity “next step” actions: When you know exactly what you have to do and when you have time to do it, there is significantly less procrastination.
- Get support: Invest in a virtual assistant or hire your kids a tutor, whatever is going to help you thrive.
- Practice self-care: Sleep, exercise, and eating healthy is more important than ever during times of heightened anxiety.
Try something new: Think about everything you have been doing, then do a total 180. Trying something new is sometimes the only way to get unstuck.
Celebrating the Wins
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is how beneficial it is to “build my tribe.” Surrounding myself with the kind of people who can support me and my business through all of the inevitable ups and downs has helped me keep up with my entrepreneur mindset.
It’s as easy as surrounding yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself and your business. This can include fellow entrepreneurs, personal coaches, and mentors. You might also consider joining a mastermind group.
This way, you always have someone to lead on when you need, as well as to celebrate your wins with.
I also use a “Jar of Awesome” to keep all my wins in a single place: It’s where I recognize all the wins in my business and personal life. I review it periodically throughout the year to remind myself of all the small accomplishments I’ve made along the way.
Achieving the entrepreneur mindset is about not only celebrating your wins but also overcoming failure — which relies heavily on changing your mindset about “failing.”
A key lesson in overcoming failure is to ignore how others perceive your experience. Instead, you should reflect on how that experience may have personally impacted you, both negatively and positively.
Entrepreneurs should count the small wins that took them in the right direction, rather than count their failures.
Then take those wins, learn from them, and get right back up again. That’s the entrepreneur mindset.