Are you a current or aspiring entrepreneur?
Well, if so, you may just need to unlearn what they taught you in school, especially business school.
How ironic, yes I know.
In case you hadn’t noticed, most schools prepare their students to become employees, not entrepreneurs.
Yes, even the business schools with MBA programs.
Students are taught to follow the rules, not make mistakes, and that working is a necessity.
Simply. Not. True.
The Mind Subway Map is actually a great illustration of what it mentally takes to succeed as an entrepreneur and how they think differently than the rest.
Below, I highlight a few examples from each of the four different “mentality routes.”
What to Unlearn From School.
Follow the rules.
If we all followed the rules we would cease creating anything new.
Money is Evil.
No. The lack of money is evil.
Entrepreneurs challenge the status quo and aren’t afraid to make mistakes. This doesn’t align with the discipline they enforce in school.
What to Never Think.
I don’t know enough.
The trick is surrounding yourself with people who know what you don’t. Build a team of various experts. You will never know it all, and if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in trouble.
What if I fail?
This one really irks me. Too many people are scared of failing. Myself and other entrepreneurs are terrified of not trying. You will never experience a time where you are free from making mistakes. Get over it.
Am I doing as well as Bob?
Never dwell on how you measure up to others. I will admit, I am guilty of this, but have learned to recognize the times I waste thinking this way and quickly shift into more positive thought. Worry about you and your situation. It’s like comparing yourself to billionaire entrepreneurs instead of who they were when they were first starting and had nothing. You will always come up short.
What to Always Remember.
Quit thinking like an employee. Many entrepreneurs learn to love the struggle and experience. Employees are too concerned with comfort and security.
Don’t follow the rules.
Many entrepreneurs can’t stand authority. I can certainly relate to that. I’m definitely not suggesting to break any laws, but some rules are meant to be broken. For example, do you think I care about writing “properly?” Or imagine if Pollock, Picasso, and Dali decided to “follow the rules…” Same for Jobs, Zuckerberg, and Branson.
Work is an opportunity.
Entrepreneurs don’t just work to earn, they work to create and benefit others. They love what they do so that working feels more like opportunity than necessity. It’s important to love what you do. Don’t waste another minute doing something you hate.
What to Learn to Think.
Where can I add value?
This is the key right here. Entrepreneurs create new products or services by always asking themselves where they can add value. Richard Branson recommends entrepreneurs constantly be asking themselves, “what is wrong in my life and how can I make it better?” The more value you add, and the more people you add value to, the more successful you will be.
Customers can smell a fake a mile away. Be authentic in what you do, and don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
My gut is usually right.
I can’t just tell you to follow your gut. First, you need to start keeping tabs on your gut instincts. How good is your track record? If it’s really good then learn to follow it. If not, then understand why it’s not and improve upon it. This gets complicated, but it’s essentially known as intrapersonal intelligence. You’ll find that most entrepreneurs are strong at this ability. The good news is that it’s not just something you’re born with. It is learn-able.
Remember, people don’t need to be educated as much as they need be reminded. Print out this map and stick it in a common place. Use it to occasionally calibrate your cognitive alignment. But, I’m curious. Why even aspire to be an entrepreneur?
I cannot speak for us all, but here are three of my reasons:
1. Live life on my terms, not my employers.
2. Control my time.
3. Control my income.
Obviously, I’m all about control and freedom, but I am confident in suggesting many entrepreneurs feel the same way. Because you’re reading this I assume you are a current or aspiring entrepreneur.
So what are your reasons? Please share with us below.
Featured photo credit: Charles Forerunner via ununsplash.imgix.net
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