A 21st Century Skill You Will Need……
Why should we think and act like entrepreneurs? It’s a message that we at Entrepreneurial Spark put out on a regular basis. Why on earth would anyone need or want to act like an entrepreneur and what could we learn from them to take back in to the workplace. More to the point, what has it got to do with staying relevant and innovating in the future? In this article we explore the answers to these questions and try to help you understand that having an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial for the future of work.
We learn many skills as we go through the education system and interact with the world around us. We practice new things in the world of work and react and adjust accordingly to make sure we are getting the next promotion or achieving the next pay grade. Companies train on the harder skills, but if the right mindset isn’t there, the training wont be successful. One skill that we seldom see developed is how to think and act like an entrepreneur. Let’s wind back and look at why we would want to think like an entrepreneur by looking at their traits.
- Removal of risk – Entrepreneurs do their research. They speak to their customer daily, they react and tweak in the face of feedback and constantly challenge their own status quo. What this does is mitigate risk. Their next step is no longer a risk, but a calculated risk, safe in the knowledge that their next step is the right step because they have done the work already and know how it will land.
- Challenge – Entrepreneurs accept a challenge. The growth mindset that they exhibit allows them to take criticism and learn from it. Successful entrepreneurs constantly ask for feedback, they ask “what could I have done better?” or “why did I land that contract and not the other one?”. They use the feedback in a positive way and iterate on what has gone before to make sure they nail their next pitch, they get that next customer and keep moving forward.
- Responsibility – Entrepreneurs know that the buck stops with them. They are the ones accountable for every action taken in the business. The entrepreneur is accountable for a slight drop in sales or a lost lead and they take ownership. Entrepreneurs make sure if they are going to fail, they fail cheap, fail safe and they fail fast. They embrace failure and make sure that failure is just another step in the right direction. Failure just means that they have discounted one more option. They therefore become more focussed on their end goal
- Laser Focus – Entrepreneurs break down a task into smaller chunks, they look at the end goal and work back. They ask themselves, what is the small thing today which I can achieve which will move me towards the bigger goal. This laser focus on the task at hand, means that they are building the right foundations for success and iterating daily towards their vision.
- Resilience – Its not easy at all being an entrepreneur, especially a solo entrepreneur starting out. The ability to brush off set backs and come again with tenacity, is key to the success of any entrepreneur. They grow a thick skin in their persuit of a bigger cause. They set a vision and see challenges and set backs as mere obstacles in the way of achieving that vision.
So what can we learn from this and take back in to the workplace? If we asked leaders if they would want to have a more resilient and focussed team who takes responsibility when challenged and removes risk, then we think they would say yes every time! It is crucial to get your team heading towards exhibiting these entrepreneurial skills and therefore leading the way towards innovation and allowing your company to stay relevant in the future.
Growing these 21st century skills in your team and learning from entrepreneurs, will drive a change in mindset, which leads to a change in behaviour, which in turn drives more positive results.
So, I guess the questions that were asked at the top of this article can now be distilled in to one bigger question…… Why wouldn’t you want to think and act like an entrepreneur??
Check out the impact we had on entrepreneurs around the UK here —-> IMPACT