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Build your Entrepreneurial mind-set

Build your Entrepreneurial mind-set

By Martins Itua  

Deliberately train and retrain your mind to think in a certain way. Develop the right attitudes for business

Developing the right mind-set is crucial to succeed in running your business. Succeeding in business is often a result of different actions and habits that an entrepreneur develops over time and in the course of running his/her business. Never assume that business success is a product of luck or happenstance because there is no such thing as accidental success. While working for someone else or another organisation, you are often not aware of the hard decisions that your employer always needed to make in order to make his business continuously viable and profitable. In most cases, successful entrepreneurs will need to keep looking for ways and means to validate their value propositions and product offerings in order to stay ahead of competition.

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need to deliberately cultivate and retrain your mind to think in a certain way. In reality, employees and employers think differently. While an employee’s primary concern is earning his pay-check, an employer is often more concerned with the profitability of his business. When an employee goes on holiday, he/she is often not worried about the business because they are concerned with having a great time. Employers and entrepreneurs often have to carry their work with them wherever they go and most times, are unable to take time off for holiday, especially when the business is in the early stages. Employees will give the slightest reason to not show up at work and are happy when there are public holidays. An entrepreneur, who wants to succeed in his business will be at work even when unwell, unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Ultimately, it is you, the entrepreneur who has taken the risk and invested your money in your business and you must always bear that in mind.


Quick Look

  • Cultivate and develop inner resilience. The road of the entrepreneur is filled with hurdles, disappointments, failed promises and broken Winners are not quitters.
  • Find a way to differentiate from competition. Be unique. Customer service should be on
  • Your business will not go far if you do not adhere to strict quality standards. Infuse quality controls into your
  • If you want your business to thrive, you must treat your employees well – same way you ensure your customers are happy.
  • Continuous innovation is the soul of every business because businesses that are unable to innovate, die quickly.
  • Learn early in the course of the business life, not to be too trusting of what people say. Ensure that you sign MOUs.
  • Take responsibility and tackle problems as they come before they escalate. Apply your mind and solve problems as they

It is absolutely vital that you develop the right mind-set and attitudes if you must build a viable and successful business. Nobody is born an entrepreneur, hence we all must take the time to learn and internalise the 7 attributes explained below.

  1. Develop an unquenchable spirit. For any entrepreneur to succeed, he/she must be able to cultivate and develop inner resilience. Starting or running a business successfully is not expected to be easy. If the reason for starting your business is because you want something easier, then you must have a rethink. The road of the entrepreneur is filled with huddles, disappointments, failed promises and broken contracts. But in all, you must develop a spirit that cannot be defeated. You must be resolutely determined to be invincible, no matter what. In your quest for success, it must be clear from the start and you must continually remind yourself that winners are not quitters and quitters are not winners. So when you are faced with adverse situations or disappointments, that resolve will keep you from falling on the way side. People who quit easily when faced with a difficult challenge never succeed in business. Your DNA must be reprogrammed and quitting must be deleted. In dealing with difficulty while running your business, you must be constantly thinking of how to deal with it. You can study and find out how other people have handled similar situations. You can also seek professional advice from someone who has better experience than you in that area. If it is not your area of expertise, then it is better to get professional help for a fee instead of making the wrong decision that might worsen your situation. Asking for help from the right people may be all you need to deal with the situation and move your business forward.
  1. Differentiate your product or service. In bringing out a product or a service, an entrepreneur must find a way to differentiate from competition. Be unique. If you are entering a market that is already saturated with similar products, the only way you will be able to succeed is to differentiate what you are bringing. Differentiation can be as simple as ensuring your customer service is on point. There may be other people who are offering similar products but have unhappy customers who will be willing to come to you if you treat them better. The bad service offered by British Airways was what prompted Richard Branson to start Virgin Atlantic airways. Branson got stuck in Puerto Rico while trying to get to the British Virgin Islands. “They didn’t have enough passengers to warrant the flight, so they cancelled the flight” he explains. “I had a beautiful lady waiting for me in BVI and I hired a plane and borrowed a blackboard and as a joke I wrote Virgin Airlines on the top of the blackboard, $39 one way to BVI. I went out round all the passengers who had been bumped and I filled up my first plane.” Branson then decided that he was fed up with airlines that didn’t care about their passengers and he wanted to do something about it. A phone call to Boeing to find out if they had any 747s for sale and an airline was born.
  1. Focus on quality. The success of your business is in direct proportion to the quality of your product or service. Your business will not go far if you do not adhere to strict quality standards. Imagine starting a restaurant and customers have to use plates and cutleries that are not properly cleaned. Or if they have to fight with houseflies while trying to enjoy their meals. Customers may come for as long as there is no other restaurant in the area with better quality or ambience. From the first day that you start your business, you must infuse quality controls into your operations. In the end, it is you, the entrepreneur who will ensure that this is done by constantly setting an example.
  1. Focus on both internal and external customers. Great entrepreneurial success is often a bi-product of how you treat both internal and external customers. How your staff treat your external customers is often a direct consequence of how you treat them. If you are bullish and always shouting them down or pay them peanuts for their work, they will in turn treat your customers like crap. Some of them will deliberately undermine your business or drive your customers away. If you want your business to thrive, you must get this principle right. Treat your employees well. Remember their birthdays and celebrate them. Be kind to them and empathise with them when they deal with difficult situations at work and home. They will be willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your external customers are happy and will do everything to make your business succeed.
  1. Keep innovating. All successful businesses learn that they should never stop innovating and reinventing in response to changing operating environment and customers’ needs. A lot of businesses have suffered greatly in Nigeria arising from the foreign exchange problems, especially those who depend on imported raw materials or parts for their products. But while some have quickly adjusted and found local sources for their raw materials, others have shut down their businesses. Continuous innovation is the soul of every business because businesses that refuse or are unable to innovate quickly die. Southern Fried Chicken has responded well to the changing operating environment by introducing SF Chinese. This will definitely enable them to stay profitable.
  1. Don’t wait for people to do your work for you. To be successful as an entrepreneur, you must believe that results are determined by your own efforts and behaviour. Successful people know that they can determine their own future in the long term. They know that if they work hard and make good decisions they will succeed in the end. Sometimes, young entrepreneurs wrongly assign roles to people who hardly believe in their vision or understand what they are asked to do. Some of these people often sabotage their business for their personal gain at the expense of the business. In order to succeed, you have to learn early in your business life not to be trusting of what people say. If you are in doubt, ensure that you sign MOUs with them so that you both have an understanding.
  1. Develop your ability to take initiative. The ability to take initiative is vital for entrepreneurial success. As the owner of your business, your success is dependent on your ability to anticipate challenges and proactively solve them. Nobody will do your thinking for you or solve problems for your business. It is critical that you are able to take responsibility and tackle problems as they come before they escalate. Entrepreneurs who take initiatives have a higher chance of succeeding than the ones who do not. In fact, you will not survive long in business if you are unable to apply your mind and solve problems as they arise.


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