“Ugly” Attributes To Take Away From The Entrepreneurial Mindset
Leadership Lessons: There is so much we can learn from entrepreneurs and their perception of the world around them, the dreams they hold and share, and the attributes they use to carve out a path for themselves and others, from today into tomorrow.
Entrepreneurs are the proudest and most insatiable, stubborn, impatient, and delusional people, who view life and work through their own form of tunnel vision.
And I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.
That assessment is based on what I’ve seen and experienced personally with the entrepreneurs I’ve met and worked with. Mind you, I didn’t hold a traditional relationship with the entrepreneurs – buying their product or service. In most cases, I networked with them or interviewed them but wasn’t a customer of theirs.
But from my non-customer and curiosity-driven vantage point, I was privy to the mindset they utilized to attack what they wanted. (Yes, “attack” is the right word. Ok, maybe “pounce” is the right word?) They see something they want and pounce.
In any case, it’s amazing to see the look in their eyes when they talk about what they want for themselves, their families, and their communities.
And there’s a growing awareness on their part of social responsibility — an understanding that their work will impact their immediate communities in a positive way. Yes, within a specific industry there may be a feeling that the business segment in question is a zero-sum game between competitors, but even in those situations, after all is said and done, everyone benefits from greater commerce, connections, development, and growth in the local economy. Building something to provide for others is providing for the overall environment.
In some way, shape, or form, the ripple effect of something built comes back to benefit she, he, or they who created it – and more than just in the monetary sense.
With the entrepreneurs I’ve met, there’s just something different about the way they look at the world, its possibilities and their own destiny in it. Where others may see the freedom in life as permission to just be and exist, they see everyday freedom as a green light to build and create.
They’re always seeking out new ways to make things better. And they can get a bit intense about that need. In fact, there are some pretty ugly attributes they harness to suit their drive and achieve their results.
Here are some of the traditionally ugly attributes translated to explain the way of the entrepreneur.
They know what they want, and it fuels them. They have a goal they’ve developed, either over the course of their life or since deciding to take on entrepreneurship, crafting their visions into reality, and they just don’t see a reason to stop. Even where some of them may not find success in one area, they continue on to the next thing. It’s something that builds inside them. It is a hunger. And they just can’t stop moving in that direction to satisfy it.
There’s a disconnect of sorts with entrepreneurs. It’s like they’ve seen the world as it is yet more importantly see its possibilities. Not everyone might have that vision, that spirit of innovation, and that nagging sense of curiosity. But the entrepreneurs don’t want to live in anyone else’s world. They see the world that can be, so why not try to achieve it, to shape it and design it? You can’t really dissuade them from what they see, unless you can provide a better alternative to satisfy their intrinsic needs and desires for betterment. And, based on first attribute above, we all know how hard that would be.
Time is money. Some may say that’s cliché and bullshit; an entrepreneur will tell you, “ok, you go ahead and think it’s cliché, and I’ll be right back.” And they don’t come back. They’re off to work. They don’t take time for granted. Every minute is one in which they can impact people, build up their product, refine their approach, and get better. This is where that work-life balance debate comes in. Most times, their work is an extension of who they are. Would you want to stop being who you are and allow the opportunity to get better pass you by?
Delusional is defined as characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder. Let’s just drop the “mental disorder” part for now if I’m trying to sell you on the value of the entrepreneurial mindset. If stubbornness is the attribute that prompts them to say “no” to others, being delusional is when you hear “yes” the most from them. They use stubbornness to fight what they see already — what is not useful — so they can stick to their delusions and say yes to what can be. You talk to the right entrepreneur, and you’ll see in their eyes they’ve already visualized what they’re working toward.
They know how good they are. They should know. They need to know, because although they’re 100% in for what they want, of course they want to impress upon other people what they want to achieve. No one can be successful without others believing in their vision and story. Like any other leader, they need to know how good they are and what they can deliver. If they don’t believe or see it, no one else will.
They Have Tunnel Vision
It’s almost complete tunnel vision, their vision for what they want. It’s laser-sharp focus on what they want to achieve. They’ll come through on their responsibilities to friends, family, and others, but through that insatiability, stubbornness, impatience, pride, and delusional state, they’re working in one general direction. Almost every action they take both in and outside of their work is connected to what they want to achieve. Everything serves a purpose. They’re locked into working toward that outcome.
The entrepreneurial mindset wields these attributes in a manner enough to be effective but not so much to be blinded. Their level of each attribute seems higher than that of the average person, just enough to step out of the everyday script. Entrepreneurship: It’s a bit of chaos to craft a work of art.
And none of this is to say that the entrepreneurial mindset will always be successful. There will be slips, trips, and falls on the path to each person’s definition of success.
Also, there’s the much-needed and vital self-awareness. The sharpest ones I’ve met were ready to be provided feedback and kept grounded. As much energy as they reflect in those attributes above, they know they have to be realistic, prepared, and ready for anything. They are aware of their weaknesses and attack them with the same kind of rabidity (I just kicked this conversation up a notch yet again with that word) they hold for the other attributes. Everything is sharpened or corrected, in order to move forward as best as possible.
The entrepreneurial mindset means waking up to wanting something different and putting everything into what is desired. No two people will execute their approach the same way.
But one thing is true: they all want to craft their own world.
They’re all around us, plugging away, showing us a different mindset from our own. Or maybe they’re showing us what can be awakened within us. Each of us has more of it than we would expect, but most of us will never tap into it as much as we should.
Always consider studying others to awaken abilities in yourself. You can do the same with entrepreneurs.
Are you paying attention to their lessons?