The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Unique Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial mindset which entrepreneurs cultivate throughout their journey of establishing their own business and which means that they tend to display certain skills such as resilience, adaptability, and critical thinking, are highly valued in the corporate world. These individuals are typically driven, resourceful, and capable of navigating challenges with determination and creativity. 

Unlike most people who have never started their own business and therefore haven't faced the challenges that come with it—like dealing with countless rejections after pitching, handling high-pressure situations, pulling all-nighters to solve problems, and countless rounds of iterating on an idea - entrepreneurs in established economies opt for the route far less travelled, displaying resilience and determination. 

It's therefore no surprise that business leaders actively seek out candidates who exhibit similar qualities, with such prerequisites commonly listed in job postings across various industries. In a recent experimental study however, it was found that on average, recruiters tend to evaluate applicants with previous entrepreneurial experience more harshly when considering them for a role.  

This so-termed ‘entrepreneurship penalty’ results in 23%–29% lower likelihood of Founders to be chosen as the preferred hire.  

Here are six characteristics of entrepreneurs which highlight the importance of having these individuals as a part of your team: 


1. Visionary Thinking and Recognizing Opportunity 

Successful entrepreneurs often possess a clear vision of what they want to achieve and have a knack for identifying opportunities that others may overlook. Where people around them might be quick to dismiss an idea or focus on its downsides, entrepreneurs are usually visionary people who put their eyes on the prize from the get-go. 

From a business perspective, having a visionary as part of your team fosters and environment that encourages other team members to anticipate market shifts, identify important trends and ultimately drive strategic growth. A visionary tends to inspire innovation and a proactive approach in searching for and recognizing opportunities. 


2. Agility and Adaptability

Thriving in dynamic environments and making quick decisions on the fly are essential skills for any entrepreneur. These are indispensable skills in the entrepreneurial journey as well as within the journey of any business, since embracing new technologies, methodologies, and changing market conditions with agility and flexibility will be what gives you an advantage over your competition.  


3. Ability to Navigate Uncertainty  

The very essence of entrepreneurship involves venturing into the unknown, transforming mere scribbled notes in the back of a notebook into tangible ventures, without guarantee of the outcome. While your initiative may soar and revolutionize entire industries, there's an inherent uncertainty as to whether your vision will come to fruition. Prospects are also not always comforting since over half of startups are no longer operating after six years. 

In order to navigate this constant uncertainty, an entrepreneur is required to practice strategic planning and risk management as well as adapt resilience, from the get-go. Within a business, these skills can translate into ex-entrepreneurs showcasing the increased ability to assess risks, weigh options, and make informed decisions that can drive business success. 


4. Calculated Risk-taking

Taking risks involves huge measures of uncertainty, and as previously mentioned, entrepreneurs are usually well-aquainted with both.  

Although responsible and calculated risk-taking behaviour is important, it’s no secret that the reward often lies in daring to make bold moves beyond conventional boundaries. Entrepreneurs recognise that this is ultimately where the potential for business growth and innovation exists. Consider the case of Apple: Would the company be as successful as they are today if it wasn’t for Steve Jobs’s willingness to take risks? Perhaps you wouldn’t be holding this iPhone in your hand and reading this article if it weren’t for these pivotal decisions… 


5. Thinking Outside the Box

Entrepreneurs have become synonymous with being the dreamers, the doers, the believers and the thinkers, all at once, embodying a unique combination of vision, action, conviction, and intellect. Their innovative and creative spirit is what drives them into unearthing groundbreaking ideas that can often move beyond conventional norms and boundaries.  

In a business environment, when allowed to freely operate, this can lead to these individuals helping to foster a culture of innovation and encourage their colleagues to think outside of the box and explore new possibilities. 


6. Resilience and Persistence

In the infamous words of the American Boxer Caleb Plant, ‘You get knocked down, and you get back up’ – sounds pretty straightforward, right?  

Well, not exactly when it comes to the conventional business world. According to a survey conducted in America, only 66% of employees reported that they were confident in their ability to handle a setback or challenge in the workplace effectively. 

In the world of entrepreneurship however, the sooner you learn to accept a setback the better off you will be since starting your own adventure is rarely a case of smooth sailing.  

From 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, a whopping 30% of these are serial entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals who have on average, run 3 businesses over their careers. Entrepreneurs face numerous challenges and obstacles on their journey. It is their resilience that allows them to bounce back from failures, learn from mistakes, and persist in the face of adversity. 


Within the business environment, this can lead to ex-entrepreneurs leveraging their entrepreneurial experience and helping their colleagues how to handle situations of setback. By providing guidance, fostering a supportive work environment, leading by example, and encouraging a growth mindset, they can empower their colleagues to overcome obstacles and achieve success. 

Hiring an ex-entrepeneur can improve overall company culture and the drive to pursue innovation. These individuals generally harbour many valuable skills and expertise which can help your company reach new heights and contribute to navigating the ever-changing business landscape.  


Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset among your employees becomes easy when they have access to the right tools. The hands-on nature of our flagship KICKBOX program exposes your team to various methods and processes that will bring out their inner entrepreneur. Contact us to schedule a demo today. 

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