“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
- Albert Einstein
National Entrepreneur's Day celebrates people who have built an empire from nothing and those who ultimately shape the way we live today, and our future. It was launched on November 15, 2010 by President Barack Obama to encourage the growth of small businesses, and to encourage government policies that benefit start-up businesses, a key factor in ensuring economic growth in the United States.
America was built on entrepreneurs: settlers, risk takers and innovators looking for new opportunities. Businesses that emerged have shaped culture and civilization as we know it today. That spirit of innovation is the basis of any meaningful venture, wherever you are in the world.
Looking back on successes of the past and envisioning an even greater future, entrepreneurs must balance wisdom with innovative thought. The distance between ambitious dreams and building a product or a company that creates jobs and wealth is paved with hurdles. An entrepreneurial mindset includes a basic set of skills like identifying and leveraging opportunities and learning from your mistakes but these four macro attitudes will elevate your chances of success.
It’s in our nature to jump to conclusions based on information we’ve accumulated, a direct result of our evolutionary survival skills. Cognitive behaviorists call this ‘behavior fortune telling’. However, assumptions are a barrier to interacting with the outside world most optimally.
Do your homework. Many problems arise when you make assumptions about a person or situation. These include the possibility that you will inappropriately handle things or miss out on something that could ultimately lead to big rewards. Eventually, this tendency gets in the way of reaching your goals. As a memorable college professor once told me, ‘when you assume you make an ass out of u and an ass out of me’.
CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOT
We all have blind spots, areas where our view of circumstances is obstructed, often by our own beliefs. Despite today’s overabundant supply of information and communication tools, people have a natural tendency to favor information that confirms their existing ideas or hypotheses. In news media, it is known as the echo chamber effect.
‘Confirmation bias’, discovered in 1960 by British psychologist Peter Wason, causes us to ignore evidence and data that contradicts what we already think, further entrenching the status quo. Positive change only happens when these built-in ‘blinders’ are removed. Purposefully challenging unchallenged beliefs and seeking out new sources of information is the catalyst for growth.
LEARN TO SHAPESHIFT
Shapeshifting is a more holistic way of saying ‘pivoting’, which in business means changing some aspect of your core products or services to meet customer demand, often in a drastic or fundamental way. What the term ‘pivot’ misses are the more subtle, complex factors that come into play when you’re responding daily to small changes.
Although it is imperative to set clear, measurable goals and to develop a long-term plan that will lead you there, the shapeshifting mindset will allow you to navigate smoothly through twists and turns, incrementally. This approach is constant as opposed to momentous, and it will keep you on the most direct path to achieving your goals.
READ, READ, READ
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the future controls the past”. If you’ve read 1984 you know this is a quote by George Orwell that illustrates how history shapes the future, and how history can easily be rewritten by those who produce, regulate and disseminate information to large numbers of people.
What this means practically is that your ideas are only as good as the foundation they are built on. In a world where we are lulled into a false sense of security and increasingly neglect the power of intellect in favor of popular culture, entertainment and endless data delivered out of its broader context, knowledge
remains the ultimate tool.
You can find more great stories and actionable tips in my new book 40 Lessons: What the New Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Technology, Geopolitics and the Coming Reformation.
Entrepreneurial growth takes talent, effort, and time. If publishing a book is part of your plan but you don’t know where to start, the Book Management team at OBCIDO can help. Let’s connect!