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What is an enterprising mindset and how do I get it?

An enterprising mindset can help people in self-employment or employment. If you feel unfulfilled or just want to be happier but don’t know how then developing a more enterprising mindset may help.

How often do you consider that in order to be happy you would need to have certain things, maybe status, money, love or being successful? But what does being successful mean? And if money makes you happy, why do we see those with so little seemingly happy?  When you see people with money do they seem happy? Have they found love? If you felt more fulfilled would that make you happier? What would make you feel fulfilled?

The problem here is that we are connecting the idea of being happy or complete on tangible things, yet it may be possible that what you need to have is the right mindset so that you don’t feel the need to chase money or success but instead enjoy the ‘journey’. Doing something that makes you feel good isn’t about what you get from it, but rather what you can give others and the experience of doing it, whatever it is.

Over many years of working for myself I have considered the different ways others in business and leadership roles live and work and looked to see who seemed happy. Did they have money, have they had an idea which has taken off, was their business successful, have they given something back or enabled a community to achieve? The patterns I was searching for just didn’t seem to be there. But what I did notice was that they seemed to have a mindset, a type of positivity, a reason for doing things and a way of thinking and being. This, it would seem, is an enterprising mindset.

What is an enterprising mindset?

An enterprising mindset is about having a way of thinking which sees opportunities rather than barriers, that sees possibilities rather than failure and wants to do something to make a difference rather than sit and complain about the problems. This mindset can be beneficial in many situations and should not be exclusively linked to business start up and making money. More and more people with this type of mindset are using it for social good and to change negative situations, often benefiting themselves as well as those around them.

Those with this mindset usually:

  • have a high need for self-fulfilment
  • have a passion to create something / develop something so that others benefit
  • have a desire to make their idea become reality (even when things get in the way)
  • are self-motivated
  • can see the benefit of building relationships
  • have self-belief
  • are resourceful
  • want others to have a good experience

Does having an enterprising mindset make you an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is about having the mindset described above and then being willing to take some element of risk, either with money or your reputation in order to develop a big idea, grow a business or start a movement of some kind. It is possible to have an enterprising mindset yet work within an organisation or use it as a volunteer with a charity or community group.

Not everyone with an enterprising mindset wants to or is able to do it for themselves as their own boss. I therefore believe that many may have an enterprising mindset, but not everyone with this mindset will choose to be an entrepreneur or even self-employed. This is when employers need to understand that they may have someone with a mindset which can help their business if only they understand how to value them and support them correctly.

Can you learn to have an enterprising mindset?

The question of whether entrepreneurs are born or whether you learn to be an entrepreneur frequently comes up when I am delivering courses, training and university programs on enterprise. Let’s consider some of the skill-set we believe entrepreneurs need:

  • High levels of intellect
  • Determination
  • Drive or passion to get something done
  • Ability to calculate and take risk
  • Good communicator
  • High levels of emotional intelligence
  • Willingness to make decisions quickly
  • People person
  • Likeability, an ability to connect

It’s not about having all of these skills but a combination of them as well as the mindset I spoke about earlier. Some of these skills and way of thinking can be learnt yet some people seem to naturally have a combination of these from a very early stage. It is probably true to say that for many they have some of the skills and mindset from birth or early in their lives but other elements are learnt along the way from experience and a determination to improve and become the whole package.

If you are looking for staff or team members to have an enterprising mindset it stands to reason that by encouraging and supporting any of the skills they have naturally and encouraging them to develop others, you could indeed help someone become more entrepreneurial in their thinking and way of working.

Encourage the right staff to be enterprising

If you are looking to develop a more enterprising workforce or way of delivering your business then consider looking at who you already have in your team: do they display some of the characteristics above? Consider which elements they need to develop and how you can encourage them to change their mindset into that of a more enterprising person.

Still not sure? Speak to me now on 01570 421301 about my work within organisations on developing a more enterprising mindset and culture or contact me.


This Post Has One Comment
  1. I am student at UWTSD. Very inspiring and very educative lecture was delivered at UWTSD, School of Business and Management on the importance of having an enterprising mind set especially at the formative stage of a business. Equally important is for leaders to recognise it and engage employees having such a mind-set for better performance which you alluded to. Hope I will be opportune again to benefit from your immense knowledge on this subject in due course.

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