Last week, I brought you the first four elements of the entrepreneurial mindset described in Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur, a book published last year by Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger, both successful entrepreneurs. As promised here are the remaining four elements of the mindset the two authors believe you have to have to succeed as an entrepreneur. Once again I’m quoting liberally from their book, which chronicles the life of Taulbert’s Uncle Cleve, a black entrepreneur who succeeded under difficult circumstances in Jim Crow-era Mississippi.
Lesson 5: Wealth – “Entrepreneurs tend to focus their attention on the things that will advance their goals. They tend to view money as a resource to be used wisely, a resource that will enable them to achieve their goals…Rather than trading time for money [as wage earners do], entrepreneurs tend to think in terms of creating value–that is to say, solving problems for other people. The more problems they solve, the more money they can earn. Their business becomes a system for generating solutions at the same time they create wealth. This system is limited only by their own imagination and a willingness to try.”
Lesson 6: Brand – “Being reliable–doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, for the price you agreed to do it–it a critical aspect of being a successful entrepreneur. Being reliable will build your brand and expose you to more opportunities. The more people know they can rely on you, the more problems they will count on you to solve and the more your business will grow. Being reliable can also become a competitive advantage that will enable you to stand out. It can also present opportunities that others overlook.”
Lesson 7: Community – “[Entrepreneurs] understand the power of social influence and their ability to create an intentional community, a community of positive influence, knowledge, accountability, encouragement, and support. They get the importance of mentoring and guidance on their journey toward success. As an entrepreneur, it is essential that we surround ourselves with successful models; that we create an intentional community of others who are also inner-directed, who are reaching for their goals and are wiling to share their knowledge and experience and to reach out to and provide a hand.”
Lesson 8: Persistence – “An entrepreneurial mindset doe not require unique abilities or a rare talent. It does not require lots of money or an Ivy League MBA. It does not require anything you don’t already have. It does, however, require hard work, perseverance, and determination. Our ability to persevere is perhaps the most powerful ability we possess. It may also be the most undervalued. And it is an ability that many of us do not recognize or value. It is one we often overlook.”
Are there other elements you would add to this entrepreneurial mindset–other qualities that you think are essential to success? And which of the lessons in this post and the previous one do you believe has been most important in keeping you on your entrepreneurial path?