The Benefits of Thinking Like an Entrepreneur
This article was written by Uma Alagappan, a sophomore from Dartmouth College interning with Launch gURLs this fall. Uma is an essential part of our Impact Evaluation Team for our pilot, Girl Boss.
In the journey to becoming an entrepreneur, developing the appropriate mindset is a critical step. Entrepreneurs must cultivate their positivity, creativity, communication skills, motivation, adaptability, and perseverance in order to succeed. These qualities help entrepreneurs imagine new possibilities, remain dedicated to their work, and learn from their mistakes. Ultimately, these skills allow entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. So, what if you’re not interested in starting your own business? How could these same skills help us all no matter what career we are pursuing?
Maintaining a positive outlook is essential for any person’s success. Developing positivity can be difficult especially in trying times. However, the self care (such as eating healthfully, sleeping well, and exercising regularly) needed in order to stay positive is most important during challenging times. If we can use positivity to have more control in how we respond to the world around us, we can more easily navigate unexpected challenges.
Thinking creatively is more than just imagining the next greatest invention. Creativity is critical for all kinds of problem solving. In order to work through a challenge, we must be able to think about the challenge through different lenses and imagine creative solutions. Creative thinking requires being curious about the unknown and finding the connection between our different experiences. Creativity allows us to lead with curiosity and face the problems that we most need to solve. Thinking creatively not only produces new ideas, but also deepens our understanding of what we already know.
We communicate almost constantly, especially with the rise of technology. Because communication is so frequent, honing our skills in order to communicate effectively is essential. Communicating what we mean is an important skill in both personal and professional settings. Effective communication helps us convey our ideas to others, present ourselves favorably, and most importantly build relationships. Support from a network of people who we trust will help us all to succeed.
In order to succeed in anything, we need to stay dedicated to our work. We can set as many goals as we’d like, but without the motivation to continue working towards it, it is nearly impossible to actually follow through. If this dedication is not self-motivated, then it is difficult to maintain. Remaining positive helps maintain self-driven motivation. Developing the ability to motivate ourselves to work towards a goal allows us to work to turn our dreams into realities.
Adaptability refers to a skillset that allows us to be flexible in new settings and to learn from our past mistakes. In order to succeed, mistakes cannot be seen as failure. When we label something that we did a ‘failure,’ it is difficult to remain motivated to achieve the same goal. Of course, not every attempt at achieving a goal will lead in success. We are human, so we are imperfect. However, we can take these missteps as a moment to learn from what went wrong and how we can apply this lesson going forward. Success is not a straightforward path. When we make mistakes, we have the potential for growth that will ultimately help us achieve our dreams.
We may not all strive to start our own businesses, but we can all benefit from thinking like an entrepreneur.