Entrepreneurs: Driven to Think Differently
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Entrepreneurs: Driven to Think Differently

Entrepreneurs that run their own businesses are not the only people who demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking. Many successful business leaders may not consider themselves to be entrepreneurs in the typical sense, yet clearly demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit in the way they think and behave as decision makers. Understanding the motivations that drive this mindset can help everyone harness the power of such thinking and to make change happen in the world around them.

Despite common stereotypes, you don't need to run your own business to think like an entrepreneur. Typically, entrepreneurial minds share some key characteristics – passion, curiosity, comfort with failure, a managed approach to risk and the ability to spot and act on opportunities. Unsurprisingly, these traits play an important role in shaping behavior and actions in business. Combined, they add up to a common mindset that unites different, successful types of business leaders.

At its most simple, the consistent thread that connects successful business leaders – and essence of an entrepreneurial mind – is a restless desire to do better. This is what it fundamentally means to be entrepreneurial, and is an attitude that transcends national boundaries, social demographics, and business type. Importantly, the typical entrepreneurial mind is not primarily motivated by generating great wealth or building empires. These things are the results of success, not the drivers of it.

Sustaining Success: Staying Motivated to Do Better

The dynamic, restless energy of the entrepreneurial mind makes it hard to switch off, and this drive "to do better" is powered by the belief that everything can and should be better, both professionally and in their personal lives. It is not necessarily about being better than others, but it is about never being entirely satisfied and striving for more. This is partly what explains the desire to forge ahead, bringing about corporate and social change.

Although personality can take entrepreneurial business leaders far, sustaining success requires consistent thinking and behavioral patterns. Entrepreneurial types are likely to adopt different underlying motivational strategies for "doing better".

The 6 Motivating Factors

The 6 Motivating Factors

Source: Credit Suisse

What We Can Learn From Entrepreneurial Minds

Entrepreneurial leaders will have an increasingly important role to play in our globally connected future. Being able to challenge the status quo and create new opportunities has never been so valuable. For progress and development to happen, the world needs curious, restless minds that are able to take calculated risks and act without fear of failure. Understanding the mindsets of those who have already succeeded can help us to reveal more of their potential.

Strong evidence supports the view that there is such a thing as an entrepreneurial mind, and that it is possible to define it through shared motivations and personal characteristics. Discovering what makes entrepreneurially minded people tick is useful for several reasons. For individuals, it can help you better engage with this type of personality, and learn from their example how to get things done.

Understanding entrepreneurial minds will allow society to find new ways to nurture these characteristics and provide the space that enables entrepreneurial thinkers to change things for the better. Understanding this mindset means we can help the current generation of successful leaders to articulate their vision, and help shape the business leaders of tomorrow.