6 Core Qualities of Entrepreneurs, and Daily Habits to Build Them

Roble Ventures
February 2, 2023
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Entrepreneurship can be an elusive concept. It’s easy to describe a successful entrepreneur as a person who has that ‘it’ factor, or a willingness to push relentlessly against all odds in order to bring their ideas into reality. But it can be difficult to pinpoint just what informs this attitude and behavior — and even more difficult to figure out how you can practice and hone these skills for yourself.

Like anything else, habitualizing these characteristics takes daily practice, so we want to offer some ideas on how to build an entrepreneurial mindset. This is useful to have, regardless of whether you are going to become a startup founder or not; this mindset will give you skills for maneuvering a highly dynamic world.

In other words, having an entrepreneurial mindset is essential for everyone, given the modern pace of change. This mindset isn’t just blind faith or persistence in the face of obstacles, though both are necessary at times; it involves a combination of certain qualities and characteristics that enable individuals to identify and pursue opportunities, overcome challenges, and achieve success.

Here are six key qualities of an entrepreneurial mindset, and small things you can do to get into the habit of practicing them:

1. Adaptability & Ability to Pivot

Life rarely goes in the direction you want it to, and it hardly ever goes in a straight line. How do you respond when plans change, big or small? How do you problem-solve once you can see that things aren’t going your way?

An entrepreneurial mindset is characterized by the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. A successful entrepreneur is able to pivot and adjust their approach as needed in order to remain competitive and successful. This quality is especially important in today’s fast-paced and constantly-evolving business world.

It’s easy to get attached to a certain outcome, but the reality is that nothing is guaranteed. Do you face life with acceptance and an open mind, or are you rigidly set on your idea of how it’s supposed to go?

Even the best idea will need a little tweaking.

First Daily Habit to Improving Your Adaptability: Make a plan for the day, but don’t hesitate to change that plan as the day unfolds. For example, you may plan to write a piece of content due soon, but if your friend calls to ask for help, adapt your schedule to make time for them — especially if that deadline is flexible. Don’t be ruled by the rigidity of your schedule; prioritizing dynamically is critical to success.

2. Courage to Take Risks

Uncertainty is inherent to life’s greatest risks, but sometimes they can yield the greatest rewards. Failure is our best teacher, and success can give us the confidence we need to go and fail some more.

Entrepreneurs must be willing to take calculated risks in pursuit of their vision. Doing what others cannot often requires taking bold action and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. This courage allows entrepreneurs to overcome uncertainty and pursue unique opportunities.

Do you find yourself holding back from doing the scary thing, making things awkward, or stirring the pot? Once you start to see that there is no wrong answer to many of life’s twists and turns, the leap becomes a single step.

First Daily Habit: Say YES to something you would usually say NO to, and vice versa, especially if this feels uncomfortable. Practicing living in the realm of discomfort is critical to growth.

3. Curiosity & Lifelong Learning

Education doesn’t end once you walk across a stage and get a diploma. Life is full of opportunities to learn and grow — at a personal and professional level. Do you know how to sit in the feeling of being wrong or ignorant?

An entrepreneurial mindset is fueled by a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to learn and explore new ideas and concepts. Entrepreneurs are constantly seeking out new information and insights, and are willing to experiment in order to discover what works and what doesn’t. This curiosity allows them to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

How often do you follow your curiosity and try to discover something new?

First Daily Habit: Start asking the ‘5 Whys’ to get to a deeper and more ‘first-principles’ answer to a problem in your path. Most people stop at the first one or two whys, which shallows their curiosity as a result.

4. Creativity & Experimental Mindset

In order to change the world, you first have to understand how it works. Become a tinkerer, and learn how to think like an engineer. Entrepreneurs are always looking for the best way to do things, and such working knowledge can only come from putting bold ideas into action — again and again and again.

Creativity can help entrepreneurs come up with new and innovative solutions to widespread pain points, which is especially important in highly competitive industries. It can also help entrepreneurs think outside of the box when it comes to marketing new products or services, or streamlining operations in a way that saves time and money.

Most importantly, creativity helps successful entrepreneurs stay motivated and engaged with their work; when they are able to tap into their creativity, they may find that they are more passionate about their work, which can help them stay focused even when faced with challenges or setbacks.

How much time do you set aside each week for creative pursuits? This isn’t just an indulgence, but a critical exercise for your mind: the ability to completely disengage from your (very important) problems and create something. This allows for more creative problem-solving in other parts of your life, too.

First Daily Habit: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Launch something minimal, just to let your brain out of the box. Be ready for criticism; use the feedback to iterate and make it better. Most startups win on the iteration, not on the launch. Make an effort to enjoy the grind of the journey.

5. Can-Do Attitudes

The way you choose to see the world affects your experience of the world. Pragmatism is important for assessing the current state of things, but if you never allow yourself to imagine a future where things are actually just fine, you’ll never get there.

Entrepreneurs are known for their positive, can-do attitude. They are determined and resilient, and are always willing to put in the hard work and effort required to achieve their goals.

Most of the barriers to success lie in your own self-doubting mind. Sometimes it’s less about asking yourself if you can do something, and more about plunging yourself into the thing without thinking about it all too much — and just believing that you can do it.

First Daily Habit: Each time you start your day, carry around a pencil and paper, and make a mark every time you make a comment. Give yourself a mark for each positive comment and a mark for each negative one. At the end of the day, count how many ticks are in each column — you may be surprised at the result! According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, the highest-performing teams give 5 positive comments for every 1 critical comment, while lesser-performing teams operate at closer to 1:1 ratios.

6. Perceptive About Human Needs & The World

We all have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it; the fun part is figuring out our own unique way of contributing to that stewardship. While all of the above qualities are important (and rewarding) to cultivate in yourself, don’t forget to think about all the ways you can enable that cultivation in others, as well.

Entrepreneurs are skilled at identifying what their customers or clients want. They can perceive gaps in the market and develop solutions that address these needs in innovative and effective ways. This perceptive quality is essential for building successful businesses and satisfying the needs of the people they serve.

This does not mean that you need to open social media and learn about everything happening in the world today. This just means talking to people. What are they up to? What are they worried about? What world do they want to build for their children, and how could we do it? What work has already been done, and what gaps still remain?

Taking time to learn about how all the different domains of the world interact with each other will help you to better see where your piece can fit into the puzzle.

First Daily Habit: Listen, listen, listen — with attention to other people’s needs. Empathy is something you can build via practice, so start putting yourself in others’ shoes and walking around in them, even when you don’t want to. You’ll soon discover that there is no right way to see the world.

The entrepreneurial mindset is characterized by innovation, risk-taking, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. These qualities enable entrepreneurs to identify and pursue opportunities, overcome challenges, and achieve success in their businesses.

However, it’s worth noting that this mindset can be applied to many different areas outside of business: your hobbies, personal projects, and careers in different fields would all benefit from a flexible, innovative perspective that focuses on solving life’s problems.

It’s about contemplating one’s ever-shifting place in the world, and choosing to see it as inherently graspable.

About the author

Roble Ventures
noun: oak

Roble Ventures is a future-of-work focused fund investing in technologies that enable people, teams, and organizations to achieve their most ambitious work.

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