The market is saturated with men and women who want to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or the next Sheryl Sandberg. Unfortunately, the odds of you becoming a successful entrepreneur are slim. The chances of success are not remote because you can't become an entrepreneur, it's because we have lost our entrepreneurial instincts.
But Ben Casnocha, co-author of "The Start-Up of You," explains that all human beings are born entrepreneurs. Casnocha continues, by explaining that great people are always evolving and keep themselves in permanent beta.
The skills mentioned below are part of our DNA:
- Ability to constantly grow your skills
- Network with like minded people
- A tenacity to take intelligent risks
It does read like a daunting list, but they are critical to re-discovering and capitalize on our dormant entrepreneurial instincts -- let me show you how.
Ability to constantly grow your skills
As human beings, we spend our first 2 decades intentionally growing our skills. Unfortunately, for many of us that growth stops after we enter the workplace. Sure, there is the occasional company training or learning something from a co-worker but there is no continuous personal growth.
Unintentional growth does little in the way of allowing you to tap into that primordial entrepreneurial spirit. It must be the mindset of every seasoned professional or recent graduate that personal growth must be intentional.
A lifelong commitment to continuous growth begins with a personal growth plan. Do you have one? Don't worry I did not have one until I asked myself these two very important questions:
- What do I want to get out of my life?
- What can I offer the world in return for getting the life I want?
These are difficult questions to answer but are necessary components of your growth plan. Why, because the questions help you not only define your long-term goals but help you understand what skills you need to learn.
Entrepreneurial Tip: Create a learning map of what skills you need to learn, use a mindmap so you can brainstorm.
Network with like minded people
Networking can be one of the most valuable uses of your time. At these social meet-ups, you are surrounded by like-minded people. So it can be a wonderful opportunity to learn from others and even have others learn from you.
But these informal chats are just that -- informal. The value you get from these meetups will vary from poor to awesome.
A better strategy is to create or join a mastermind group. Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich," defines a mastermind as:
It consists of two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose. It is the principle through which you may borrow and use the education, the experience, the influence, and perhaps the capital of other people, in carrying out your own plans in life.
Unlike traditional networking meetups, a mastermind is a semi-permanent group who meets regularly and being part of such a group is like having your own personal board of advisors.
Here is what you can expect from a mastermind group:
- Accountability -- telling the group your goals will not only give you more incentive, but the group will hold you accountable
- Different Perspectives -- different point of view will allow for a more complete look at the issue
- Encouragement -- this is not a pat on the back this is encouragement that comes with suggestions to grow
- Confidentiality -- you can tell the truth and feel safe that what is said in the group will stay in the group
- Resources -- being part of a diverse group will give you access to different skill sets, networks and resources
A mastermind group is a mandatory tool in achieving your goals as an entrepreneur. Yes, you can make progress without one, but if you want to accelerate the achievement of your long-term goals, you need to join a mastermind group.
A tenacity to take intelligent risks
Risk is part of our daily lives and it's an unavoidable exposure to danger, that can be the difference between failure and success.
Being an entrepreneur isn't really about starting a business. It’s a way of looking at the world: seeing opportunity where others see obstacles, taking risks when others take refuge.
-- Michael Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg, L.P.
Fortunately, risk is not synonymous with being a successful entrepreneur. In all honesty, entrepreneurs are not bold risk takers. Instead, they prefer being intelligent risk takers who follow the Act. Learn. Build. Repeat Model -- which basically teaches:
- Understand want service or product you want to make
- Take a small step and then learn from that step
- Build off that learning experience
- Take another small step and then learn from that step
- And so on...
Risk can never be removed from any entrepreneurial endeavor, but it can and should be minimized.
Entrepreneurial Tip: If you want to minimize your risk use the Act. Learn. Build. Repeat Model but more importantly understand what you really want to have happen.
Question: If being an entrepreneur is a dream of yours, what is something you could do today to get started?