Think Like an Entrepreneur

think like an entrepreneurEntrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

– Anonymous

Precisely! Entrepreneur-think is about focusing on future potential, not short-term sacrifice. Meaning that – at the start – every entrepreneur chooses to act based on what could be, without knowing what will be.

Although no one can predict the future, the fear of the unknown tends to stifle start-ups and would be entrepreneurs from the get-go. Others waste time trying to channel their inner clairvoyant, seeking some sort of insight into what they can expect. Meanwhile, the entrepreneur chooses to pursue an opportunity despite the fact that they have little or no control over how the process will play out. That’s the genius of entrepreneurship – the willingness to assume the risk.


Risk vs. Reward

And we all know what they say about taking risks, it’s crazy! Yes, but it’s also true that there is no reward without risk. You know – the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.

Sure, this thought process will serve us well in business, but thinking like an entrepreneur can be applied to life outside of the office. It’s a mindset that favors action, squashes second-guessing and inspires ingenuity. It allows us to see each and every opportunity that presents itself, and then helps us determine if it’s worth pursuing. It’s the place – the moment in time – when we stop thinking and start doing; freeing ourselves to try, to fail and to start again.


The Opportunity…

Entrepreneur-think – see an opportunity and then do something with it.

It’s the second part of that sentence that loses most people. Identifying an opportunity is easy – it’s an idea or business plan. At that point we’re all talk. But, actually doing something requires action. Walking the talk is more challenging.

That’s the difference between an entrepreneur and everyone else; their checklist favors actions over ideas.

Entrepreneur-think Checklist

  1. Fewer excuses, faster execution.
  2. Don’t make meetings, make things happen.
  3. Don’t ask why, ask why not.
  4. Stop dreaming, start doing
  5. Accept the risk, earn the reward

Of course, embracing the entrepreneurial spirit is easier said than done. But, that doesn’t make it impossible. If you want to be an entrepreneur you’ve got to do more than think like one. You’ll have to live like one.


Put People First

There are numerous quotes and clichés touting the importance of relationships:

It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters. Or, you’re network is your net worth.

The best part is they’re true. It goes without saying that hard work is at the center of success in business or life. But, so are people and relationships. Opportunities are often tied to people. Connecting with the right people is a surefire way to connect yourself to the right opportunities.

Be warned, networking isn’t an exercise in getting all you can. In fact the opposite is true. Putting people first is the practice of giving all you’ve got. Your goal should be to give more than you take. Ask, how can I help? Then, listen and deliver when people tell you.


Prepare for Fear

All humans are wired for survival. Our brain wants us to eat, reproduce, and stay safe. Everything else is a risk. When we conform we become part of the pack. The pack, the status quo, is our comfort zone and our brain likes it there. So when we seek out new opportunities, accept risk and take a chance our brain will try to sabotage us.

This is just a defense mechanism. One we’ll have to ignore if we want to live like no one else can. So be prepared for fear, and get ready to overcome it.


Accept Uncertainty

No one knows what will happen next. Of course you already knew that. The thing is, entrepreneurs actually accept it and more forward in spite of it.

Entrepreneurs are doers, they are starters and they are innovators. And SO ARE WE! Except we haven’t done anything yet because we are too busy planning, procrastinating and preventing ourselves from doing something worthwhile.

Let’s just accept the fact that we don’t know what’s coming around the corner and commit to taking a chance anyway.

Give yourself permission to follow your passion, pivot when you get it wrong and persist when you’d rather give up. Don’t concern yourself with the how, the people and pieces will find you once you actually start something.

So will you start? Better question: When will you start?

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.


  1. I like reading blogs like this, but the one thing that always gets me down is I’ve done exactly everything there. I may have not had a very strong network of connection, but I had a vision, I planned it out, built a team, and executed everything as perfectly as I could. And I have little to show for it. That’s the part a lot of blogs don’t talk about, the failure that is likely to happen. You can’t just talk about all the possibilities that someone can achieve if they just try hard enough, because even then, it’s not a guarantee. So what then? Keep trucking?

    • Joe Vennare says

      Jordan, the short answer is yes – you’ll have to keep on trucking. There are a million reasons why a start-up can fail. Part of thinking like an entrepreneur is the willingness to fail like one ; quickly. Then, you’ll also have to learn from it. But, I do agree with your point that most business blogs only talk about the upside of entrepreneurship. That’s why I am already hard at work on a post about failure. Thanks for the idea.

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