Being Entrepreneurial: An Involuntary State of Mind
6 months ago by André Giæver
Becoming an entrepreneur is seldom a conscious choice. Often, it’s a result of having an entrepreneurial mindset. You kind of just realize that you at some point became one.
The reason for this is that entrepreneurship has more to do with having an entrepreneurial mindset rather than you being an entrepreneur in terms of your job description. Thus, being an entrepreneur describes how you think and perceive the world, not who you are or what you do.
The entrepreneurial mindset
Most people, when faced with a problem or inconvenience in the public space, tend to argue that someone else is responsible for fixing it. It’s someone else’s problem to solve.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, reviews the problem and decides whether or not they can contribute to the solution. Furthermore, they tend to view it as an enticing challenge, not an impossible problem.
Seeing that the world is far from perfect, there are always challenges for entrepreneurs to take on. In fact, without entrepreneurs, we would probably still live in caves. This means that accepting the status quo isn’t really an option.
Having a “there’s got to be a better way” or “I think I can improve this” type of mentality has some great upsides but equally brings along some definitive downsides as well.
Let’s dig into these aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset now.
The entrepreneurial curse
Being prone to positive thinking is a trademark of being an entrepreneur. Often with a good dash of naivety. This is required in order to take on a challenge with an uncertain outcome. However, there’s a thin line between jumping at the right opportunity and acting recklessly.
The obvious flip side to this is to not accurately assess or straight out ignore pitfalls that lead to predictable failure. Not every seemingly good idea is worth pursuing. At least not in hindsight. Being cautious of problematic outcomes may slow down or limit creative processes. Thus, doing so tends to be ignored for the sake of uninterrupted creative flow. This may have severe consequences in the long run.
Another great challenge of having an entrepreneurial mindset is that it often becomes intolerable to accept authority. Whenever something doesn’t align with common sense or what the entrepreneur regard as natural progress, it starts to itch. Simply accepting things for what they are or for how things feel unacceptable.
This last bit can escalate to all sorts of troubling scenarios. Alienation, costly fees, and in some cases even prison. The latter is luckily not that common. History tells us that great thinkers and pioneers often were treated as outcasts throughout their own lifetime, only to be revered as geniuses long after their death.
The proverbial silver lining
Did these early pioneers choose to stand against the majority of their time? Did they somewhat enjoy the suffering that comes with not agreeing with the general consensus? Probably not, but they, as any visionary throughout history most likely felt that going against their beliefs was even harder.
The fear of not being true to one’s own conviction seems to pose a greater threat to entrepreneurs that even the harshest sanctions brought on by society. This may be hard for the great majority out there to grasp, but for the entrepreneurially inclined, it’s an involuntary drive that can’t be tamed easily.
It isn’t all pain and suffering, is it? No, absolutely not. As for most entrepreneurial thinkers, especially for those of the last few generations, growing social acceptance for bald ideas has made life easier. Combined with less severe sanctions from one’s authorities has made the path of entrepreneurship an increasingly pleasant one.
Make no mistake though, the path may still feel lonely and is still riddled with real threats and a constant flow of uncertainties.
Living through challenges
Entrepreneurs often find themselves pushing through a challenge, simply to enter a new one. Pausing leads to boredom, and that’s certainly no option. As I clearly stated above, this drive has its downsides, but more importantly, it’s immensely rewarding. The main reason is that entrepreneurial action takes guts.
This kind of repeated acts of courage is what builds confidence. Even when things go sideways. Having the guts to rise from failures, time and time again is what grit is all about.
When faced with challenges, whether they are brought in by external factors or your entrepreneurial mindset, you grow stronger. With strength comes confidence, both in yourself as an actionable person. You’re someone who dares to explore life’s mysteries.
That kind of confidence is neither genetic nor something you can buy or be given. You can only earn it, and this true feeling of dependability and integrity in yourself paves way for gratefulness. Gratitude for both what you have achieved and for what comes next.
Some final thoughts
As I’ve debated back and forth, having an entrepreneurial mindset is both rewarding and demanding at the same time. And it’s most definitely not a voluntary mindset, but for the most part, the good outweighs the bad. The trick is to get comfortable in your own skin as someone who perceives the world a little differently than the rest.
Take solace in the fact that if you thought that the world was all crap and beyond repair, you wouldn’t be inclined to try to make it better either. This makes you less stagnant and more hopeful and solidarity-driven than most others.
For me personally, being an entrepreneur is an intentional choice by now. It didn’t start out as on though. I didn’t intentionally choose this path for myself, it kind of just happened. However, in hindsight, looking back at the choices I made even from an early age, it paints a fairly obvious picture. There’s a trail of unconscious decisions leading up to my realization a couple of years ago.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a… And as the penny drops and reality slap me in the face, I’m up to my eyeballs in freelance web development and happy as a duck.
So… what about you?
If you’re on the fences about pursuing your entrepreneurial dream, ask yourself this single question; “Seeing that I have only limited time on this earth, can I proceed through life and comfortable lay and on my deathbed knowing that I never took action.?”.
If you’re confident that you can. forget becoming and an entrepreneur. The hardship won’t be worth it. But then again, how can you truly be sure?
Published by André Giæver
I'm just a curious and generally positive guy that has a huge appetite for life and a deep passion for simplicity and optimization. This blog and site is my way of paying my knowledge forward so that we all can live fulfilling lives.