You’ve heard that thinking like an entrepreneur can make the difference between success and failure for some people in today’s workplace. Entrepreneurial employees are becoming more valuable to employers not because of the way entrepreneurs work, but because of how they think. (Read my previous piece on the importance of knowing your value.)
Not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur but anyone can to start to think like one. And once you start it has a way of gaining momentum.
Thinking like an entrepreneur starts with an attitude.
Your instincts tell you that to be more productive, to be a better leader or to get that new job you need to do something. Work harder, longer hours maybe, or do more networking and learning. The truth is that yes all of those things will help. But here’s the secret to thinking like an entrepreneur: it starts with an attitude.
Entrepreneurs are people who see opportunity everywhere. Never mind the half-full, half-empty nonsense. Some I’ve met are optimistic types, believing they can change the world with their actions. But others I’ve met are not. They are cautious in their approach, taking calculated risks, always making contingency plans. What they have in common is an ability to see opportunity even in the face of tremendous obstacles.
You can see opportunity everywhere if you have the attitude that you can affect change. If you do not believe you can do anything to change your surroundings it is difficult to maintain that attitude.
I believe we all have this attitude to some degree but many lack the belief they can change their surroundings. So here’s a few small ways to jumpstart yourself in thinking like an entrepreneur.
Clean Your Workspace
If you have a messy desk with papers everywhere then strip it down to nothing, even if for one day. If that’s not possible, change some photos, put away the stapler, get a new pen holder if you have to, just do something that is noticeably different. If you already are neat and tidy, put up that photo of you from the Halloween party. Yes that one.
Get to Work Early
If you can get to work even 10 minutes earlier each day, what would happen? You might get started earlier, or you might stumble upon something new, maybe meet a coworker you never speak with. You don’t even have to work, just get there and sit. The point is you’re not running to make someone else’s deadline, now you’re getting there when you want.
Make a List of Ways to Improve Your Company or Organization
Don’t show it to anyone–yet. But make believe you’re the CEO and make a list of improvements. When you list something here, present the problem and then a full solution. If there’s a cost to it, then estimate it, and where you would get the money from to achieve it. Make a timeline and who would need to be involved. Don’t show this to anyone yet, but if you do this, there may come a time to express it. The important part is it is helping you to think.
These aren’t difficult things to start doing. Some of you may be able to do even more to affect your surroundings in a positive way. If so go for it. All of this is designed to give you some of the habits that can lead to the attitude you need to succeed.
Jason Veduccio is the author of The New American Dreamer: How to Land That Ideal Job in a Nightmare Economy. Click to buy.