Leaving Corporate America? 5 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Ready to escape the status quo? The first step is to adjust your mindset and think like an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as many imagine.

Entrepreneurship requires creativity, flexibility, risk-taking, and most of all hard work. In addition, since success isn’t guaranteed, it requires perseverance.

As you probably know, it’s much easier to follow a common path and work for someone else. As an employee you have a set salary, benefits, and a level of security.


Think Like an Entrepreneur

However, if you’re looking to escape the status quo you will find new opportunities and adventures in businesses ownership. But the first step is to adjust your mindset so you think like an entrepreneur. This will allow you to identify a market opportunity which could become your new niche.

Here are five simple ways to think like an entrepreneur:


1. Keep your eyes and ears open for information.

If you plan to enter a specific industry, read trade news and updates constantly. Know what new developments are coming and what old strategies are already working. The more information you have, the more ready you will be to act when a new opportunity arises.

Some good sources of information are industry trade magazines, business books, industry-related blogs, social networking platforms and bulletin boards where industry regulars chat.


2. Brainstorm on improving and automating processes.

Many business processes have several steps that add no value at all. In those cases, the best option is to find a way to eliminate or automate those steps.

The best place to start brainstorming is the place you already work. Are there reports that could be automated? Are there bottlenecks that could be solved? The more efficient a process is, the faster the result and the higher the profit. In the end, efficiency is key.


3. Be flexible and willing to pivot.

Flexibility is a key trait of any entrepreneur.

Nothing stays the same for very long, especially in business. If you are working on one idea and a new one comes up that is even more lucrative, know how to change strategies.

A great example of this is in marketing. Old ways of reaching customers are no longer effective, and new marketing strategies are needed. Social media is increasingly becoming a new go-to strategy. Being flexible will allow your company to continue to thrive through industry changes.


4. Connect with other innovative thinkers.

It’s said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Think about that for a moment – are your closest associates innovative or status quo?

As an entrepreneur, the most important thing you can do is surround yourself with excited, passionate, innovative people. Their enthusiasm and ideas will rub off on you, making you a much better businessperson. Perhaps these relationships could turn into lucrative partnerships in the future. Securing the right partnership is a key aspect of being a successful entrepreneur.


5. Be willing to take calculated risks.

Entrepreneurs are definitely risk-takers, but that doesn’t mean they are rash or foolish. As a person who wants to start a new venture, make sure you have a plan of action.

Only take risks when you have a thought-out plan of where things might go and how you will react. That’s responsible risk-taking, and it’s the hallmark of every good entrepreneur.

Thinking like an entrepreneur takes a lot of practice, but it is doable. The most important thing is to surround yourself with other passionate innovators who will inspire you. After that, stay informed and flexible, brainstorm solutions, and take calculated risks. You’ll be well on your way to being an entrepreneur.


Derek Wigmore is a marketing coordinator with My Alarm Center, a home security provider for over 140,000 customers nationwide, where he supports the business-to-consumer and business-to-business functions of the organization.


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