by Jenna Kutcher
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All this time at home and in my feelings has really allowed me to get into my own head… but like, in a good way. I’m curious, what has this time brought out in YOU? Has it opened up new opportunities for ways to think, for options to bring in more income, for showing up for yourself in new ways that you didn’t know were possible before all this craziness?
One thing I’ve noticed as a shift in not just my circle of people or my followers, but in the country and likely even the world, is this new level of grit and perseverance. We’ve gotten uncomfortable collectively, and we’ve faced some really hard, scary things together. And from that, ideas have been born, new pursuits unearthed, and I can see the wheels of innovation starting to turn as regular people everywhere realize there are needs right now that maybe THEY could fill.
Have you had that little heart jump feeling of: hey, that idea isn’t so bad, and maybe just maybe I could and SHOULD pursue it? Because it’s the best feeling in the world and so if you’re feeling some movement in your soul and the deeper ignition to start your own thing and serve the world in ways only you are capable of, then I want you to soak in this episode, it was created for you.
Today I’m sharing the 11 simple ways to start thinking like an entrepreneur — because if I know one thing, it’s that entrepreneurs are often born of a need that only their individual gifts, personality, and experiences can fill.
No one is BORN an entrepreneur — you become one over time and grow into that role like your big sister’s old hand me down shoes you used to wear. It starts out weird and uncomfortable, and then with time and experience, it becomes a natural way of being. It’s not an overnight thing, and it doesn’t happen by just creating an LLC or purchasing a domain.
So even if your idea isn’t fully fleshed out or you’re not totally sure if you could handle running your own business, let’s walk through 11 easy ways to start thinking, believing and acting like an entrepreneur, right now.
Believe you have something special to offer
You don’t have to have a business degree or business plan all mapped out to start thinking like an entrepreneur, and the first step is just realizing that you, yourself are unique, and that means you have something special to offer the world.
Meaning this: your background, your education or lack there of, your triumphs and mistakes, your wins and losses, your personality, natural skill set, and life path have all created someone who NO ONE else in the world is like.
That means, your thoughts are different, your approach to problem solving is different, your messaging is different, your ideas are different, your knowledge is different. And different is GOOD in the business world. Whenever you firm up your offer, your different-ness will allow you to position yourself in a fresh way and lend a new kind of perspective to the market. Know that, trust that, and believe that YOU are uniquely different and that is a wonderful thing.
Lean into quick changes and pivots
When I used to work for Target they had all these leadership terms and one of them was: “resilient and adaptable.” Both of those words are important as an entrepreneur. Trusting in your ability to adapt and pivot is key in entrepreneurship.
You’ll have brilliant ideas one day that the next day you might learn aren’t the right fit for your target market. And then another day, a worldwide pandemic might hit and BAM, all that copy you’ve prepped for the next 3 months and that amazing launch you were planning in a few weeks may have to be paused, adjusted, or revisited in order to fit the new climate.
Nothing is certain in entrepreneurship. Your income, your success, your next big deal, your plans next week. It’s all fluid and relies on way more things than are within your control, and so trusting that you can, and should, adapt and pivot when the situation calls for it is vital. If you can’t change with the times, then you may end up left behind.
Believe in abundance
The abundance vs. scarcity mindset isn’t a new concept but it’s one that I learned about a few years ago and it has totally shifted my approach to everything in business ownership and life.
Having an abundance mindset means you always believe there’s plenty of everything for everyone in life, including money, opportunities, or relationships, while having a scarcity based mindset means you’re fearful that stuff is eventually going to run out and that everyone is your competition.
Training yourself to think abundantly will be the greatest gift you can give yourself. I mean it. You’ll not only become a more joyful person, but you’ll also attract more goodness. Those who live in fear and scarcity tend to play small, isolate themselves and not make a lot of progress as a result, where as if you believe there’s an abundance of everything, you’re more keen to take risks, make brave leaps, go for the massive dreams on your heart AND achieve them because you’re acting from a place of confidence that everything CAN work out.
Be unapologetic about creating independent wealth
I used to be so afraid to say that I wanted to make a lot of money and be wildly successful. But it’s like, why? Why is it WRONG to think or say those things? My intention with my life and business is to serve others greatly, and one way I do that is through teaching you how to build your own independent wealth.
And so why would I ever apologize for working my butt off to build my own wealth? Wealth is not evil. It’s not greedy, either. It’s actually important to know what you want and to state it, and so if one piece of success to you is independent wealth then do not feel the need to disqualify that statement or say you’re sorry for it. I have never once heard a man apologize for wanting to build wealth for himself, his family, or his community, so we shouldn’t think a thing about it either.
Be your biggest hype girl
Let’s be honest, you likely can’t afford a publicist right now. And it may be a long road ahead before you have people clapping for your wins or rallying up behind you to share your content, offers, ideas or products with the world. So it is up to you and only you, right now, to become your own publicist, hype girl, cheerleader, and stage mom.
Like show UP and show OFF for yourself as though you’re sharing your lifelong BFF’s wins and accomplishments. If you can’t believe in yourself, why should anyone believe in you?
A lot of entrepreneurship is lonely. It’s troubleshooting problems, figuring out the best messaging to reach your dream clients by yourself on the couch at 10 pm, and trial and error-ing it up until you finally hit a good stride and feel like you have a handle.
And then something will happen to shake it all up again. Throughout all those highs and lows, it’s your responsibility to share your little heart out — be open about your wins and fails. Pump yourself up. Ask yourself WWDPD — what would Dolly Parton do? She’d be hootin’ and hollering your name, saying YOU CAN DO THIS. You got this. Remind yourself of that on a daily or even an hourly basis.
Look at everything as an experiment
If you approach entrepreneurship with everything being a success or a failure, you’re going to struggle. Sometimes you’re going to get things wrong or you’ll have to make changes when least expected, and trust me when I say, it helps if you adjust the way you think about your work, projects, pursuits, and things in the “figuring it out” phase.
If you look at these items as experiments, like, “whelp, we’ll see how this goes and give it our best shot!” rather than measuring it by the outcome, it’ll be less about success and failure, and more about learning as you go, picking up the pieces when something doesn’t work out, and then adjusting the sails to hopefully get it right, or better, the next time around. This simple change in the way I evaluate results has made a giant difference in my life!
Get comfortable being your own boss and self motivating
Do you have a hard time with boundaries, self-control and motivating yourself to get stuff done? Well, entrepreneurship isn’t for you. TOTALLY KIDDING.
Let me just say that I believe it is completely human nature to struggle with procrastination and self sabotage. We all knowwww what we need to do, but the step from knowing to acting is a big one and it doesn’t always happen in the most timely of manners. Or at all. I mean, I can admit I’m guilty here too right alongside y’all.
The thing is, though, that you’re going to want to stretch and strengthen this muscle until it starts feeling more and more natural, because entrepreneurship really does rely on so much up-and-at-em energy, especially at first.
Start with little things, small promises to yourself that you know you can keep and then here’s the kicker, make sure you keep making good on that promise. Yes, even when you don’t want to, and yes, even on the days it doesn’t feel good, natural, or like you have time.
When you’re running the show, aka your business, knowing how to dial into your productivity and hammer things out will be an absolute TREASURE pretty much every single day.
Practice it, flex it, and keep showing up for yourself. A lot of times I don’t necessarily feel motivated to write another email or get on my Peloton bike or create another freebie, but once I get started I often get into a groove that makes me SO glad I followed through on my promise. And you deserve to keep your promises to yourself.
Set boundaries, milestones, and celebrations for yourself
One of the craziest things about entrepreneurship is you likely don’t have a boss helping you gauge your progress, your performance, and you sure as heck don’t have someone reminding you to pause and celebrate.
Yeah, I said it! Celebrate yourself and pencil in those milestones AND boundaries. I grouped these items together because when we have our own businesses, we’re used to being in charge and caring for others and almost even carrying the community we’ve built, our clients, our customers, and our followers. And so it’s natural to just want to keep trekking along right on past dinner time, right on past our birthdays, past our anniversary or a big milestone celebrations.
But you deserve to have time AWAY from work and you don’t need to eat, breathe, dream about your business every waking minute of the day in order to be successful. The entrepreneurs I look up to the most are ones who know how to unplug, who take the time to be with their families, who respect their minds and bodies by giving themselves a break and prioritizing their health.
If YOU don’t prioritize your boundaries and celebrate your milestones, then no one else is going to force you to. You’re the boss, so set the example for yourself and make time to unplug, rest, and celebrate. It’ll create a habit that you’ll be glad is ingrained in your routine for years to come.
Create the structure required for you to find success
Often times our creativity leads us into entrepreneurship… and often times creative humans aren’t the most structured beings. Entrepreneurs know what they need to set themselves up for success. Honor your flow states, if you’re most creative in the mornings then find ways to FEED that creativity in the mornings. If you know you’re a goner when it comes to writing copy, then find a way to outsource that task so that you can focus on the things you are really really good at and passionate about. If you find yourself doing the same things again and again, look into ways you could possibly automate or streamline your processes. Find the routine and structure that allows you to EXCEL in every way, and then commit to it every day.
Be willing to try new things
You may know that when I hired my first virtual assistant Caitlyn, she asked me whether or not I was using Pinterest to grow my business. There were literally crickets in the room before I shyly answered: no?
She went on to explain how it’s massively powerful for driving results for small businesses and we went on to implement all that goodness into my business structure and NOW Pinterest is the number one way we drive traffic to my website. We’ve had such success using and implementing the platform that I teach a whole course about it to other business owners!
But I could have said no to Caitlyn and just left it at that. I already knew a bunch about Instagram and email lists and my business was doing just dandy without Pinterest. Who knows where my business would be today if I hadn’t opened up to learning about a new platform that I had NO clue how to use, other than finding pretty house design inspiration?
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to look at every new opportunity in a nonjudgmental, unbiased way. To take in the information, and really ask if it could be applied to your business to benefit it in any way. So stay open minded and play! Be willing to try new things and hey, if it doesn’t work out, it’s all just an experiment anyway, right?
See other people’s success as possibility not a threat
I used to get really protective when other people in my industry experienced success bigger than mine. It goes back to that whole abundance vs. scarcity mindset, and when I had more of a scarcity based approach, I’d fear that someone else’s wins meant there would be less opportunities for ME to win.
But that’s is so just SO not true — and frankly it’s defeating if you think that way. Your unique capabilities and background specially position YOUR offer to be completely different than someone else’s, yes even your competition’s, and the right people who need your way of doing things will end up finding you because of it.
Listen, you are not for everyone, and that should be fuel for you to find the right tribe and also a relief that you don’t have to show up trying to win over the whole world every day. What a blessing and a weight off your shoulders! Someone else is there to serve the people that you’re unable to and who just aren’t the right fit for your message. Thank goodness. Now you can go back to being your best self and serving people in the way only YOU were meant to serve them.
The Big Picture
I want you to really focus on practicing these things, challenging yourself to adopt these mindsets and weaving them into your everyday life, even if you don’t have a business yet, and especially if you DO have one.
Entrepreneurship introduces new thrills every day and you’ll have seasons of successes as well as chapters that try to convince you to close up shop. I truly believe that with the right foundation, with a mindset that invites challenges and keeps you moving forward through them, you’ll have the strength and perseverance to continue rocking your future, or current, business. I hope these practices reinforce that you are capable of doing this business thing, because I truly believe that you are.