10.21.18

Understanding the Entrepreneur Mindset

KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC

“I could never do that.”

“I don’t have the discipline or the drive. “

“I don’t like to take risks.”

“I don’t know how people do it.”

These are common reactions I hear from individuals discovering whether they have entrepreneurial DNA. I think these comments get to the heart of the matter: it’s not for everyone – and that’s OK. One of the most significant differences between traditional w-2 employees and business builders isn’t the amount of money they make, their business hours or flexibility (although it’s true those can all vary), the most significant distinction is often unseen: their “disruptive and restless” business builder mindset. Consider three important mindset distinctions:

  1. Ownership of problems and opportunities,

    As the saying goes, “the buck stops here” with founders. Employees sometimes don’t necessarily take ownership of issues or feel invested in the end result of their work. Often, they’re siloed and responsible for one task or series of functions without the ability to influence the overall outcome. But entrepreneurs/business builders know that, at the end of the day, they’re accountable for every result in their organization. They often scrutinize each and every decision because they know it can have substantial impact down the road.

  2. Goal-orientation and a bias for action

    People are intrinsically motivated by different things. Entrepreneurs/business builders tend to be goal oriented (they are focused on a pain/problem/opportunity), a big picture approach. Employees, on the other hand, often have a process orientation. They can fixate on merely completing a task within a larger organizational context. They don’t always feel a connection with their job and the company’s mission or purpose. In fact, less than 8 out of 10 people go to work each day actively engaged or engaged in what they are doing.

  3. Managing risks prudently and sidestepping landmines

    Employees tend to shy away from risk and for a good reason. To them, taking risks does not always equate to rewards or any upside. There is often a fear of shaking up the status quo too much and being out of step with their leader’s or there organization’s culture. Business builders, on the other hand, empower themselves to manage, assess, and mitigate risks and know that sometimes, failures or false starts are the admissions price of learning.

So, do you think you have what it takes? The NIIC would love to be part of your success. As an aspiring innovator, business owner, pioneer, inventor or business builder, there’s a lot you are trying to figure out. Yet. In our years of working with business ideas, business ventures, and passionate people, we’ve developed considerable entrepreneurial insights, expertise and a track record that will guide you in the right direction at every stage and scenario of your business venture. Come work with us through the assess phase of our three step proprietary and trademarked process: ASSESS>DISCOVER>DO and learn about how well you are “wired” to become a business builder.

Whether you’re securing capital or talent, connecting with tech mentors, coaches or services providers (e.g., lawyers, accountants, bankers) or just wondering if your idea is viable, our venture advisory services will advance you and your business concept.You’ll work, learn and laugh (once in a while) with a dedicated team of accomplished business professionals. Individuals with specific skills, capabilities and industry experience will support you as you think and act on your entrepreneurial passion and vision.

We’re dedicated to serving entrepreneurs. As a designated state of Indiana certified innovation park, our interests are strengthening your venture’s likelihood for success and accelerating how fast you grow. We’re on your side. We do everything in our power to help equip you with a compelling advantage and competitive edge.

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