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If you run a successful business, you may have an entrepreneurial spirit — but not necessarily.
Possessing this quality is about more than founding or running a company. In fact, you don't even have to work in business to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Nor do you need a certificate or specific wardrobe, or to live in a particular location.
Discover the key qualities of these action-oriented, innovative individuals. Plus, get tips to nurture these characteristics in yourself.
What is entrepreneurial spirit?
The entrepreneurial spirit isn't attached to anything material or specific, like a degree or job level.
Instead, it’s all about the mindset. People with an entrepreneurial spirit are proactive about learning new things and achieving their dreams. They don’t sit back and rely on others to complete tasks or hand them opportunities. Instead, they chase success and put in the work to realize their goals.
The entrepreneurial spirit isn't something that people are born with. While some pick up on it faster than others, everyone can develop this quality, no matter where they live or their occupation.
Regardless of which industry you work in, BetterUp is ready to help you develop your entrepreneurial spirit. If you're a small business owner, a manager, or an intern at a startup, the entrepreneurial spirit can improve your and your team's lives. We want to see you chase your goals and develop the entrepreneurial skills to help you reach them.
How to know if you have an entrepreneurial spirit
Want to deepen your understanding of what it means to have an entrepreneurial spirit? Start by getting familiar with its characteristics.
Heads-up: Not all of these qualities are required — but they’re a good start. As you read over this list of 10 characteristics of people with an entrepreneurial spirit, you may even recognize a few of them within yourself already.
People with an entrepreneurial spirit tend to be:
- Natural leaders
- Motivated by challenges
- Quick but thoughtful when it comes to decision-making
- Unafraid of risks
- Ambitious dreamers
- Critical thinkers
- Excited to learn and grow
- Optimistic when it comes to life and work
What are the 5 P's of entrepreneurship?
As you’re looking to incorporate the general characteristics of someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, it can help to think in terms of the five P's of entrepreneurship. This framework will help you focus on what matters to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset ( including spiritual entrepreneurship, which prioritizes benefiting others) as you work through your day.
Take a look at the five P’s of entrepreneurship. Think about how you can become more intentional about developing these dimensions in your life. Be deliberate about checking in with yourself every day to keep the five P’s top-of-mind and see what strategies work for you to make progress in each.
What are some tips for developing entrepreneurial behavior?
You can't develop these characteristics overnight. Shifting to an entrepreneurial mindset takes hard work and effort. Tracking your progress and staying focused on your goals makes the process much easier on your well-being.
If you're looking to get started, here are four tips on how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
1. Be specific with your intentions
You hinder your growth when you're unorganized and don't know what you want to set out to achieve. To stay focused, set clear, specific goals.
Zero in on your dreams through purposeful intentions and actions. Gather your resources to focus on your goal. Adopt a “doer” mindset, thinking in terms of what you're looking to achieve.
2. Don't rely on one plan and one plan only
Embrace confidence, but not at the cost of ignoring warning signs. It's great to be unafraid of risks and view challenges as motivation, but you need to recognize when you have a severe problem. Some red flags are hard to ignore and may cost you later on, whether you’re approaching burnout from taking on too much or trying to complete tasks you aren’t qualified to do.
True confidence means being able to admit what we don’t know, ask for help, and change your mind based on new information. It's never a sign of weakness to acknowledge that things aren't working. Switching to a new plan might even widen your perspective and open up new opportunities to create value or get the job done more effectively.
3. Adapt to change
Life changes all the time, which is why it's essential to have a positive outlook.
That’s true even when changes seem more like setbacks, such as missed deadlines, failed launches, and negative moments. In these moments, use critical-thinking skills to evaluate what went wrong. Consider what opportunities can occur as the result of changes.
This can help you in the future. It also puts your ability to solve problems and leadership qualities to the test. Next time you face an unexpected change of plans, try your best to adapt instead of fighting it.
4. Never stop learning
Throughout life, we're constantly learning, so why not enjoy it?
Approach any learning opportunities as positive ones. As you move forward with your goals, you're never going to know everything. Your industry, technology, and day-to-day life are constantly evolving. Instead of limiting your knowledge, welcome ways to expand it.
Taking the next leap
Whether you’re running your own business, working your way up the ladder, or planning your next move, an entrepreneurial spirit can help you lean into challenges and change. Cultivating this mindset of entrepreneurship can shift the way you approach the world, moving forward as a more action-oriented and innovative person.
New mindsets and behaviors don’t just happen. They take some focus and effort to consciously change how we see ourselves and the events around us. But an entrepreneur isn’t afraid of hard work and commitment — neither are you.
Choosing to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t mean your values and interests have to change. You’re still yourself. It means that you’ll be better equipped to chase down your passions and goals in life. With an entrepreneurial spirit, no goal is too far out of reach.
At BetterUp, we want you to be your best. Through a relationship with a BetterUp coach or mentor, you can gain the perspective and accountability to develop your own entrepreneurial spirit.
Content Marketing Manager, ACC