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10 Attitudes of an Entrepreneur

When someone asks me, “What do you do for a living?” I respond, “I am a business owner whose product is education.” I also consider myself to be an entrepreneur. You may be asking, why would I make a distinction between the two? I think there’s a difference between the two.

Ask yourself this, while you currently may not be a business owner, are you an entrepreneur? Before you answer yes or no, I invite you to consider what an entrepreneur truly means.

In my research, not only academically but also through hands-on experience, I’ve come to find that the most accurate definition is this:

Entrepreneur: Someone who is willing to take on a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome.

Before you answer the question, “Are you an entrepreneur?” consider the meaning of each word within that definition. You may discover something about yourself you may never have considered before.


Defining The Attitudes

Venture: A major undertaking, synonymous with adventure.

Enterprise: A purposeful undertaking.

Responsibility: An agreement to carry forward an assigned task to completion.

If you plan to graduate from high school, attend college or start a business, you’ve taken on a venture. Graduating from high school is a venture. Getting your driver’s license is a venture. Why? Each is a major undertaking and, in many ways, a thrilling adventure! But, these are not just any undertakings; they are purposeful undertakings.

Are you willing to be responsible for carrying forward these tasks to completion? If you said yes, then you may just be an entrepreneur.

If you said yes to the question “Are you an entrepreneur?” please keep reading! If you answered no, keep reading, and then go back and answer this question again when you have finished. See what you can discover about yourself.


In my many years of business, I’ve seen ten distinct attitudes of an entrepreneur. By pooling my knowledge with the collective experiences of my company and peers, I’ve found that these attitudes are as universal and applicable as the definition of an entrepreneur.

10 Attitudes of An Entrepreneur

  1. Integrity
  2. Goal Oriented
  3. Manager of myself, not of time
  4. Team Oriented = Mastermind
  5. Making decisions by the Fire-Aim-Ready
  6. There is no try, only do (Yoda)
  7. Be, Do, Have, not Have, Do, Be
  8. Your life IS a business
  9. Being willing to ask for support when you need it
  10. Being financially literate

Get on the court! Make it your own! See what you discover!

Let’s look at each one individually. At the end of each attitude, I’m going to include some journaling prompts. I believe that self-analysis is critical to discovering these attitudes for yourself! So grab a pen and paper, and jot down your own answer at the end of each section.

1. Integrity

Integrity is to honor your word as yourself.

Do what you say, and do it when you say you will do it.

Now ask yourself this: Can you genuinely commit to never, ever breaking your promises? The answer is NO! If you answered yes, the promises you are making are way too small. If you are going to succeed, you must be open to taking risks. Sometimes, life doesn’t work out the way we plan. The way we prove ourselves is in how we handle the breakdowns we cause. When you do not keep your word or break a promise, you will need to restore honor to your
commitment.

How do you restore honor to your word?

First, let the person(s) to whom you gave your word know that you did not keep your word. Then, let them know whether or not you plan to make a new promise or that you are not going to do what you said you would do. Finally, be responsible for any consequences that result from you not keeping your word.

If you plan to keep your word eventually, you need to decide how and when you will be honoring your word. Make a plan. Make sure all parties involved understand and agree to your plan.

This is how you can manage to be in integrity, in a world where nothing is certain. Honor your word, even when you cannot keep your word.

When people can count on you to either keep your word or let them know when you’re not keeping your word, you are honoring your word. This is how you operate in integrity.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why does integrity matter?
  2. Think about a person you cannot count on because they frequently go back on their word. How does that person behave and communicate?
  3. Think about a person who does honor their word, and you can always count on them to communicate if they cannot keep their word. How does that person behave and communicate?
  4. Which person is the one you want to be around? Which person has the attributes you admire?

2. Goal-Oriented

Set goals. Make them big! Make them huge! I have a 3-step process.

Three-Step Process for Goal Setting:

Step 1: Determine what you want.
Step 2: Determine when you will get it.
Step 3: Create the future of achieving your goal as if it has already happened.

Once you’ve done that, you need to create a system that will set you up for success. Tell at least five other people your goal and pick people who will help hold you accountable!

Being goal-oriented allows you to dream and dream big. Being goal-oriented will enable you to think about what you want and how you will get it. Being goal-oriented allows you to have a say in how your future is going to go.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Walk through my 3 Step Process for setting a goal.
  2. Who are the five people you will ask to hold you accountable?

3. Manager of myself, not of time.

Why wouldn’t you want to manage your time? Doesn’t everyone tell you to practice time management? Well, ask yourself, what does it mean to manage time? Here is my definition.

Manage Time: be in charge of the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.

If that is what managing time means, how are you ever going to accomplish that? You would need to be a multi-dimensional being! This is highly unlikely or perhaps impossible. If you are not going to manage time, what can you manage? That’s an easy one! Manage yourself and practice being someone who practices integrity.

If you say you will be somewhere or complete something by a specific time, then honor your
word and do what you said. If you can’t, make a plan and inform all parties involved. But, again,
manage your word (integrity), not time.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. In what ways are you managing time instead of yourself
  2. How could living in integrity and honoring your word change how you manage yourself?

4. Team Oriented = Mastermind

What does it mean to mastermind? Here is my favorite definition of the word:

Mastermind: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose.”

No two minds ever come together without creating a third, invisible, intangible force, which is like a third mind. Masterminding creates synergy, which is the interaction of elements that, when combined, produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual parts or contributions.

Long story short, this definition means two heads are better than one! Enlist the help, knowledge, expertise, and support of your community to accomplish your goals.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Make a list of the people you would include on your team.
  2. What are each of your strengths and weaknesses? Make a list.
  3. How can you effectively work together with your strengths and weaknesses to achieve
    your goals?

5. Making decisions by the Fire-Aim-Ready

Most people have heard of and typically use Ready-Aim-Fire to make decisions. However, I find people using this model spend so much time getting ready, they never get around to deciding at all and miss the opportunity before them. Have you ever noticed when you make a decision that all you can think about is that new decision and what is possible? Your thoughts now become those of what you need to do to make things happen. You can now make promises, create goals, and mastermind once you make a decision.

What does Fire-Aim-Ready look like?
🎯 FIRE
Make a decision! If it is the right decision, then you’ll know that it is pretty soon. If it is the wrong decision, then you can get to work on making the right one. Thomas Edison was a master at this as an inventor.

🏹 AIM
Figure out what needs to be accomplished so that you align with your decision.

READY
Get ready for the next decision to make.

One time I met a guy named Bob, and he was a Ready-Aim-Fire guy. So don’t be like Bob!

Me: Bob, have you made a decision?
Bob: Well, I need to think about it.
Me: How long do you need to think about it?
Bob: Well, let me think about that.
Me: Wait, Bob, you need to think about how long you are going to think about it?

Oh my, Bob is not going to get around to deciding for quite some time. Maybe Bob reminds you of someone you already know. Ask yourself, how could my life be transformed by using the Fire-Aim-Ready model?

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Reflect on when you took too long to make a decision and missed an opportunity.
    What could you do better next time?
  2. How could my life be transformed by using the Fire-Aim-Ready Model?

6. There is no try, only do (Yoda)

Yoda is correct!

“Do or do not, there is no try.”

Yoda

Put your hand on the table. “Try” to take it off the table. You either take it off the table, or you do not take it off the table. Notice how often we think trying means something different. Ask yourself, what areas of my life am I not doing?

You may succeed; you may fail. Have you ever failed at anything? The answer is yes. Will you fail at things in the future? The answer is yes. Failing will show you where you can correct your actions, or a new plan is needed. Keep playing and use the information from the failure to achieve success. Overcome obstacles, stay in the game, and play again.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Reflect on a time where you quit trying and actually began DOING! What changed?
    What did you accomplish by doing?
  2. Ask yourself, what areas of my life am I not doing?

7. Be, Do, Have, not Have, Do, Be

Most people think you “have” it all together to “do” the things you need to do so you can “be” who you want to be.

But a five-year-old helped me figure this one out, and I’m still baffled at how simply they saw the world. It was the perfect perspective to help me create this exercise.

For the next 30 seconds, be a kangaroo.
Now that you are a kangaroo, what are you thinking about?
Being a kangaroo, of course.
Next, you will start figuring out what a kangaroo does.
Now, as you are a kangaroo, hopping around the way a kangaroo does, then you have it all together. You know what it is like to be a kangaroo.

Decide who you want to be. Then, look for the actions to take that allow you to be that. The more actions you take, the more you will have it all together.

Be-Do-Have!

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Think of the person you want to be. Who is that person? List the qualities of your ideal self.
  2. Pick 5 of those attributes you listed, and create a game plan on how you will start BEING those attributes in your daily life.

8. Your life IS a business

Businesses need a Leader. CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer and is the leader responsible for the success or failure of the company. Operations, marketing, strategy, financing, creation of company culture, sales, public relations, and more. It all rests on the CEO’s shoulders.

Be the CEO of your life! The CEO is responsible for the success or failure of your life. Not your mom, dad, teacher, or anyone else. You are!

The CEO is responsible for the operations of the business. The day-to-day workings of the company. Take care of your body, mind, and spirit.

The CEO is responsible for marketing and strategy. People are watching you. They are watching your actions, your social media, and listening to what you say. Be accountable for what you say and how you represent yourself.

The CEO is responsible for financing and sales. Manage your money and have a plan for how you spend, invest, and save—starting where you right now allows you to practice and begin to understand how to make your money work for you.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Find five ways you can manage your life like a business. Write them here!

9. Being willing to ask for support when you need it

A friend asks you for help on something. What is your typical response? It is probably something like, “Yes, of course, what do you need?” Or, “Let me see if I can; what do you need?” And possibly, “If I can, of course, I will.”

Notice your usual response is not – No, I don’t want to help you!

Ask yourself, how does it make you feel to you know you have helped someone else who has asked for your support? For me, it feels great to know I could help someone with something they needed. I feel happy that someone could count on me. I feel trusted by that person. I feel accomplished because I could make a difference. That is pretty normal.

Ask yourself, why is it then that when it comes time for you to ask for help on something you need support on, you don’t want to do it? For most people, it is probably something like, “I don’t want anyone to know I can’t do it myself.” Or “I feel embarrassed,” and “I feel bad asking.” Or maybe you say, “I don’t want to waste their time.”

Remember what it feels like when you help someone else? That’s right, you feel great. Why would you deprive someone of the opportunity of feeling great by supporting you when needed? You get the support you need, and the person helping you has a chance to feel fulfilled. It sounds like a perfect win-win situation. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice your Mastermind attitude.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. When was a time you felt empowered from helping someone else? Reflect on that
    time here.
  2. In what areas of your life could you invite someone in to help you?

10. Being financially literate

Study personal finance. Get interested in having a savings account and start saving now. Learn about bank accounts, credit cards, and using a budget. Create a financial plan starting with where you are and where you want to be. Learn about accounting. Discover the difference between an asset and a liability. Find an expert in the field and create a personalized plan that meets your financial goals. If you don’t have financial goals, ask the expert what they could be. Review your plan regularly. Start with reviewing it every month and watch how it becomes a
habit for you.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Make a list of 5 financial topics you want to learn more about.
  2. Create a game plan for how you are going to learn those five things!

These are my ten attitudes of an entrepreneur, and I encourage you to now revisit my original question:

Are you an entrepreneur? Do you possess these ten attitudes? Discover something new!

If you want to learn more about the ten attitudes given here, check out our College and Career Readiness course at mrdmath.com. We practice these concepts and more!

Thank you for being willing to read this article and saying YES to being an entrepreneur. Because you took the time to read this article, I already know you are someone who is up to something big, and you are someone who wants to make a difference. Be that difference now!

Mr. D

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