Forging an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Succeeding in business is about a lot more than simply coming up with a good idea and putting it into action. To really succeed, an entrepreneur must develop the attitudes and mental habits that will allow their business to flourish. Whether you’re getting started in commercial real estate investing or scaling your existing company, you need to work on yourself to create a winning mindset.

 

The Importance of Developing the Right Mindset

From raising money to building a team, there are many aspects of running a commercial real estate business that require mental fortitude. You simply can’t win in today’s competitive market without embodying the attitudes that are conducive to success. A closed-minded or arrogant entrepreneur will always lose out to a humble and open-minded competitor.

 

How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

A positive mindset isn’t something you should expect to have innately. It’s not that some entrepreneurs are blessed with the right attitudes while others are doomed to failure. You can proactively cultivate a better mindset by learning about the types of attitudes that prove beneficial.

By examining your own mental habits and seeking to improve them, you can become better at management, investor relations, or any other area of business. Here are five possible areas for improvement.

 

Don’t See Transactions as Inherently Confrontational

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell a commercial real estate deal, you need to keep in mind that business transactions are not, by definition, confrontational. Remembering that the other party is not your adversary will help you build trust. It will also remove any sense of anxiety you might otherwise feel.

If you approach every interaction as a confrontation, you’ll create tension where it doesn’t need to exist. Some salespeople imagine that they’re on one side while the potential buyer is on the other. This makes them think they have to trick or beat the other person in order to come out on top.

Alternatively, a salesperson could recognize that they’re simply helping another human being solve a problem. Instead of being on different teams in direct competition, they imagine themselves and the buyers as teammates working together towards a common goal. You can apply this same mindset to all negotiations and discussions involving your business.

 

Strive for Outcome Independence

It’s important to remember that most business ventures have a probability of success rather than a certainty of a positive outcome. Your job as an entrepreneur is to determine whether a particular initiative is likely to work. From there, whether the move actually pays off won’t have an effect on the soundness of your decision. You made your choice according to the potential risk/reward ratio, not because you knew the endeavor would prove successful.

This attitude can be termed outcome independence. A smart entrepreneur should realize that the outcome of a move doesn’t have to define the move itself. Even if a commercial real estate deal or negotiation ends in failure, you can learn from the episode without considering it a mistake.

Take, for example, a commercial real estate investor cold calling property owners. This is an attempt with zero risk and a very high reward. The worst thing the people could do is say “no,” or one of the owners could be willing to sell their property. Even if the investor gets nothing but negative responses over the course of an afternoon, they shouldn’t view the effort as a failure. This represents an outcome-independent mindset.

 

Always Learn From Your Mistakes

Whenever a business project fails, you owe it to yourself to learn from the experience. This is what allows you to grow as an entrepreneur and a person. Any failure left unexamined is an opportunity that goes wasted.

The potential lessons within a project are a major part of the project’s value. Whatever the result of the endeavor, you’ll still have a chance to learn from the experience. One way to think of this dynamic is in terms of 50/50 goals. With every goal you set, only 50% of the success is based on whether or not you actually achieved what you were hoping for. The other 50% comes from the ability to draw some lessons from the experience.

Consider the example of a failed negotiation. Even if you didn’t finalize the deal you were expecting, the endeavor will still be 50% successful if you come out of it smarter and stronger. Not only will developing this mindset make you better at self-improvement, but it will also help you stay motivated. With 50/50 goals, total failure is practically impossible.

 

Fail as Early and Quickly as Possible

Failure is inevitable in business. Some ideas aren’t as good as you thought they were, and some ventures simply don’t work out. While you shouldn’t let failure get you down, you should do everything you can to mitigate the damage. One way to do that is by making your failures as short-lived as possible.

Imagine, for example, that you are running a company that has just launched a new product. As demand exceeds expectations, you press your supplier for more units, unsure of whether they will be able to keep up. If you stick with the supplier even as they barely manage to fulfill your orders, you’re setting yourself for eventual failure when demand finally outstrips the suppliers’ capacities. Instead of delaying the inevitable, consider asking the supplier to provide a massive amount of units right away. When they say they can’t fulfill the order, you’ll have identified the point of failure early enough to change course.

Drawing failure out will only compound the damage. Learning from failure is important, but that doesn’t mean you want your failures to become year-long courses. Learn the lessons as quickly as possible, then abandon the failure before the costs rack up.

 

Don’t Try To Master Everything

While all entrepreneurs would like to be amazing at everything and micromanage every aspect of their companies, such an ambition simply isn’t feasible. The best managers know how to delegate tasks in order to maximize efficiency at every level of a company.

If there are certain tasks that you’re simply not very good at, don’t hesitate to hire someone else to do the job. There’s a reason that division of labor is a fundamental component of contemporary society. Nobody’s perfect at everything, and only vanity would keep you from making use of others’ expertise.

It can also be worth it to outsource tasks that you’re actually quite good at in the interest of freeing up your time. As a manager, you should be focused on strategy and upper-level operations. You are the company’s architect, which means pounding nails and sawing wood isn’t the best use of your time no matter how great a carpenter you may be. If you can outsource a daily task to someone who can do 70% as good of a job as you, it is still worth it. You’ll make up for the loss in efficiency by giving yourself time to work on bigger ideas.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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Joe Fairless