How many times have we heard someone say that their dream is to become an entrepreneur? It’s very common. It’s also common for people to say they’ve thought about writing about a book, but for whatever reason they never get around to it. For one thing, writing a book, like entrepreneurism, is not easy. It takes a lot of work, commitment, resolve, and an element of risk. I used to tell my two sons when they were young that you need three characteristics to be successful in business. You need a great attitude, strong work ethic, and the ability to communicate effectively. But over time, I came to the realization that those attributes, while essential, needed one extra ingredient to ascend from good to great. Risk, you need to be willing to take risks - which takes guts.
Of course, not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t keep you from thinking like one. Starting with a state of mind that is myopically focused and unbalanced in every way. This sort of mental discipline allows you to take self-initiative which creates a self-motivation that counters fear with courage. And oftentimes you will find yourself going against the grain or swimming upstream. Henry Ford once said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
In football, they talk about the “game within the game.” In that you don’t have to defeat the other team, you just have to beat the guy in front of you and everything else will take care of itself. The same thing could be said for having an entrepreneurial mindset, that you are running your own race within the greater race. Using another sport analogy, it's like a track meet where you are on the relay team. Basically, when you have the baton, you “are” the company. You are an independent entity within the greater whole, but you are still part of the whole. Where you take ownership, have skin in the game, and are an independent autonomous contributor who assumes control over your own destiny by being the exception.