Which Entrepreneurial Mindset Do You Have?
As a job title that literally comes from an eighteenth-century French word for “adventurer”, being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting roles you can undertake. Most of the world’s biggest changemakers – think Steve Jobs, Michelle Obama, even the ancient Sumerian who first invented the wheel – have all embodied an entrepreneurial mindset to bring about innovation.
In fact, it’s the variety in entrepreneurial behavior that makes it just so dynamic in the first place. Whether you’re a chef throwing unheard of concoctions together in a pot, or an out-of-the-box thinking tech-head like Bill Gates, there are innovations to be made by all different kinds of aspiring entrepreneurs.
Of course, there are some common traits that are generally shared by the world’s most successful business owners. The best entrepreneurs display key characteristics such as an openness to new ideas, a bend towards creativity, an ability to calculate risks, as well as being able to stay resilient in the face of setbacks.
At MBA.com, we’ve categorized all these traits in to six distinct types of entrepreneurial mindsets or characteristics: Stability seeker, Analytical strategist, Innovative trailblazer, Resilient learner, Collaborative connector, and Change catalyst.
Take our quiz to find out which entrepreneurial mindset you have, and read on to explore each of these in more detail.
What are the different entrepreneurial mindset characteristics?
While taking risks is typically a big part of business, it doesn’t come to every business owner naturally. Stability seekers tend to do just that – if something works, they’re happy to maintain the status quo. They usually make very pragmatic decisions and will go out of their way to avoid potential disadvantageous deals due to self-doubt. Of course, this more cautious entrepreneurial mindset helps them to avoid business failure, but it may also mean that they could miss out on opportunities to achieve entrepreneurial success.
A huge benefit of studying an MBA or Master’s program at a top business school is that it can help people who are more risk averse to develop an enterprising entrepreneurial mindset. After all, the main thing that people are usually afraid of is the unknown. The Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA is considered number one in the world for entrepreneurship by the QS MBA rankings, and contains electives to get students more comfortable with exploring new areas such as Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.
By developing critical thinking skills and furthering an understanding of the market, students can become a lot more confident in their ability to overcome challenges that may be thrown their way in order to achieve entrepreneurial success.
Even for entrepreneurial mindset types who are more comfortable with jumping on unexpected opportunities, there is still value to be gained from developing new skills. Innovative trailblazers are action-oriented adventurers who thrive on unpredictable circumstances, but that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from learning how to make more informed decisions. For any successful entrepreneur, creative thinking can only go so far without the ability to discern which risks are more worthwhile than others – a skill that business school can help foster.
Similar to the trailblazers, change catalysts also embody an entrepreneurial mindset that lives for the unexpected. These idealistic dynamos view times of uncertainty as a chance to implement new ideas to make their own business more successful. As displayed by many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs, this entrepreneurial mindset is incredibly goal-oriented, and those who have it use their time effectively to achieve success.
Collaborative connectors, on the other hand, prefer to harness the power of group work to achieve business success. People with this entrepreneurial mindset value working with other successful entrepreneurs in order to come up with new ideas, assess risks, and overcome challenges. Embracing a collaborative entrepreneurial mindset means embracing the power of networking to build a business.
Typically, some of the strongest networks can be built by attending a top business school. On many programs, alumni will give talks about their own business strategies, and will even share business ideas. Being exposed to other successful entrepreneurs is a great way to develop your own robust entrepreneurial mindset.
Resilient learners display another kind of entrepreneurial mindset that places a high importance on feedback received from the people around them. Self-motivated team-players with an unshakeable growth mindset, resilient learners acknowledge that most successful businesses are built one step at a time – and similarly, that many successful entrepreneurs have faced significant setbacks along the way.
As one of the most necessary entrepreneurial skills to develop, business schools can teach students to not give up, even if their businesses fail. At the Cambridge University Judge School of Business, which contains a core module dedicated to Entrepreneurship and teaching resilience, 8% of MBA students started their own business straight after graduating. Undoubtedly, it's one of the toughest traits of the entrepreneurial mindset to embrace for any business owner, but it's also one that is crucial for success.
Last but not least, there are the analytical strategists. These have an entrepreneurial mindset that means they prefer to take their time assessing the risks. These cool, calculating chess-players are unlikely to jump on more radical business opportunities. As with many a successful entrepreneur, this entrepreneurial mindset sees the value in using past experiences to come up with present solutions.
Many business school programs also encourage the development of an entrepreneurial mindset that can use data and analytical skills to achieve business success, such as the Financial Times top-rated HEC Paris Master in Management program, which offers courses in data analysis and decision analysis. By studying strategies implemented by real-world successful business practices, business school students learn how to effectively weigh up risks.
If you're still not sure what your entrepreneurial mindset is, then why not take our quiz to find out?