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MyOwnBusiness Institute

Do You Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

What kind of mindset should an entrepreneur have when starting a business? Daniel Nathanson, Ph.D. from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Business, gives advice to entrepreneurs on how they should approach their business and the type of mindset they need to run a successful business. 

Michael Gerber in his book "The e-myth", talks about the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset. He says that most people that start a business in the US are not really entrepreneurs. They are technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure. They think that because they can do the work of a particular business that they can run a business that does that work. And that is far far from the truth. He is saying that because you are an auto mechanic doesn't mean you can run a service station. Because you are a welder in a machine shop does not mean you can run a machine shop.
The problem is that it requires a different skill set and a different mental orientation. Most technicians focus on making the best product in the world. Most entrepreneurs who have built significant businesses look at the market and say, "what do I have to do to satisfy that market?" Ray Kroc is the founder of McDonald's. He's a perfect example of the entrepreneurial mindset. What did Ray Kroc do differently when he started McDonald's? He didn't see himself as flipping hamburgers or making the best french fries. He thought of himself as selling his entire business to franchisees, people who wanted a system of doing business. So he went about creating a system to do this business, because if he was going to have many, many establishments, he couldn't be in every one of those establishments at one time. He had to have someone else running it, so he created a system and a business that no longer needed him.
This is the entrepreneurs perspective: finding out who your customers are and what they need, and build the business to meet those needs. A business that is not just a product, but an entity capable of creating new products and consistently meeting the needs of customers over time. In addition, the entrepreneurs perspective in goal is to create a business, as I said, that no longer needs so they can achieve their goal to have the freedom to come and go as they please. I'm not suggesting that you have to franchise your business, but I am suggesting that you work on your business rather than in your business. I want you to be thinking: what do I have to do to have a business in which I can come and go as I please, a business that no longer needs me? It means I have to get the right system in the right people in place so I can come and go, and that's a totally different orientation.