The Inner Workings of an Entrepreneur's Mind

The Inner Workings of an Entrepreneur's Mind

Leadership | Posted by - January 10, 2014 at 12:00 am

An Investigation Into the Personality Matrixes of Leaders, Innovators, Creators and Disruptors

Entrepreneurs have a need to be in charge. It is their drive to lead rather than to be led. Tremendous satisfaction comes from mobilizing others to embrace their inspiration. It is an interesting dichotomy. Control is important, as business owners are motivated by being in charge of their own destinies. They generally feel it is safer than allowing an employer or others to chart their course. This is interesting, as the masses generally see this as surrendering control, and the perceived path of the lone wolf is too frightening for them to entertain. You often hear others lament and make statements like, “You have guts”, “That takes courage”, or “Aren’t you afraid you will fail?”

So although the need for control is high, great entrepreneurs are inclusive in approach. They are not, as commonly portrayed, singularly renegade. They understand the value of diverse perspectives and seek to surround themselves with thought experts. Of course, there are those who burn bridges with their hubris as their egos defy a team spirit. When I talk to those types of leaders and they are prepared to be candid, they reveal that despite their financial success they are lonely beings. Their road to victory is littered with a lot of talented people who they have burned along the way. Innovators recognize that crossing the finish line is based on a complex set of variables and a team environment. These are the truly admirable success stories.

A burning competitive desire is part of an entrepreneur’s DNA.

The inner workings of an entrepreneur’s mind are busy. Entrepreneurs generally do not have one big idea. Rather, they have many ideas and it becomes a question of which might be the most viable. There is always a flurry of activity in their brains as they are ready to create and build different products. It is a myth that those who are self-employed are all over the map. Successful ones understand they need rigor, discipline, and focus. They do their homework, talk to lots of experts and understand the liabilities.

Passion is key. Those who run a business bring intensity and drive to their cause. They doggedly fight against the collective societal response, which is “You will likely fail.” They might fail, but business owners are good at scraping their knees, dusting themselves off, and beginning again. The difference is that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th attempts are an amalgamation of new leanings.

A burning competitive desire is part of an entrepreneur’s DNA. They want to get to the gate first. They are consumed with drive and ambition. All obstacles have solutions. The glass is always half full. Self-esteem plays a role. It is a balance between conviction and humility.

So do you have what it takes? It’s not about guts. Innovators, creators, and disrupters believe they have no choice. This is their calling. I had a client who thought he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Each week he presented a new concept. The areas of specialty and fields of interest were so diverse. I challenged him and stated that he must define a core competence. I then asked him why he wanted to be self-employed, what was the allure? His answer wasn’t really compelling. What was most revealing, though, was his fear factor. I advised him he might be best to share his creative spirit within the context of a corporate milieu.

If you have all of the above ingredients, you know who you are. The rest of the wannabes should abandon their fantasies of self-employment. Growing up I wanted to be a sax player. Sadly I realized the ability to keep a beat mattered. So instead I have amassed a sizeable jazz collection and try to be a groupie when I can.

If it’s not within your blood, you have a lot to offer as an entrepreneur within an organization. Those talents can help push organizations to be more innovative. For those of you who are entrepreneurs, you have a different equilibrium. There really isn’t a resting state; pausing is a foreign language. It is about forging ahead with a passion and drive to make a difference in an environment that is free from traditional encumbrances. It is important to understand our true talents and how best to deploy them, be it as an employee or self-generated leader.

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Tags: drive, idea, innovation, leadership, passion, health

Cindy Wahler
Cindy Wahler, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a leadership consultant specializing in succession planning and talent management. For additional information or to get in touch with Dr. Wahler, please click here.
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