10 Ways To Treat Your Career Like An Entrepreneur Would Treat Their Business

Everyone wants a slice of the entrepreneurial cake. Entrepreneurship has become so broad and common, it has permeated the walls of the traditional workplace. It’s the buzzword of the 21st century. Even more than that, it’s a mindset. It’s a belief that you can be the ground breaker like Richard Branson, the sleep revolutionist like Arianna Huffington or global disruptor Elon Musk.

Disruptors, out of the box thinkers or status quo shakers are infiltrating workplaces. People are encouraged to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, to stretch thinking from average to impactful and step into the risk taker world.

Entrepreneurship extends beyond a job, a title and career. It’s a way of being. It’s an attitude. Entrepreneurial thinkers see themselves as executioners. As Gary Vaynerchuck graciously says “We all have ideas. Execution is the game”. The entrepreneurial mindset embraces uncertainty in all its difficulty, keeps eyes open to new opportunities, discovers problems and designs solutions to lead to something better.

I’ve always believed that anything you do in life is worth doing purposefully, deliberately with passion, care and creativity. All work benefits from an entrepreneurial mindset. If you are the hotel baggage handler, the coffee barista or senior manager in a tech company, there is no reason why you cannot shine through your entrepreneurial approach to your work. As the questions, what can make your co-workers job easier? What can make the customer experience be delivered with a WOW factor?

When you engage in problem-solving, value creation becomes enhanced. People are provided with an opportunity to thrive at work and achieve a level of fulfilment. If you embrace your career with an entrepreneurial spirit you have the power to be the predominant creative force in life.

Tapping into your entrepreneurial impulses creates opportunities to challenge the status quo, disrupt the everyday mindset, rise to new thinking and deliver results. You don’t need to leave your job, start your own company to tap into entrepreneurial attributes. Let’s explore how to lead your inner entrepreneur, tap into your entrepreneurial impulses and seize the moment.

1. Take the initiative in any given moment

When you rise above the average, the golden moments present and experiencing a level of fulfilment is present. Volunteer to solve a difficult problem, stay back to break down a problem when all are packing up their desks to go home and complete the project when all have resigned to the view that it is not their role. Go beyond the minimum amount of work, let the workplace know that you are reliable and committed to providing the highest quality to the client.

2. Disarm boundaries and eradicate the job description mentality

For all the debate around job descriptions, they form a basis of identifying core roles and responsibilities. Often people are confused and literally adopt a way of thinking enforcing boundaries around their daily actions. In the spirit of entrepreneurial thinking, disarm the boundaries, eliminate the box and embrace the multiple hats. Lead the solution by creating spaces to share knowledge, experience and wisdom to create new opportunities and uplift others.

3. Wellbeing and productivity

Thrive Global leads the conversations on wellbeing and productivity not needing to be on the opposites sides. When one increases, the other does. The opposite also applies. Our wellbeing is critical to our entrepreneurial functioning. By nurturing our sleep, eating healthy and investing time in activities outside career, our creative juices flourish. Entrepreneurs find their creative juice and inspiration from all around them. Taking time off allows you to maintain perspective on where you are heading. It also improves your performance.

4. Be indispensable

Carving out your own speciality in your workplace, nurturing relationships and showing up every day with the eye of the tiger is critical. Every single day listen, learn, ask questions and leave it all on the mat. Simon Sinekcaptures it well when he highlights great leaders speak last. They hold their opinions to themselves and ask questions to understand from why others have the opinion they have. Practice being the last to speak.

5. Questioning what exists

Taking responsibility and executing an idea is the entrepreneurial reality. When you take ownership, step into the creative being you are, you embrace your career like a white canvas waiting to be filled with extraordinary colour. The world of entrepreneurship is no different. When we embrace the mindset of how can we do better, we open the doors to innovation. We handle challenging questions and deliver out of the box solutions. Questioning what exists creates the platform for innovation. Steve Jobs, master innovator, would figure out what customers needed before they knew they needed.

6. Add value first

Adding value to everything you do, should be the mantra you hold. Apple transformed the entire world of computers by making them easy to use for the unsophisticated person. Value will always rest in perceived benefit in the mind of the beholder. Therefore, go the extra mile. Go above and beyond your scope of duties by solving their “other” problems.

Try on new ideas perhaps by giving something away for free and charging for value adds or access to premium accounts later in exchange for maintaining the relationship. Google primes itself by having Gmail for free as they make their money from ads. Apple iPhone replicates this approach by their basic applications are free because they have a full version that will cost money.

7. Bring a human element

Helping colleagues, peers and generally people without any attachment to the outcome or without expectation of anything in return, will pull you towards creating impact and building long term sustainable relationships. Offer your wisdom, connect with others and give others permission to do the same.

8. Pivot as you learn

Change is constant. There is no middle road to real commitment. You are either all in or not. Test driving your assumptions and ideas is most important to develop a deeper understanding of who you are. When you are pro-actively driving your learning by investing in your personal development, you are strengthening your unique selling point. Reading is useless without execution.

9. Relationships are the hidden gem

Building a strong network of collaborators will help you to navigate unchartered waters and collectively create success. When you take care of people, they reciprocate. Ask yourself this question every day — how may l best serve the most people? When you take care of the relationship, the money will take care of itself. Money is a function of value creation.

10. The buck stops with you

Taking 100% responsibility for everything in your career is thinking like an entrepreneur. No blaming, no excuses, no playing below the line. When you shift your mindset from excuses to full commitment, you move yourself to becoming the source of your results. To have it all, you need to be all in.

As first published in She Owns It