The economic crisis followed by a pandemic doesn’t represent a cycle. It represents a reset. Change is the only constant in our lives. Change brings challenge — and opportunity too. However, whether you see a challenge or an opportunity, depends on your mindset. But what is a mindset?

Your mindset is rooted in your experiences, education, and culture from which you form thoughts which establish beliefs and attitudes. Those thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes lead to certain actions and with those actions you have experiences. Those experiences give your mind new information to process.

Let’s try to analyse the mindset of successful entrepreneurs and try to understand how they think, how they are wired, where they set priorities and how they act.

  1. They are biased to action – every plan is merely a hypothesis until put into action
  2. They ask the right questions – starting from themselves and then to their customers
  3. They know their customers – they talk to them before they create anything, they talk to them after they created their prototype and together with some of them they built the product
  4. They experiment – the best way to test assumptions is to run lots of experiments
  5. They welcome and create change – entrepreneurs thrive on change
  6. They are optimistic – even though they know that 90% of startups fail
  7. They are able to make decisions with incomplete information – If they wait until they can gather that perfect information, they are probably moving too slowly
  8. They are intensely curious – they consume huge amount of information and they are good at synthesising ideas and information
  9. They understand and manage risk – entrepreneurs are really good at managing risk, figuring out how to de-risk ventures at every phase
  10. They are failure-savvy – entrepreneurs are trying to fail in ways that provide insights into markets, problems, products, customers, and that don’t kill the company

There are two more “sets” that are important to create successful companies, Toolset and Skillset.

Toolset represents the “what”. Frameworks and models that entrepreneurs and teams utilise to frame and execute their activities and steps. Business canvas, customer personas, value proposition, customer lifecycle etc. are part of the toolset.

Skillset represents the “how”. Processes, methodologies, techniques and putting the “tools” to work. How to look at markets and customers, rapid prototyping and testing, market segmentation, growth hacking, create a great customer experience, storytelling, pitching your venture are part of the skillset.

Since your mindset determines your initiative, your determination, your investment, and your behaviour, to succeed in your entrepreneurial journey, apart from knowing the strategy, the what (toolset) and the how (skillset), you should invest in evolving the entrepreneurial mindset. Remember that mindset trumps strategy every time, because when the mindset ran counter to the strategy, nobody would put the energy into the action plan.