Develop an entrepreneurial mindset with entrepreneurial learning experiences

What is Mindset?

We all have a mindset, yet often we are not consciously aware of it or the profound effect it has on our lives. Our mindset is the underlying mechanism that can expose opportunities and ignite our ambition, engaging our faculties in ways that enable us to flourish and thrive. Yet, our mindset can also blind us to opportunities and hinder our ability to learn and grow, keeping us tethered to familiar, yet unproductive patterns of thought and action.

So, what is an entrepreneurial mindset?

A mindset is a cognitive belief system consisting of interrelated beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge that we use to process information, inform our decisions, and guide our behavior.

An entrepreneurial mindset is a specific set of beliefs, knowledge, and thought processes that drive entrepreneurial behavior. Those with an entrepreneurial mindset tend to:

  • believe in their ability to succeed and influence their own outcomes, empowering them to take ownership of their lives;
  • have compelling goals that keep them future-focused and intrinsically motivated, driving them to be self-directed, action-oriented, and highly engaged;
  • have an optimistic interpretation of adverse events and see problems as potential opportunities, becoming highly resilient, resourceful, and solution-oriented even within highly uncertain, resource-constrained environments;
  • be lifelong knowledge seekers with a focus on micro-experiments as learning opportunities to test ideas, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking;
  • display a high level of reliability, understanding that following through on simple solutions can lead to unforeseen opportunities;
  • have a humanistic outlook, being other-focused and understanding that one creates value by looking to solve problems for others; and
  • surround themselves with an intentional community of positive influence and critical guidance

It’s important to note that successful entrepreneurs are often touted as exceptional individuals; a rare breed who seem to have been born with unique hereditary traits. But, the entrepreneurial mindset is most often acquired implicitly without conscious effort or awareness, which may explain why it often appears to be a dispositional trait, even though it is not.

An entrepreneurial mindset can be developed and enhanced through entrepreneurial experiences. And to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset, we must create entrepreneurial learning experiences within our classrooms, organizations, and communities.

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  • "Ice House is reinventing the way we make ourselves successful, you have to think outside of the box, go that extra step, think about new ways to innovate, and I think that is going to be the marker of the next few generations."

    Crystal Haynes, Student, Pikes Peak Community College