July 6, 2023

Measuring The Entrepreneurial Mindset With Dr. Jennifer Hall

By: Podetize

TEMP S2 12 | Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile


Welcome to the latest episode of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Project! In this special edition, we’re taking a different approach as we delve into the fascinating realm of the entrepreneurial mindset through the lens of psychology.

Our guest today is Dr. Jennifer Hall, co-author of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile—a groundbreaking psychometric tool that assesses the entrepreneurial strengths of individuals across various domains, from students to organizational leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Dr. Hall and her team have identified 14 key traits and skills that set entrepreneurs apart from the rest. But here’s the burning question: Is the entrepreneurial mindset the driving force behind entrepreneurial behavior, or is it a consequence thereof?

Join us as we explore this intriguing inquiry and uncover the intricate connections between psychology and entrepreneurship. Get ready for an enlightening conversation with Dr. Jennifer Hall, where we unlock the secrets behind the entrepreneurial mindset. Let’s dive in!

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Read the transcript below.

Measuring The Entrepreneurial Mindset With Dr. Jennifer Hall

In this episode, I’d like to try something new. Rather than do our standard interview format with underdog entrepreneurs, I’d like to explore the inner workings of the entrepreneurial mindset from a psychologist’s perspective. I’m speaking with Dr. Jennifer Hall, who’s the Cofounder of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile, a psychometric tool designed to assess the entrepreneurial strengths of students, organizational leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs. Jennifer and her colleagues have identified fourteen traits and skills that they believe distinguish entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs. To me, the most important question is, is an entrepreneurial mindset the cause of entrepreneurial behavior or is it in effect? Without any further ado, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Jennifer Hall.

Jen, welcome to the show.

Thank you. I’m delighted to be here with you.

I’m super excited to have this conversation. Every time you and I get together, the conversation seems to just take off. We’ll see where this goes. I want to start by asking you how you got interested in the entrepreneurial mindset, and then how that interest led to the development of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile.

They are one and the same. I did not think about entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial mindset in my childhood and throughout my early career. As a psychologist working in leadership development, I was working at the Eckerd College Leadership Development Institute, which is a network associate of the Center for Creative Leadership, which is a worldwide leadership research and training organization.

In all our programs, we used assessments with our clients like personality assessments, skills assessments, and 360-degree assessments. We used that data as a jumping-off point to increase self-awareness and to help clients set goals and become better versions of themselves, however they define that. In about 2009 or 2010, one of our coaches came to me and asked if I knew an assessment for entrepreneurial mindset. I did not. She thought it was important for our corporate clients for whom thinking like an entrepreneur we believe can be very helpful.

Just because you’re not a business owner doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the entrepreneurial mindset preaching to the choir. That was her thinking at the time. It was new to me. Because we could not find an assessment, I connected Dr. Pam Mayer with another colleague of mine in the psych department, Dr. Mark Davis, who had a lot of experience in creating psychometric assessments. They decided to create one and brought me along for the ride. That was the first time I thought about entrepreneurial mindset. Sometimes you just get involved in something, and then you become deeply interested. That was the case for me.

Sometimes people ask me, “What is an entrepreneurial mindset?” Sometimes the easiest way to answer that question is by asking an opposite question like, “What is a non-entrepreneurial mindset?” It gets us to stop and think. I think of a managerial mindset as the other side of the coin. We need both. You’re saying the same thing. I’m assuming that managerial assumptions are focused on the efficient replication and distribution of useful things.

I love that definition. That’s a lot more thought than I’ve ever given to it, but that makes so much sense. In general, it’s helpful to think about what a mindset is by contrasting it to something that is very different. Also, inherent in what you laid out is the assumption that there’s a time and a place for almost every kind of mindset. I believe that being an effective leader and being an effective human being is about being intentional about what mindset is going to be most helpful for a given context, and then adopting that mindset. That’s an oversimplification.


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Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile: Being an effective leader and, frankly, being an effective human being is about being intentional about what mindset is going to be most helpful for a given context, and then adopting that mindset.


It’s being mindful of having more than one tool in your toolkit. Do you have a clear definition? How would you define a mindset?

My thinking about this has evolved over the years. This is a great definition that I didn’t create myself, but let me see if I can get close. A mindset is a cognitive filter. It’s mainly cognitive, but there are affective or emotional components as well that maybe don’t determine but influence how you see and interpret events or situations. You and someone with a more managerial mindset might be looking at the same issue of, “We’ve got this product here. We want to scale it. How could we do it?” You might see that very differently because of the mindset, but each of you could challenge yourselves to say, “What would a managerial mindset lead to? What would my answer be if I was adopting a managerial mindset? How about if I was adopting an entrepreneurial mindset?”

I learned a lot from reading Edgar Schein’s work on culture. It comes to seeing the mindset like culture. The mindset is to a person what culture is to a group. It functions in the same way as taken-for-granted rules, heuristics, and mental models that we abide by in the pursuit of our goals or how to behave in particular situations.

Also, sometimes what the goals even are.

The thing that I learned from Schein is that you can’t understand someone else’s mindset until you can understand that you have a mindset.

The fish doesn’t know its water when they’re swimming in it.

The entrepreneurial mindset only seems enigmatic or mysterious to us to the extent that we are steeped in managerial culture.

I wonder if it’s also mysterious to someone who’s steeped in an entrepreneurial culture and doesn’t run across many managers.

It works in both. It’s bidirectional.

You and I probably see this similarly. For the most part in this country, our educational system is geared much more toward a managerial mindset. For that reason, people who are naturally very entrepreneurial, going through school, probably feel very different then. They become aware of the more dominant mindset.

I think about that a little bit differently. I should ask you because I don’t know the answer to this. Maybe you do. I can’t help but wonder whether the kids who don’t do well in school are forced to step outside known systems to figure things out for themselves. At some point, I’m no longer relying on a professional teacher, a predetermined path, and a predictable outcome so they develop an entrepreneurial mindset as a result. I’ve interviewed many entrepreneurs and they’re not the scholarly types.

They didn’t know what to do with it. Talking about nuances, I see many reasons why kids don’t do well in school. Sometimes they’re not neurotypical. Sometimes they’re dealing with a lot of stress or trauma at home. Sometimes they’re in systems that don’t value school. It probably depends a little bit on why they didn’t do well in school, but it makes complete sense. It’s not that they don’t do well in school because they’re entrepreneurial. If they don’t do well in school, they see entrepreneurial pursuits, or they learn that maybe through trial and error, but that’s a path to success for them.

“That was my path.” The point I want to come back to that I don’t want to lose here is that managerial paradigms are important for efficiency, like the efficient distribution and production of useful things. We need that, but these managerial paradigms, the values which are steeped in efficiency and replication, these error-reducing paradigms are not conducive to exploration and experimentation. The trick for entrepreneurial leadership is to understand how to make room for both. It’s not one or the other.

It’s to recognize the tension between the two. If you don’t recognize the tension, you cannot make space for both. I couldn’t agree more.

How did this Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile play out? How did it evolve and how is it being used?

The story is still being written, but we celebrated its tenth-year anniversary. It’s a good time to step back and reflect. I’m sure you know a lot more than I do about this, but when you create a product, you might have one use in mind for it, but the market is going to determine what it’s going to do with it. When we created it, our primary belief was that it would be useful to the leaders who we served at our institute because we thought that it would help them recognize their unique strengths and entrepreneurial thought and action, and map that against what they believed the business or their function required, and then see where the gaps were. We still use it in that way. I use it in that way a lot.

What surprised us was the degree to which another market that we believed would be there turned out to be the primary market. That is entrepreneurship educators typically at the university level, although some are experimenting with it in high school now because entrepreneurship educators appreciate having a framework that can guide some of their work. They appreciate having assessments at the beginning and at the end of the course. Even though we did not design it to be evaluative but more descriptive, it’s sometimes helpful for them to have students take it at the beginning of a semester or a year, determine where their strengths are and where their low scores are, and decide if those are concerns or not.

You might have a low score and that’s absolutely fine and not a problem. It won’t get in the way of you reaching your goals. If there are low scores that they’re concerned about or they want to be higher, then the student has an opportunity through the course of the semester or the year to develop skills in that area or develop a different way of looking at things, and then test again at the end of the semester. Entrepreneurship educators have appreciated that aspect of the EMP, along with the rich opportunities for research.

That same thing happened to us. Drucker said this 40 years ago, “When a new business does succeed, more often than not, it does in ways the founders never anticipated, like it’s being used in ways you couldn’t foresee by people you never anticipated. That’s the way it goes.

How did the Ice House Program evolve in ways you didn’t anticipate?

We initially thought we were making an entrepreneurship program for at-risk use. Right out of the gate, we had some initial funding from the Kauffman Foundation. Carl Schramm was the CEO at the time. He supported this. Our first client was Johns Hopkins School for Education. I was like, “I hit the lottery.” It was the School Education, and they were trying to fix the dropout factories. Twenty percent of the schools in the Baltimore area are creating 80% of the dropouts.

For whatever reason, the lady that was running that program came back to us and said, “This is perfect for a community college student, but our high school kids are reading at a third-grade level.” It was a gut check for us at the moment. Community college people, nonprofits primarily, picked it up and ran with it. It resonated in places I could never have possibly imagined. We got back from training hundreds of teachers in South Africa. You have an intention. You put something out in the world which makes you very vulnerable. Can you talk us through what are the components of the entrepreneurial mindset that you’re interested in and you’re trying to measure, and how are you guys doing that?

I should take a step back. When we came at this, we didn’t take a theoretical approach. We didn’t have a theory that said, “Here’s exactly what entrepreneurial mindset looks like,” but we took an empirical approach. We measured a number of dimensions such as risk acceptance, action orientation, and persistence. We thought, based on the literature, that might differentiate between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs.

We gave all these items and these small scales to business owners and non-business owners. We said, “Anything that significantly and reliably distinguishes between these two groups, we will put that in our multivariate assessment of entrepreneurial mindset.” That’s what we did. There are fourteen dimensions or scales. We’re not saying it’s better to be higher or lower on these things, but rather we’re saying entrepreneurs, in general, are higher on these fourteen things than corporate leaders. That was our comparison group.

When someone takes the assessment, what they will look at, especially compared to entrepreneurs, is where they scored relatively high and low and what that particular profile means for them as an individual. If I had to do it again, I would name it the Entrepreneurial Strengths Profile because it’s not designed to determine whether someone is or is not an entrepreneur, or should or should not be an entrepreneur. Anyone can be, but the way in which they decide to go about becoming an entrepreneur, the kind of business or role they’re going to take on, etc. is going to be influenced by factors like this. The key determinant is how much somebody wants it. This is a way to look at what are someone’s unique strengths and entrepreneurial thought in action.

I love that Entrepreneurial Strengths Profile. That’s good. I do remember talking to you about that. When I think of the entrepreneurial mindset, I don’t claim to understand all the dimensions of it, but I think of mindset as this mechanism. There’s an evolutionary component to mindset. It functions more or less like culture does to a group. Our mindset enables us to think without thinking. Our brains are inundated with billions of bits of data that pour in through our senses each second. We can only handle a few.

Our brains are always trying to filter out everything deemed non-threatening and irrelevant, trying to automate everything in order to reduce cognitive load. That’s the evolutionary function of a mindset. Once our brains accept a particular schema as the correct way to perceive, think, act, and feel in relation to a particular problem or the pursuit of a particular goal, our brains tend to relegate that schema to habitual control.

Sometimes we only become aware of our mindset when we start noticing patterns of behavior. More often, when other people hold up a mirror to us and say, “I notice X. Can you tell me about what’s going on with that?” Sometimes what I do in coaching is try to bring the unconscious or the automatic into conscious awareness so someone can look at it and decide the extent to which it’s working for them or not.

Sometimes, we only become aware of our mindset when we start noticing patterns of behavior, but more often, when other people hold up a mirror to us. Click To Tweet

That’s gold. I think that 99% of our work at ELI is what you said. It’s helping people realize that you are looking at the world through a lens. I coined this phrase, and I’m borrowing heavily from Deming, “A mindset is a belief system that is perfectly designed to create the outcomes that it’s creating.”

If you have an abundance or a scarcity mindset, you’re going to see the world in different ways and create the reality that you’re expecting.

It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Getting people to realize that the outcomes in your life, the levelone of the iceberg, are not the result of your conscious beliefs and espoused values. It’s more likely to be the result of your unconscious beliefs, take it for granted values, and deeply held assumptions. That’s where there’s so much similarity in our work. What I’m telling people is, “Let’s excavate your level three values and assumptions and bring them up into the daylight where you can see them. By the way, let’s compare yours to an entrepreneur and see. Maybe you want to adopt some of those beliefs and assumptions. Maybe they can help you.” It’s 99% mindset and 1% entrepreneurship in mind.

Our work is similar in that way. It’s inviting people to go deep and look at the beliefs that are outside conscious awareness, bring them to conscious awareness, and make a more informed decision based on what kind of mindset is going to lead to the behaviors that are going to create the kind of life that you want, or whatever that is.

It’s astonishing to me that a lot of intelligent and educated people aren’t clear about where they’re going or what they want.

They think they do. Everybody has a story.

It’s retirement. How sad. A lot of my thinking around the entrepreneurial mindset is I’ve always looked at entrepreneurs from the lens of an anthropological perspective. I see it as a behavioral phenomenon. I don’t think of it as a business discipline. I’m trying to understand what are the underlying values, assumptions, and other factors that give rise to or inhibit this behavior. That’s where I’m coming from on that. I wanted to ask you this question because most lay people, or the people who don’t live and breathe this stuff the way you and I do, default to trait-based assumptions about the causes of entrepreneurial behavior.

Say more about what you mean by trait-based explanations.

Every once in a while, a Mark Zuckerberg comes floating down the chute. Frank Knight, a 20th-century economist, referred to the entrepreneurial process of thinking as a scientifically unfathomable mystery. All that does to me is show the extent to which they’re steeped in industrial-era thinking. I don’t dispute that our dispositional traits have some influence, but I think the situation is much more powerful than our dispositional traits, the big five. Our traits are our default settings that take over in the absence of other cognitive, motivational, and situational factors.

I’m taking in that they’re the default. I guess I don’t know that I have a point of view. It made sense. Thank goodness for podcasts, we can dip briefly but deeply into other fields. The more I think about, learn, and listen, the more that I see many layers of any given human behavior. There are who we are biologically and epigenetically, what our circumstances are in childhood, what kind of relationships, attachments, and beliefs we form psychologically, and then there’s what happens to us biomedically and biologically. There’s also culture and all kinds of subsets of culture. I heard a fascinating statistic on a podcast by Dr. Peter Attia, who’s well-known for Longevity. This was a fascinating interview he did with a biologist, Robert Sapolsky.

I saw a lecture by Sapolsky here in Cleveland. I know Bob Sapolsky’s work.

He is a fascinating guy. Can you imagine the two of them talking? The two are such incredibly bright people. They’re talking about the old question, “Is it nature or nurture?” They said something like, “We can look at 300 genetic influences on height, for example, and we still will only be able to predict height with 3% accuracy,” or something. I might be misquoting it, but it was incredibly powerful. In other words, there are many contributions to behavior. They said, “You get to the good stuff.” Poignancy was the example they used or think about entrepreneurial mindset in our case. We look at some trait-based behavior because we think that influences how you express your entrepreneurship or your entrepreneurial tendencies. Can we predict anything with traits? I don’t think so.

I want to build on it if you can, but I also want your opinion on this. Here’s my theory that I’d like to hear your opinion on. This is rooted in the basic idea of social psychology. I think the most important thing that distinguishes the entrepreneurial from the non-entrepreneurial person is a compelling goal. This is Newtonian. The goal itself is acting upon the individual in ways that are non-obvious, even to the individual itself.

In medieval physics, we thought, “I’m throwing a ball. I’m instilling energy in the ball, and the energy is generally dissipating on the ball and returns to Earth,” which is very intuitive but utterly false. Newton comes along and says, “That ball would stay in motion forever if not for gravity or this invisible force.” The same is true for entrepreneurs. Whether that compelling goal is to escape poverty or some adversity to overcome some adversity to some purpose-driven thing, or whatever it is, that’s probably the most overlooked contributor to entrepreneurial behavior than any other factor I can find.

How does that jive with your beliefs, which I don’t know, about free will?

I believe in free will. The first Ice House lesson is about choice. We have to be aware that there are alternatives. It’s the mindset. I know Sapolsky’s argument is that we’re basically in a simulation and we have no free will.

Sam Harris is one of my favorite thinkers. I don’t know what Sapolsky would say about this, but I think I know what Sam Harris would say. We all have the perception of free will, and that’s important.

I’ve heard that question posed in a debate. If we don’t have free will, what’s the point of getting out of bed in the morning? I can’t comprehend that we don’t have free will.

There’s a part of me that feels like if we don’t have free will, there’s obviously a lot of goal-directed behavior that’s very helpful to oneself, family, community, and the world. In the Buddhist tradition, there are some benefits to letting go of some things as well. Could there be a happy medium? Maybe not. Maybe it’s an either-or kind of thing.

Seligman has written about this in Homo Prospectus. He is producing this interesting research about the cognitive capabilities that become available when we have a future positive orientation in mind. What Seligman is saying is that we gain access to problem-solving abilities that are otherwise not available to us. That bolstered my theory that it’s the compelling goal acting on the person, rather than the person’s traits playing out.

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Homo Prospectus

Let me ask you this for the sake of argument. What’s the difference between a compelling goal that’s acting on an entrepreneur, let’s say it’s getting out of poverty, which was one of your examples, and that same goal working on someone else who thinks that the best way to do that is by working for a corporation, working hard, demonstrating their value, and moving up in the organization?

That’s going to get us into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Let’s talk about what it means to be compelled. It means to be irresistibly drawn towards something. This takes us to the domain of Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow. We become autotelic. That’s what Csikszentmihalyi was talking about with autotelic. You’re less susceptible to distractions and less influenced by societal and cultural norms. Csikszentmihalyi’s work bolsters my theory about the compelling goal. I like to ask people this in talks like, “Do you have a compelling goal? If not, why not?”

Let me come back to your question, “What does that look like for someone inside a corporation, let’s say a manager or an executive inside an organization? Is it to enrich yourself? Is it to get to retirement? Is it to get to the next pay grade? Is there a purpose-driven component to the goal?” Where your question is leading is to Deci and Ryan’s Self Determination Theory. The self-actualizing tendency requires the psychological nutrients autonomy, competency, and relatedness. Those nutrients, as Deci and Ryan refer to them, are less attainable in a corporate situation.

Even relatedness?

Not all three. According to Deci and Ryan, you need all three. In order for self-actualization, you can’t take one away. It doesn’t work. I’m not saying they can’t be present or attainable in a structured organizational environment, but I think the organizational environment is less likely to be optimal in that way.

Especially for autonomy, I would think. That’s the one that stands out to me. It’s probably why I am now working for myself.

What a shame because the talent leaves the organization. I’m working on this idea in my new book called Entrepreneurial Leadership, which is exactly speaking to that.

How do we make room for those folks who want that level of autonomy and who are going to be intrinsically motivated? You have to get out of their way more than create the right structures.

That’s what I’m saying. I’d love to get your take on this because if we take Deci and Ryan’s idea that like any other mammal, we’re all born with the self-actualizing tendency, both the desire and the capacity to become all that we can become. That tendency can be easily thwarted by cognitive, motivational, and situational factors. The entrepreneur unwittingly stumbles into the trifecta. They’re pursuing something that’s compelling and has meaning. There’s a meaningful component to it. It’s not just about I’m enriching myself.

They’re pursuing it autonomously. They get good at it. The fact that it’s working and people are paying them for their thing is the relatedness component. I’m being recognized for what I’m doing. We make this mistake when we look at the entrepreneur. We attribute her behavior to who she is and we don’t take into account the situation.

This goes a little bit back to what we were talking about before we started the show, which is my perception. You use the term, “Anthropological is the lens you look for.” I was thinking sociological. You’re doing something that psychologists do all the time, which is you look for patterns. You’ve identified amazing patterns. As a clinical psychologist or someone with an individual differences lens, I also look at, “Within this pattern, how are people different? How is this entrepreneur who is a little bit more motivated by enrichment different than this entrepreneur who wants to solve a big social problem?” There’s room for all those differences. That’s one thing that gets me jazzed.

My wife and I were watching a masterclass about sleep. The guy was saying that the theory is we all have chronotypes. Some of us are early birds. Some of us are night owls. The theory is that it’s evolutionary. It’s to keep the tribe safe. I think about dispositional traits in a similar way. I’m acknowledging that some people are maybe more creative than others. I think that we all exist in the attention system. We are simultaneously growth-oriented and opportunity-seeking organisms, and we’re also stability-seeking and uncertainty-avoiding organisms. There’s this homeostasis that occurs. Too many of us default to the latter or the stability-seeking side of it.

Some people on that side, probably parents who look at others, especially children, can say, “They’re defaulting to this side. We need them to work on this side a little bit more,” which gets back to mindset. We tend to look at people through our own lenses and don’t realize it’s a lens or a value.

We tend to look at people through our own lenses and don't realize it's a lens or a value. Click To Tweet

I would love to hear what you say about creativity or risk-taking things. In some of my lectures and workshop, I ask people, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word entrepreneur?” Instantly it is “risk taker.” The data doesn’t support that. What a lot of scholars have said is that entrepreneurs are more risk-averse than non-entrepreneurs. It’s counterintuitive. What bothers me more than a little bit is the definition that an entrepreneur is someone who takes a risk in exchange for a profit because it implies there’s strictly the profit motive, and it omits the purpose motive, which is a prominent consideration in my view. Wouldn’t it be that, “If I’m happy with my job and I’m well paid, I’m going to have a different risk tolerance than if I hate my job and I don’t have any other option?”

That’s where we get into those individual differences that excite me so much, and that we can start to identify with the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile. Two of the things we measure are risk acceptance and passion. I have come to believe passion is neither personality nor skill. It’s more a snapshot in time about the degree to which the person gets to do work that they find highly compelling, and that allows them to get into the flow.

That’s more a snapshot, but if I look at someone’s passion and risk acceptance, if they’re high in terms of passion for what they’re doing right now, they’re not going to be that motivated to take a risk probably unless they see there’s something else they can do with the work that they love that’s going to have a bigger impact. Those two are not only going to interact with the context of the situation, but they’re also going to interact with action orientation, which is a scale on the EMP which gets at how quickly someone moves.

If I’m willing to take a risk, but I’m going to go slowly and do my due diligence, that’s going to lead to very different behaviors than if I’m very high in risk acceptance and action orientation. That might also look reckless. You think about how those two would play out differently with higher low passion. That’s one way in which we use this assessment to look at how someone’s individual scores, to the extent that they’re accurate and the person taking the test gets to decide that, might play out within a very particular context at a particular point in someone’s life.

The Strengths Profile, I like that terminology. What you’re saying is, “I take this test. This is my current MO. It’s not my genetic blueprint necessarily.”

There’s definitely room to disagree on this, but what we’re saying is some of the scales are likely to be a little bit more stable over time. It’s not a genetic blueprint at all but more characteristic ways of behaving. The other scales are more likely to be subject to situational changes and changes over your lifetime like the extent to which you’re good at generating ideas. I’m sure that for you, coming up with ideas is like breathing. You can’t help it.

It can be annoying as hell to other people.

We can all be annoying to other people or ourselves for that matter. If there was someone who was less good at it, you might not be the best person to teach them because it’s automatic for you. It doesn’t take any effort. You don’t have to look at the process that you use. However, people who’ve gotten good at it or can study the processes of folks like you could articulate, “Here are some strategies that you could use for the person who currently is not that good at generating a lot of ideas, and teach them to be better.” We think there are shades of difference in terms of how characteristics and behaviors or thought patterns are for people over time. We divvy them up into two categories as a result. It’s all gray and different for different people, which makes it an exciting exploration process.


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Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile: We think there are shades of difference in terms of how characteristics and behaviors or thought patterns are for people over time.


What’s exciting about your work to me is helping people realize that we need both, or all is probably a better word. Managerial thinking is valuable and useful, but it’s distinct. I’m fond of saying that the attitudes and skills required to discover opportunities are distinct from those required to exploit those opportunities.

I see this in my work all the time. You have founders of the company who are brilliant in their field often or not. It could be something very, pedestrian sounds derogatory, and I don’t mean that, but founders don’t necessarily have to come up with brilliant ideas, but sometimes they do. I think the clients come up with brilliant ideas, and then they launch the business. They get people excited and might get some people to join. I know not most, but some get investors. What happens is now they don’t have processes, structures, or systems, then they have McKenzie come in and use management science to make sure that now we’re replicating, to your point. Different mindsets are also differentially valuable at different points in the lifespan of a business.

Jim Collins talked about the entrepreneurial death spiral, which is what you said. A couple of creative types get together. They come up with something and launch it with a bit of luck. It starts to take off and chaos ensues. It’s like, “We’ve got a client in Beijing. Jen, here’s the credit card. You got to be in Beijing in 48 hours.” The managers show up and say, “You can’t do that. We need a policy around this. There are request forms. There are all these procedures.” It tends to fend off the creative types. They leave and are replaced by people who are a little less creative and a little more tolerant of the rules. That keeps happening until you have a bureaucracy. What you and I are both saying is you got to find a way to layer those two things right over the top of each other.

When everyone can recognize what everyone else has to contribute, there is this dynamic tension. In order to maximize the impact of whatever idea or product the founders generated, we need to figure this out together.


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Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile: Recognize what everyone else has to contribute and that there is this dynamic in order to maximize the impact of whatever idea or product that the founders generated.


Can you talk me through the fourteen dimensions?

In the first section, the personality side, there’s independence. One thing that’s different about the EMP that I personally am very fond of is we include on everybody’s report all the items that make up a particular scale. It’s easy to look at something like independence and make some assumptions about, “What do you mean by independence?” We all have our own definitions of words.

You wouldn’t want to get a score that says, “You’re very low on independence compared to both entrepreneurs and business leaders,” then you might reject that finding and you might go no further. If you get to see, “Here are the items that we use to measure it,” in fact, they look at not the independence of your thinking but at the degree to which you are tolerant of direction coming from folks at a higher level than you in the organization, and the extent you like to consult with others about important decisions.

If both those things are true, you’re tolerant of direction, especially if you have a boss who you respect and you like to consult with others, you’re going to have a low score on our independence scale. Knowing where that score comes from helps people understand it and work with it a little bit better. There’s independence. As an example, this will be true for every scale, but we included it because entrepreneurs score higher on it, meaning they’re a little bit more rejecting of direction and/or a little bit less likely to feel the need to consult with others before making a big decision. This is different for every entrepreneur and every corporate manager

Because the group showed that difference, we include this as an item, but you can be a successful entrepreneur with a high score or a low score. You can be a successful corporate manager with a high score or a low score. What that score, and more importantly, the underlying thoughts, behaviors, and mindsets will determine or at least influence is the kind of setting in which you’re most comfortable.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, but you’re very low on independence, then it’s going to be important to you to make sure you’re not working in an office all by yourself, 40 to 80 hours a week. You have people to bounce ideas of off. You’re maybe getting an office at a coworking space or putting together your own little board directors until you can start hiring staff to help support you in that.

It’s how to correct for whatever your profile score is. It doesn’t mean you’re going down this box and you can’t be an entrepreneur.

It’s all fine, but let’s see how we can create the best fit for you, given your preferences, essentially.

Not everyone wants to start a business, but we’re all capable of being innovative and entrepreneurial. I recognize that not everyone is cut out to strike out on their own and go through that.

In the future, there are going to be more people who are going to do that in one way or another through the gig economy. Some people like to go to work for organizations. It is possible to work for an organization where you feel very aligned with the mission. You need to be aware of if you are high on independence, you don’t like structure or you don’t like people giving you directions, if you’re very high on those, it’s going to be a little harder to be comfortable working within an organization, depending on the culture of that organization, the approach of your direct supervisor, and a whole number of other variables.

I would definitely score high on that.

I think you would. There are some intrapreneurs or some people who work within organizations who are low on those. In other words, they’re very tolerant of direction. They like working with people and they love structure, but they are very high on a few other scales in this section, such as action orientation, passion, and the need to achieve. They want to create big things and have an impact. They’re very competitive. Those people can do very well in an organization in a sales role, a business development role, or even a P&L leader or a top executive. They act like entrepreneurs in some ways and they’re motivated. They have a big goal that’s usually beyond themselves, but they don’t want to work by themselves or start something. They like that structure.

That’s the key to entrepreneurial leadership in my view. It is identifying and cultivating that potential in the organization. A big part of what I’ve come away from all my research is that there’s entrepreneurial potential everywhere. It is in classrooms, organizations, and communities. We can’t get to it through this managerial lens.

We expect everyone to be the same and produce the same things at the same time in the same way.

Let’s get back to the fourteen dimensions.

We got independence and limited structure. The next one is non-conformity. This is a good example of something that entrepreneurs are higher on than managers as a group. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are very effective but aren’t high on it. Just because it happens to be more true for entrepreneurs and corporate managers in our sample doesn’t mean it’s necessary to be successful as an entrepreneur. That’s what I mean when I said we’re not coming from a theoretical viewpoint, but an empirical viewpoint.

Knowing someone’s score on non-conformity helps us predict how it will be important for them to show up, how they’re likely to impact others and the extent to which they like to think of themselves as unusual or different. Very effective entrepreneurs can be high or low on that. The next one is risk acceptance. We already talked about different ways in which that can interact with other scores because everything is measured differently. You alluded to some research that showed there wasn’t a difference between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs on that. I’m sure we’re using different items and a different lens on it.


TEMP S2 12 | Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile

Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile: Knowing someone’s score on non-conformity helps us predict how it will be important for them to show up, how they’re likely to impact others, and the extent to which they like to think of themselves as unusual or different.


To be clear, all I’m saying is that in all the research I’ve looked at that attempted to connect dispositional traits to entrepreneurial behavior, the correlation is not very strong.

To be fair, there’s not a huge difference here in absolute terms, but it was statistically significant that entrepreneurs describe themselves as more likely to take risks than non-entrepreneurs. That could come from a lot of places. That’s not being rated by raters. That’s one’s own perception of oneself. Action orientation, which is how quickly you like to move, make decisions, and make things happen. There’s passion, which I talked about how much right now you’re enjoying the work, and then there’s the need to achieve.

Passion and the need to achieve are interesting to me because even though entrepreneurs in our samples tended to be higher on both than corporate leaders, what I see is that with corporate leaders, over time, they’re less motivated by the need to achieve and more motivated by passion, the desire to have an impact over time. I’m hypothesizing right now as we speak, and it could not be true, but that entrepreneurs start more motivated by passion than need to achieve even at an earlier age. It flips for corporate managers because they might be working for a goal that’s not their own. That is part of the organization. When they get into their 50s and 60s, they start thinking about their legacy and lifespan. They start thinking about, “Where do I want to direct my finite energy that’s going to have an impact in the world that I feel good about?”

Corporate leaders are less motivated by the need to achieve and more motivated by passion, the desire to have an impact, over time. Click To Tweet

I think that you’re onto something there. I’ve interviewed a number of entrepreneurs that have told me that when they started out, it was all about the money. That’s what it was, “I want to be a millionaire. I want the car, the house, and the look.” Usually, fairly early on, they realize, “I’m creating jobs. I’m responsible for these people. This is not just about me. You called it passion. I call it purpose. I’ve heard this definition that I abide by which is passion is about what I like to do and purpose is about something that’s bigger than me.

What we’re both most interested in is the intersection or overlap between those two.

That’s very well put. It’s the intersection of what I’m naturally interested in and capable of becoming good at what other people need.

Some people call it the sweet spot, and then if you add the element of what the world needs or pays for, you get that Japanese.


You get that when you add what the world will pay for. To me, that’s the entrepreneurial goal. That’s the sweet spot.

In the overlap of our interests, natural or whatever, the things we’re interested in is one sphere. The things we’re capable of becoming good at is another sphere, and then human needs. Where those three things overlap, optimal engagement occurs. I think we are coming at this very differently, but I think you and I are both in the business of human flourishing.

I know you’ve accomplished that overlap. Your life’s work is something you’re great at and you’re passionate about, and the world needs.

Thank you, but if you look at my life on paper, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Somebody would describe my life as an opera. It’s beautiful but the storyline doesn’t make any sense at all.

I bet you can make great sense of it.

I hated school. By tenth grade, I completely checked out. I was done. As an entrepreneur, I figured out that I love to learn. Now, I’m reading my friends’ PhD dissertations for recreation. I don’t do that on a regular, but it comes back to my goal theory.

That’s all on what we call the personality side. We then have seven scales there as well, starting with a future focus, the tendency to look more into the future than at the short term.

That’s a big one. I’m keen on Seligman’s work on prospection theory.

Tell me about that. I haven’t read that.

He wrote an interesting paper called Navigating The Future or Driven By The Past. Let’s go back to mindset for a moment. Our mindset is this evolutionary mechanism that enables us to think without thinking. Once we accept something as the correct schema, our brains are relegated to habitual control so we can get faster and leaner, and better at a thing. From an evolutionary perspective, our mindset is a feature when you want the future to look like the past, but it becomes a bug in the face of adaptive change.

Our mindset prevents us from adapting because, and I’m going back to the dimension you talked about, the future orientation, our mindset reaches into the past in order to navigate the future. I think what entrepreneurs are doing, and Seligman’s research supports this, is they’re breaking from the past by using their imagination to imagine something that doesn’t exist. Imagine a future. If you look at psychological interventions like the best possible future or your best possible self, that’s one the most potent interventions known to man. You write, reflect, and journal about what your best possible future looks like. What happens to most is we get caught in this thing where we draw from the past to make choices about the future, and the imagination is not deployed.

Back to my point about all these layers of ways of looking at human experience, I have gotten interested lately as a psychologist in the parts approach to psychology. We can talk about ways in which our childhood experiences created different clusters of thinking, feeling, and predicting within us. Some of those parts might be said to have different mindsets than others. For example, if you go through a ton of stress and maybe you even experience abuse as a child, then there’s going to be a very prominent part of you that seeks to protect yourself in situations.

As an adult, you might not need that same hard shell, protectedness, and that belief that everyone could hurt you if they will, but it served you well once. We can layer that on top or connect it directly to what you said about mindset because that mindset was helpful in the past. It might be helpful in the future to keep you from being hurt in those similar ways. It’s also not responsive to your current situation, which might be free from that physical danger.

It becomes maladaptive.

You even can have all those mindsets within yourself.

There is so much in the future focus. I think that’s a huge distinguishing factor for the entrepreneur from the non-entrepreneur. What Seligman is saying is you have this compelling goal, and our brains are in a default mode and working to figure out how. Think about this all in reverse. What happens to a human being in the absence of a compelling goal?


That’s a good word. We are much more vulnerable to the wind and tide, social media, social influence, distractions, addiction, and anxiety. The compelling goal is this single organizing unifying factor that draws upon us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in situations where I’ve been scared that my teeth are sticking to my lips. It’s the compelling nature of the goal. It is like how Covey said, “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a higher value.” It’s that. It’s like, “I’m not a courageous person. It’s just that I have a compelling goal. The compelling nature of the goal is more powerful than my fear of looking like a moron or embarrassing me or getting thrown out of somebody’s office.” It doesn’t have as much to do with my dispositional traits as it does with the compelling goal.

Also, your dopamine system.

We get rewarded for it.

Long-term goals can be much more difficult for people to pursue than short-term goals when there’s dysregulation of any kind. That can come from stress and all kinds of ways.

Long-term goals can be much more difficult for people to pursue than short-term goals when there's dysregulation. Click To Tweet

At some point, I want to talk to you about self-efficacy beliefs, but I want to get through all fourteen scales.

Future focus and idea generation. These are different but related in interesting ways. You can have lots of ideas and be high on idea generation but still be focused on, “How am I going to get through next week?” I find this happens to a lot of founders relatively early on in their businesses. They’d like to sit and strategize about the future, but they’re trying to figure out how to make payroll, or what to do now that COVID has shut down their business. It’s easy to get sucked out of that future focus. You may still have that big goal, but it might be hard to think strategically rather than tactically. I see this with corporate leaders as well. It’s very easy to do this.

It takes some discipline for most people to stay in that future state. If they’re working on teams with a bunch of people who are trying to get things done now and get results this quarter, month, and week, that can get shut down in that team or group as well. It’s important to identify that strength and bring it out. If someone is high on future focus and low on idea generation, that’s a very different profile entirely. When did you establish ELI?


Let’s say I sat down with you in 2008. You started it. You’ve got a vision. It’s operational. I would start by giving you the EMP. I wouldn’t show you your results, but I would show you all fourteen scales, including future focus, idea generation, passion, and all these things that are probably most what you probably consider important. I say, “Think about the success of ELI. Which four scales represent behaviors that you need to demonstrate at high levels in order to meet your goals of success for ELI?”

It would be hard because you’d have to choose four. That would be your way of contextualizing, “Regardless of my disposition or anything else going on, what do I want to be demonstrating right now?” You would tell me. Maybe you’d say, “Future focus and idea generation are among the highest.” Let’s say you take the next two, execution and self-confidence. I’d give you back your results and we would be able to cross-reference your actual scores with what you said was most important. I could say, “Good news, you’re high on future focus and self-confidence, but you’re not so good on execution and idea generation. What do you want to do about that?” In some cases, you might say, “I’ve got these five team members who are great at that. Let’s plug them in where their talents are.”

I sure could have used you about 7, 8, or 10 years ago because I wouldn’t have known how to answer those questions, or I would’ve answered them completely wrong. I made all kinds of mistakes. It took me a decade to figure it out. I’m drowning in ideas. I need people that are good at execution, and I suck at execution.

You probably would’ve answered them right.

I wouldn’t have admitted at the time. At the time, I was so naïve. We’ve talked about this in the past, the fundamental attribution error. You borrowed $5,000 from your mother-in-law 20 years ago. You come up with an idea. You started this business in a spare bedroom, and 20 years later, you sold this business for $100 million. The local media wants to come and interview you. They go back and write this piece about in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be this. They see before them this confident experienced person, “This is what you need to be an entrepreneur.” I’m saying, “No.” That person probably had none that or very little that when they began.

They’re looking at a snapshot in time, and not thinking about the development and what that takes.

It was the compelling nature of the goal. How many near-death experiences I’ve had from almost losing my home in the early days to hiring people with $250,000 salaries that didn’t work out? I’m trying to hit the easy button and all these things.

You wouldn’t stop.

I kept getting back up.

That’s another one of the skills that we haven’t gotten to, which is persistence. My guess is that you would be high on passion. The way we define it would be this desire to have this impact and this belief that you had to bring this thing to the world, and persistence. I’ve seen a lot of successful entrepreneurs who are high on those and low on others like execution, confidence, and optimism, which is another one. The way I explained it is it doesn’t even matter to them if they don’t think they’re going to succeed. They can’t not try. That’s how compelling the goal is for them.

There’s a situational dimension that I want to bring back to the persistence piece. There’s a cognitive component to it, but there’s a situational component, “If I don’t make this work, I’m going to have to go back to a life I don’t want. I don’t have a law degree to fall back on. I don’t have a $150,000-a-year job waiting for me if this doesn’t work out.” That’s a situational factor that’s easy to overlook as a contextual factor.

This is why I love sitting down with individual entrepreneurs or leaders and looking at their data, but more importantly, talking about the entire context because we’re making many connections. By the end of the conversation, I should be able to say, “Here’s how I heard you evolve as an entrepreneur. Early on, it was this. There was a little this. There’s also the fact that you had nothing else to fall back on. You’ve learned all these lessons. Now here you are.”

“You look at what you’re contributing to the world and how much you are empowering potential entrepreneurs to, in some ways, shortcut the difficult lessons you learned.” In some ways, you’re trying to infuse them with confidence that you don’t need the money or you don’t need the degree. Other people out there weren’t born to it, whereas you are not. You can make it happen. Here’s what you need to know.”


TEMP S2 12 | Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile

Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile: “Look at what you’re contributing to the world and how much you are empowering potential entrepreneurs to, in some ways, shortcut the difficult lessons you learned.”


What you need to know is it has been distilled from the observations and analysis of hundreds of underdog entrepreneurs, people that started with little or nothing, and what the controllable factors are. There are other components of persistence that I think go back to my compelling goal theory. I’m going to switch words a little bit here, but resilience and persistence are like cousins.

We toyed with both of those.

Persistence is less than 8 in Ice House. This is also something we observe in entrepreneurs, but it’s easy to overlook. We know that resilience is the outward manifestation of an optimistic explanatory style. I go back to my compelling goal theory. I’ve got some modicum belief that it’s going to happen. The goal is so compelling that it helps to keep the optimism alive.

That completely makes sense to me. I’ve seen examples where it’s a little bit different, and that is why I love looking at the uniqueness. We use words and terms differently. We’re measuring it with five items, which doesn’t necessarily capture the universe of how you think about persistence or optimism. We separate those two out. They are often highly correlated, but not always.

This is where it gets interesting. If I see someone who is low on optimism as we define it, not Seligman-defined with the attribution profile, and high on persistence, what that means to me is there is someone who has a relatively low sense of hopefulness that this will work out, but they’re going to keep trying anyway. They’re going to keep trying if you inquire of them. They would say, “If this one way doesn’t work out, then I’ll try it this way.” Eventually, it’ll work. It’s interesting. I’ve seen a different configuration, at least as we define them in this assessment.

It’s also interesting that Martin Seligman himself is a self-described pessimist.

I’ve heard him call himself a curmudgeon.

His book Learned Optimism is a must-read as far as I’m concerned. I want to keep going on the fourteen.

Future focus, idea generation, and execution. Execution is about being able to take a vision and translate it into actionable steps to reach the goal. We sometimes see people who are high on idea generation and execution. Most people, as you described yourself, tend to be higher on one than the other. They tend to have a pretty significant difference between those. They can team up in beautiful ways as long as both feel valued. It’s easy for the person who’s good at execution and not great with ideas to feel marginalized like, “I’m the idea person. You just make it happen.” We have to be sensitive to how we use language and how we communicate with one another.

Self-confidence tends to be correlated with optimism and persistence. We sometimes call this the positivity triad if someone is high on all three. It’s possible to be high on 1, low on 2, or any configuration. This is the sense that you will achieve your goals. It’s interesting here because I often see what the world would define as successful. Either executives or entrepreneurs score low on self-confidence, but this is where you can benefit from being able to see the items.

Self-confidence tends to be correlated with optimism and persistence. This is the positivity triad. Click To Tweet

One of the items on self-confidence is, “I’m very confident. I can achieve my goals.” A lot of entrepreneurs rate that one pretty low like a 3 or a 2 on a 5-point scale, and everything else will be high. When we explore it, we tend to find that it’s because their goals are lofty. They’re not sure they can reach that goal. Even if they reach most of them, they’ll be happy.

They’re shooting for the stars and they’ll be happy with the moon while everybody else is trying to get to North Dakota.

Sometimes the lower self-confidence score can be masked by that factor. That’s why you look at the items and can uncover that. There’s persistence as we talked about, and interpersonal sensitivity. Interpersonal sensitivity is the only scale on which entrepreneurs rate themselves as lower. It’s not that big a gap in absolute terms, but it’s statistically significant. I have all kinds of hypotheses about that, but I’ll stop for now.

That’s super interesting. Thank you for sharing those with me. I’m fascinated with this continuum. I don’t know if this is part of this conversation or not, but I learned helplessness versus mastery orientation. What’s interesting to me is that continuum and why mindset is so important. I also think of mindset as the mechanism that regulates the output we get from whatever capabilities we have.

When you look at these underdog entrepreneurs, they might not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they know how to get all the horsepower out of the engine they’ve got. They’re optimally engaged because the goal is compelling. They’re operating from an internal locus of control and all those things. It’s also interesting to me this idea of default helplessness.

I haven’t considered that.

This is from Seligman’s work. He once called it learned helplessness, but it’s now no longer. In the late ‘90s or early 2000s, with the help of some neurologists, they decided that it was not learned.

I thought that was the whole point. It is jumping over or not jumping over.

It’s super interesting. He proved this neurologically, but we’re born helpless. Control is learned. He’s saying from an evolutionary standpoint that helplessness is a default setting. You’re in the clutches of a predator or inescapable adversity. Helplessness activates passivity, “Don’t waste energy. Stop fighting.” He lays this out in his book The Hope Circuit. I highly recommend it, which is more or less his autobiography, but he comes to an end and lays out this neuroscience at the end.

There’s a circuit in the brain. When we find ourselves in some adverse situation, unpleasant, whatever, our brain reaches into our memory and makes a distinction. Is it escapable or is it inescapable? Once that decision has been made, it either closes or opens the hope circuit, which is the release of 5-HT serotonin. We’re in some sort of situation when we reach into our brain and go, “This is escapable.” It activates the hope circuit. It activates fight or flight and suppresses passivity.

That’s when all the cortisol and all that stuff gets released.

If our brains decide that this is inescapable, the exact opposite happens. It shuts down fight or flight and induces passivity. What Bandura taught us is we know how to move people from helplessness toward mastery orientation. That’s what guided mastery is all about. I think that’s an important conversation in the entrepreneurial mindset discourse. Seligman wrote about dogs being shocked. They put a dog in a cage. They shock the dog. There’s an apparatus in the cage that ameliorates the shock. Those dogs learn that adversity is escapable.

They put a second group of dogs in a similar cage with a shock and some sort of lever, but the apparatus doesn’t do anything. This group of dogs perceives adversity as inescapable. They put the dogs in a shuttle box, which is a larger cage with a very small divider. They put the dog on one side and administer the shock to see if the dog will jump over to try to escape it.

 Lo and behold, the dogs in the first condition, the escapable condition, jump over the divider. The dogs in the second condition just lie down even though they’ve witnessed the other dogs jump. You can tell me if this is crazy. There are a lot of intelligent, smart, and capable human beings who, at some point mid-career let’s say, assume unconsciously, “I am who I am. The world is the way the world is, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

That comes back to whether someone has a growth mindset or not.

It work came out of Bandura’s work. That’s where it came from. What happens is it’s not like we’re in cages being shocked. The adversity isn’t that egregious. We’re in jobs we don’t like and low-paying, unsatisfying careers. Our brains have made this unconscious determination that it’s inescapable. We divert our discretionary time, thought, and effort toward coping strategies rather than escape mechanisms.

That’s a beautiful way to put it.

It’s a slightly more nuanced version of Seligman’s theory. We’re obsessed with sports. This distraction, “I hate my job, but I’m not doing anything to better myself,is an insidious form of default helplessness. I think that’s what the entrepreneurial mindset is trying to get at.

Coaching is the same thing. We’re not just going to tolerate this. What else is possible? What can you make happen in this world?

Also, use your imagination rather than just drawing from the past.

Looking at what are those mindsets, unconscious, or limiting beliefs that are guiding your sense of hopelessness or hope for the future. Can we challenge those beliefs rather than just live with them?

That’s what entrepreneurial mindset, education, training, professional development, or whatever you want to call it. That’s what it all comes down to. It’s not about business, at least as most of us would think about it. We all live by exchanging useful things. The way I see it is the more useful we are, the better off we’re going to be, not just in terms of economics but in terms of psychological well-being. To me, that’s the holy grail of the work that you and I are doing. It comes down to human flourishing. The question I ask people is, “If you accept this premise that we all live by exchanging useful things, and we all accept the premise that the more useful I am to more people, the better off I’m going to be, the next question becomes what’s preventing you from making yourself more useful?”

“What are your own unique gifts?” Both of us are in the business of human flourishing, just different mechanisms.

I appreciate this conversation. I love the work you’re doing. I still want to learn more about the work you’re doing. I want to continue to push the boundaries of our understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset like the underlying causes. There’s probably no more powerful lever that we can pull to unleash human potential. The last chapter in my new book is something to the effect of the banality of heroism and the mismeasure man.

I’ve seen a side of humanity that most people haven’t. I’ve interviewed hundreds of underdog entrepreneurs from South Africa to Argentina. The story is the same. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things, not because of their dispositional traits necessarily. What distinguishes them is not their traits. It’s the way that they think. It’s the logical framework from which they operate. It is the distinguishing factor.

It is teachable. There’s something about getting a group of entrepreneurs in a room. The energy is unlike any other. It’s electric.

There’s a downside to that also. You can be drowning in ideas. In my team, Rob is the filter. He is between me and the rest of the team because I’m an idea-a-minute guy. They’re like, “Hold on a second here. We’ve got to execute.” Most of the spaghetti I throw at the wall doesn’t get through. Every once in a while, one does.

Good for you because you figured out the organizational structure and processes to allow all of you to contribute your best stuff to translate it into a product or service that’s offering value in the world. Kudos to you.

Joanie, who has been with me for almost ten years, studied entrepreneurship at Kent State University. She took the Ice House course ten years ago at Kent State. I asked her, “Why entrepreneurship? What’s your interest in entrepreneurship?” She said, “I don’t want anybody to tell me what to do.” The need for autonomy is there, but she hates ideation. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. She’s a checklist get-things-done person, which I am totally grateful for and I need that.

Thank goodness she’s willing to do that.

This is to say the entrepreneurial mindset is untethered and can be destructive or non-productive.

It can be the managerial mindset, which is why everyone needs a coach to help them understand themselves and to put accommodations, accelerators, or whatever they want into place so they are able to contribute the best themselves to the world.

Where can people reach you? Tell me about the coaching and how people can connect with you around that.

The easiest way is to email me. It’s Jen@DrJenHall.com. In addition to the EMP, I’ve co-authored an assessment on coaching mindset, which I think is important for leaders. That’s not even on my website. The best thing is to email me.

You’re too busy doing the work to worry about the website.

I even hired these amazing women to write copy for me. Now, all I have to do is go through it, polish it, and send it to the wonderful people who do my website. I can’t even get myself to do that. I’d rather do the work. The work is how I consider it.

Thank you so much for doing this.

It’s always a pleasure. A lot of people in my life don’t like to think about these things so deeply or to this extent. I consider you a true pioneer and thought leader in the field. It’s a great privilege. Thank you for the opportunity.

Thank you. Talk to you soon.


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