AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MIND
There have been numerous studies that show that a positive mindset is all that it takes to become successful. However, being an entrepreneur is not a piece of cake. Rather, it requires blood, sweat and tears. What makes a successful entrepreneur like Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos different from us? It’s simple, their mindset. A person’s mindset is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.
The competitive fire and the urge to do better than the herd that defines a winning mindset was inherent in them even at an early age. This pushed them to become the best at whatever it was that they wish to do. They chose ideas that they were passionate about, which in Bill’s case was computers and in Jeff’s case was the internet. They trusted their gut and took a leap of faith- Bill dropped out of Harvard after just two years of joining while Jeff left his job as an investment banker and moved all across the country to start his business. Taking that risk gave them an edge over others. Although we can say that at that point they left with bigger goals, taking those risks ensured that they would not regret anything at a later point in their life. Amazon first launched in 1995 as a website that only sold books but Jeff had a vision for the company's explosive growth and e-commerce domination and to make it a store for everything. Similarly, when Microsoft was started, they wanted the public and not just big companies to be able to access computers.
Both of them were fearless and self-confident. When an opportunity came knocking, they never turned it away. They never quit in the face of adversity and rather invoked their inner innovators and motivated themselves with creativity and drive. Their dumbfounding sense of dedication, commitment, selfless passion for their work and hope to change the world. On more than one occasion, they have expressed their gratitude for good partners, Bill’s friend Paul Allen and Jeff’s wife MacKenzie, who helped them build a good product and work efficiently. They were resourceful, frugal and although they started from scratch, went the extra mile and reached for the sky.
When we think of the word obsession, many of us attach a negative feeling to it. However, when the obsession is used as positive energy, great success can be achieved. In Bill’s case, his obsession with computers helped fuel his drive and improve software development for both personal computing and business operations. In Jeff’s case, the obsession to fulfill both the wants and needs of the consumers led to his company’s expansion and success.
Bill is a perfectionist at heart. He never allows himself to be fully satisfied with
any of his products and always sees scope for improvement. This makes sure he is never resting on his laurels and can constantly keep in line with, or ahead of, his competition. If he took the other viewpoint and was fully satisfied with his products, he would run the risk of stagnating and allowing other companies to take his spot as an innovator. Similarly, Jeff believes you can never assume that your product or service would be relevant always. He believes that if he doesn’t innovate, someone else would and he fears being left behind. If Jeff had not recognized the potential for personalizing e-commerce and made that his focus, Amazon would have never become successful. It continues to innovate and change to stay relevant and successful.
Bill’s mindset includes optimism, vigilance and always trying to remain grounded which he does by believing that none of his success would have been possible without luck. He believes that optimism is often dismissed as false hope. He, however, is of the personal opinion that it is not a passive expectation that things will get better. In dire situations, it is the conviction that inspires innovation and leads to better solutions. He feels that everything should not just be just market-driven but also impact the lives of the greater majority as the people impacted by his efforts have lifted him up to greater successes.
Fear of making bad decisions often keeps companies from innovating but Jeff states that it is important to be good at correcting and with such a piece of knowledge, being wrong may be less costly than people believe. He emphasises the need to learn how to fail fast and cheap through which correcting bad decisions won't be a problem rather help learn and achieve better results in the future. “It’s all about the long term,” wrote Jeff in his first letter to the Amazon shareholders. All his decisions since then have consistently reflected his focus on the bigger picture and everything from investment decisions, growth plans to hiring took a long-term outlook. Taking a long-term approach helped him make smarter decisions and achieve lasting rather than temporary success.
This may well just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wealth of learning that comes with examining the success stories of today. However, the entrepreneurial mindset is not just to be admired from afar. Imbibing it, nurturing it with active thought and action is when it becomes the fuel to drive our own personal growth.