In this episode, we will discuss entrepreneurs' key characteristics and personality traits and how to learn to think like one to create more opportunities in your life. We explore:
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7 Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur Transcript
Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:28
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. I'm Debra Maldonado, here with the amazing and talented Dr. Rob. We’re continuing our series on entrepreneurial mindset.
Robert Maldonado 00:44
We've been talking about entrepreneurial mindset. I hope you're getting the idea that it's not just for entrepreneurs, it's for everyone. Because the way the economy works now, it's so different than the way we were taught about work, that you're going to work for a company, and have one career in your life, that’s out the window pretty much. Now we all have to be flexible, do multiple skills and tasks, and have different careers in a lifetime. We all have to have this entrepreneurial mindset.
Debra Maldonado 01:32
Before we dive into today's topic, which is the seven key personality traits to have for entrepreneurial mindset, I want to remind you, if you are watching us on YouTube, click the button in the corner here and subscribe to our channel, so you don't miss an episode. If you are listening to us on our podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, please subscribe to our podcasts, so you don't miss another episode. Let's dive in the seven key personality traits you have to have to cultivate that entrepreneurial mindset.
Robert Maldonado 02:12
Keep in mind, these can be cultivated. If you hear one and you say “That's not me”, no big deal. If you're willing to cultivate this skill, this trait, you can achieve success.
Debra Maldonado 02:32
These traits are for people that aren't living in the limited, predictable life the ordinary world gives us, taking the opportunities they can see, doing maybe what the society tells them they should do. The entrepreneurial mindset is someone who says “I want to do things differently, I want to do things my way, I want to be innovative and have an extraordinary life.” The first one is future orientation.
Robert Maldonado 03:09
If you are stuck in the past, if you are still dealing with past experiences and haven't come to terms with them — not that we deny them, we know the past is primarily important because it gives us important lessons about meaning, about who we are, about what's possible for us. But we have to work at it, we have to come to terms with our past. If there's still feelings of shame, feelings of guilt, the idea that you're traumatized by past experiences, all those things will hold you back. They are essentially grounding you in the past, instead of letting you look at what's possible for you in the future.
Debra Maldonado 04:05
We always say coaching is about moving toward opportunity. That's the mindset you want to have, you want to be forward focused, moving towards something versus “I need to clean up all the time.” We do need to pay attention to it, we do need to do our work, if we have to. But if you stay there too long, I've seen people spent years working on the same issue. You have to start moving forward if you want to create something new. The future orientation and even being able to have a vision for something even a year from now, big vision, 5 years, 10 years. Test it out. How far do you see into the future? Are you living paycheck to paycheck into that survival mind or are you really thinking of something more and planning your life where you're growing to be something different than you are this year?
Robert Maldonado 05:07
The second one is flexibility and adaptability, which are kind of the same, the two terms are very similar. Let's focus on flexibility. One of the biggest lessons I learned working in the mental health field was that if I wanted my own personal definition of what sanity is, what it means to be sane, I would say that it's flexibility. The ability to take things as they come, to bend to the situation instead of being rigidly fixed on responding in a certain way. That is intelligence, that is sanity, that is an openness that allows you to deal with life and all the curveballs it throws at us. Because if you're rigid, if you're inflexible, you break.
Debra Maldonado 06:15
Or you just stay boxed into that limitation, “This is the way it is, I refuse to think otherwise.” If you're flexible, more curious, thinking there's more than one way to respond to a situation, that's growth in that adaptability. If you're conditioned based on the experiences you've had in the past as an entrepreneur, when you step into something new, you don't know necessarily how to respond to certain things. You don't want to keep bringing back old responses from an old situation into the future situation, you want to be able to adapt and say “This is new, how can I think of this in a fresh way?” That's adaptability. If you are an entrepreneur, the way you think about your business when you think about its growth with the risks you take — we're going to talk about risk taking too — it’s ability to be flexible. When COVID happened, many entrepreneurs thought “The way I did business is not—”. The restaurants shut down. They became flexible and said “We can still cook for people, they just can't dine in a restaurant, let's deliver the food.” The whole industry changed overnight, it's changed forever. These restaurants signed up for GrubHub and food delivery services, it’s becoming a part of our culture. It’s flexibility, adaptability, instead of saying “That ended. I'm gonna close down and give up.” That resilience is part of being an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial mindset.
Robert Maldonado 07:54
One of the opposing poles of flexibility, of course, is control. A lot of us have control issues. One of the reasons people find entrepreneurship so difficult is because they want control. Entrepreneurship is a lot about letting go of control, trusting and developing that flexibility. Again, it's something you can develop.
Debra Maldonado 08:24
Control would be more of expecting a predictable outcome. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you have to be flexible to what shows up and how to adapt to that. The next one is creativity. When you're flexible and adaptable, you need to be creative. Einstein said “We can't solve the problems with the same reasoning we caused the problem.” You have to think differently, you have to think outside the box, be willing to think in a different way. Steve Jobs is a great example of an entrepreneurial mindset where his whole branding for Apple was “Think different”.
Robert Maldonado 09:13
Creativity is its own topic. It's one of the important traits for an entrepreneur. Creativity means finding your own solution based on your own perspective. You can borrow or you can steal, like some artists would say “Never borrow, but steal.” You can certainly learn from others and what others have done. But at the end of the day, you have to synthesize what you've learned into a unique solution. Successful people are always looking for a solution to other people's problems. They are not necessarily out for themselves. A lot of people think “Isn't that greedy to be an entrepreneur and creating wealth for yourself?” No, that's not the aim. Real success comes from helping others solve their human problems.
Debra Maldonado 10:18
As a great example, my influencer, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She really hated the fact that she had the line in the pantyhose. Men don't know what that is but for most women, back in the day, we had that tab in the pantyhose that you can't wear them with the clothes alone but we love the slimming aspect of the pantyhose and the control top. She cut out the feet out of her pantyhose and thought “I like the way this looks, but I don't need to have feet.” She started thinking of a new way. how can I solve this problem for women. Men ran lingerie or girdle companies, they weren't designed by a woman. She solved a problem and basically empowered many women, including myself to go for your dreams. It's that creativity saying “This doesn't have to be that way.” You have a problem you see in the world or that you experienced yourself, there has to be a more creative way to approach this.
Debra Maldonado 11:36
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Debra Maldonado 12:32
What about risk taking? That's number four.
Robert Maldonado 12:36
There has to be a little bit of daredevil in the entrepreneur because the outcome is never certain. It's interesting that people think “Does it mean if I stay in my corporate job, I'm safe and secure?” That's not true, that’s an illusion. It's a false assumption people make. There's risk in not doing what you love, as well as doing what you love. The stakes are a little bit different, but as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take some risk. It's not reckless, it's not just gambling. It's a calculated risk. It's a creative risk.
Debra Maldonado 13:38
It's not quitting your job but not having a plan to replace that income. It's about having a plan and taking that risk, knowing that it may not turn out exactly as I like, but I'm willing to take the risk for it, I know all the consequences of this decision versus just taking a risk that feels unplanned. There's a little bit of planning that comes like a calculated risk.
Robert Maldonado 14:06
There’re really good psychological tools to work with the mind in that respect, learning how to let go of control, learning to trust your own imagination, your intuition, using all your skills to take that calculated risk. It's very powerful because the best way to do your personal development is to test yourself in this entrepreneurial mindset.
Debra Maldonado 14:45
Usually, we fear the worst case scenario, we take the risk, it always turns out easier than we thought. William H. Murray says that when we step out, providence moves with us. There's this force there to support us, we wouldn't see it if we didn't take that risk. A lot of times people wait for the right time to take that step or make a big bold move but that bold move actually is what creates that opportunity. Being willing to risk brings reward. They say in investing, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. It's the same thing with our life. If we risk more, we're going to get more reward. Again, it's not careless, it's calculated risk that we plan for, we know what we're getting into. We're not blindsided but there's always unseen things that arise. That's where the adaptability, flexibility, and creativity come in. That would lead into critical thinking, number five.
Robert Maldonado 15:53
It goes along with creativity because you need the opposing elements. I've heard this advice for creative entrepreneurs, the first hire should be someone who has very strong critical thinking, to check them, to say “Have you thought about this, have you looked at this?”, etc. That's an important piece. But of course, it has to be tempered, it has to be equally measured, so that it doesn't stifle the creativity. The creativity needs that expansive mindset of possibility. Critical thinking skills brings to the table that ability to think through things and run the movie forward and backward.
Debra Maldonado 16:50
Someone who can structure things if you're not structured. You can learn to develop critical thinking, but if you have your company, it's always great to have someone who can balance out the creativity a little bit with rational, linear thinking. They can play along with each other. The sixth one is initiative.
Robert Maldonado 17:25
You're willing to start something. Often people wait for some perfect time. It's a myth, there is no perfect time, it's never going to be perfect because that's not life, that’s not how it works. You have to create the time, you have to say “I'm starting today, I'm starting now", or at least give yourself a deadline to when it starts. Because if you don't start, you never get there.
Debra Maldonado 18:02
I talk about the red carpet moment, where we're waiting for the moment the carpet is going to come out, the security guard is saying “You can come in now”, everything's laid out for you. That's not how things come. Creating something new is messy. It's wrestling with something new and different. It's challenging, and it should be. If we're in our regular mind, everything's predictable, comfortable, and easy. It may be frustrating but when you step into that initiative, move towards something like that, you're going to learn so much more about what you're made of, what you can do, what you can accomplish. You look back at your life and think “I had a job for 10 years. For the past two years, I was an entrepreneur. I learned more about myself in those two years than I did in the past 10 years being in that predictable, safe place.” This initiative is about growth, about us being brave enough to believe in something so that we want to put into the world, being willing to risk, take the chance instead of waiting for permission, for your parents to say “Here's some money, start your business”, or your friend giving you permission, or your partner giving you permission. It has to come from you, you have to take that step. It's the scariest step. I resisted it for so long. I ended up getting laid off, then I was like “I think it's time. I've been talking about this for years.” Sometimes things start to shift and make way for you. I could have easily got another job but I took the initiative and said “This is an opportunity. I don't know how this is going to work. But I've been talking about this for years, I gotta make it happen.” If you don't take the initiative, you'll get a little nudge in your life that starts to move you in that direction.
Robert Maldonado 20:18
A lot of people have told us “I didn't have a choice, life choice for me.” But really, it’s somewhere in our mind, we set the intention, we wanted to do something. Then life brings it about, but it's part of the plan.
Debra Maldonado 20:39
I think all of us have two minds. The one that wants to look for comfort and safety, that ego mind, but every single person has within them a dream, something they'd love to create. They probably might not be super conscious of it, or believe it, it's laying dormant in their mind. But it's in there, we’re all born to do something incredible in this life, to have this incredible life. Are we listening to that part of ourselves? That's what initiative is. It’s is saying yes, “I am saying yes to myself, I'm saying yes to this dream.”
Robert Maldonado 21:19
Which brings us to the seventh and final one, passion. Passion is not possible without that sense of purpose. You are meant to do something great, something incredible, something interesting. Whatever that vision is, you have to embody it, you have to hold it as the most important thing in your life, besides your family, of course, besides loved ones. It is something that you must try to do.
Debra Maldonado 22:00
Sometimes we discover our passion through a tragedy. Sometimes people have a tragedy happen, maybe an illness, or something happened to a family member, or a situation they're in. They realize “I need to make a difference in this area.” We can always use whatever happens to us as a way to channel passion, where we feel we always had this desire to do something. I like to write, some people like to sing, some people like to draw, some people like to help others and want to educate people. I think education is a big part. Some people love creativity and just helping people laugh. The comedians are bringing levity to the world. We all have that something we're really passionate about. When we're living in that, that's where we're truly happy. We're happy with our family, they do love us, and it's a nice life. We can be passionate about being a parent or being around the people we love. But there's something different about passion for a purpose. It's something that's yours, that no one else can have.
Robert Maldonado 23:13
A lot of things align in passion. It's something that you have an ability for, an affinity for. At the same time, it's something that's needed in the world, there's a need for it. The stars align somehow, you find that you’re meant to be doing this. There's a demand for it. You start to gain success because it's acknowledged by the world that this is important. Bring it, do more of this.
Debra Maldonado 23:52
It's not that you have to cultivate that passion, you just have to find it within you. It's already there, that burning passion. It’ like if you live the rest of your life and didn't do this, you would feel disappointed. It’s something you have to do, you have to share with the world. The entrepreneurial mindset is how you bring that passion into reality. That's where you step out and have initiative, that's where you use critical thinking to plan your passion, be flexible as you move toward that passion, take risks, be creative. Think of what it's going to be like to be your future self, expressing your passion to the fullest, having that vision. It's like wrapping all those things together. The passion is already within us to cultivate and to give it life. It's like raising a child, it’s like another child of yours. It's this passion you're giving birth to. The mindset is a way to allow that passion to be expressed in the world where you can be abundant, where you can feel good about what you're doing, where you can be effective and feel fulfilled.
Robert Maldonado 25:05
One last thing about passion is, it allows you to focus. One-pointed mind is very powerful. People that have the ability to focus on what they want to bring into the world, make it happen, it becomes a reality.
Debra Maldonado 25:28
It's the passion in itself, the more intense it is, it will override any fear you have. Fear is only there when there's lack of passion. When you're afraid of something, the passion isn't strong enough to get you over that threshold. But when you're passionate about something, nothing can stop you. It is one of the most important traits, to cultivate passion, understand your “why”, and focus on that. Use all other traits as you bring it into the world, so that you can be successful, and give that passion the life it deserves.
Robert Maldonado 26:18
Join us next time, we're continuing the series on the entrepreneurial mindset.
Debra Maldonado 26:29
We are talking about the mindset and discipline a little more, how to really inspire others by what you're creating in your life. Again, whether you're an entrepreneur or you want to just have an entrepreneurial mindset in your life, how can you use it to help and inspire others?
Robert Maldonado 26:54
We'll see you next time.
Debra Maldonado 26:56
Take care everyone.
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