Exploring the Mind of an Entrepreneur: Unlocking the Creative Genius
Salifyanji Simwanza writes about the importance of encouraging the adoption of an entrepreneurial mindset and the thought-provoking questions on the barriers and opportunities for entrepreneurship raised at the GEC 2019.
“Great minds think alike”, but does this apply to entrepreneurial minds? Societies both past and present have enjoyed the benefits of innovations in technology, business and information transmission. With all the advanced resources of society today, the world has seen a massive increase in global entrepreneurial activity, with many entrepreneurs becoming household names overnight. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Ford and even Oprah Winfrey (Yes, Oprah!).
“Well”, you might think, “I’m certainly no Bill Gates.” That’s great, my friend, because you don’t have to be! At the GEC, the themes of inclusivity, the global entrepreneurial revolution, and the ‘high- performance’ ecosystems are aiming to broaden entrepreneurial thinking and open minds to the possibilities of economic growth that span across geographical, cultural and social boundaries.
The mind of an entrepreneur is simply the human mind that is honed and adapted to persevere through challenges and take calculated risks when needed. In fact, there is no common mindset amongst business owners because each one of us has our own unique talents. However, there are external factors which could hinder our creative mind and limit the ability to make the most of any entrepreneurial opportunities.
In our global ecosystem, governments and prevailing institutions can influence our strategy, our plan of action and our vision. Haven’t you ever wondered why the youth in the United Kingdom seem to be more prepared for employment, compared to the youth in Zimbabwe or Zambia? It is the institutional environment which shapes individual capabilities and perceptions. Many private owners of businesses in African countries for example are not motivated to think globally, and therefore, the local businesses cannot compete with international organisations. This is further hindered by an intergenerational transmission of attitudes which dictate the mindset of young people, which is that hard work can only get you so far.
Therefore, the key differences amongst entrepreneurs lie in their culture and environment, which leads to a different mindset. This has been a recurrent and critical theme of the GEC 2019. Think about where you come from. Now think about the types of attitudes prevalent in your community, whether you come from a place where men and women are encouraged to take advantage of business opportunities, and whether your nation is taking an active role in the global ecosystem of entrepreneurship. The type of mindset you develop from a tender age can ultimately shape your perspective in business and, of course, life. If you are ambitious and driven, this is often interpreted as a zealous personality manifested from the mantra of Western ideology, “If you have a will, you will find a way.”
Entrepreneurial minds cannot be given a specific blueprint and then used to identify other entrepreneurs. The key is to hone specific characteristics over time by engaging with your environment, if you are fortunate enough to be given many opportunities.
Networking, strategizing, branding and developing a competitive advantage will surely be aspects of the entrepreneurial lifestyle that you can embrace once you use the right resources. Exploring an entrepreneurial mind lies in exploring the potential. Are you someone who maintains an active role in your community, identifying needs that haven’t been met, or have you got a value proposition for a product that you are trying to sell? If you are persistent, ambitious, goal-oriented and creative, then you are well on your way to cementing an entrepreneurial mind.
Salifyanji Simwanza is a third year BSc Economics student at the University of Sheffield and policy analyst at the GEC 2019. This post is part of a series from the Global Leadership Initiative's team of eight students at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2019 in Bahrain from 15th to 18th April.
Image credit: Joshua Tabti via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)