Take a look at job postings today geared towards attracting technologists of all varieties. Chances are you will quickly come across many that are looking for “entrepreneurial spirit” even though they are looking for techies to join their company.
Now what, you might ask, would an employer – especially a large corporation – be doing looking for someone who is a risk-taker and likes being their own boss?
Well, actually, the entrepreneurial mindset is massively in demand in today’s job market. And it is not really any wonder, when you think about what that mindset actually entails.
The Can-Do Spirit
What springs to your mind when you hear the word “entrepreneur”?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, an entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”
How does that actually translate into in real life?
The entrepreneurial mentality is perhaps, in its essence, a clear expression of the can-do spirit coupled with clever problem solving, resourcefulness, innovativeness, and a strong sense of grit.
Take a minute to think about a few well-known entrepreneurs who have influenced global business strategies over the last century. Now ask yourself what the likes of Pierre Omidyar, Richard Branson, Elizabeth Holmes, Elon Musk, Weili Dai, or Mark Zuckerberg might have in common? Chief among these might be concepts like innovation, originality, ambition, determination, and the focus to turn ideas into tangible items.
Become a Technopreneur
The good news is that techies already have the de-facto upper hand in the entrepreneurial stakes by virtue of the fact that you are natural problem-solvers.
Now solving problems is something that most employers put a pretty high premium on.
If you are a Cisco Networking Academy student or have at least your CCNA, and you are putting your tech skills into practice—there is a high chance you already have a can-do spirit. Why? Because can-doers are those of us who seek out challenges, find answers, and solve problems.
The can-doer is rarely stalled by set backs, no matter how complex or insurmountable they seem, and will use new approaches, take calculated risks and come up with new ideas when faced with a challenge. And people who believe that anything is possible and have the tenacity to put that to the test are not only attractive to most organizations, but can have a powerful impact on them.
It is not surprising that the entrepreneurial mindset is in high demand.
So what can you do to hone your skills?
Steps to Take
Start by re-thinking your own attitude at work.
Do you have an “employee” mindset – you clock in and out and wait for payday each month? Or do you see the workplace as a space to grow, to grasp opportunities to develop, and learn as you try out new things?
And talking of trying out new things, how do you feel about change? Is change something to be feared or opposed? Or do you tire of doing the same things in the same way ad infinitum? Is change an opportunity to do new things, and do them better?
Part of problem solving inevitably involves doing things differently with the aim of doing things better. Think about how you approach problems and challenges. How often do you approach a situation pre-disposed to reach for the tried and tested? Or are you open to trial and error.
Those with a real entrepreneurial mindset do not see failure as a permanent setback. Failing to do something the first, second, or third time is another opportunity to learn; a fundamental part in the progress towards finding the solution that works.
While it may be the case that some people are more naturally inclined to think outside the box or take the risks en route to success, it is certainly true that entrepreneurs are built, rather than born.
It is all a question of attitude. You can combine your technical skills and forge an entrepreneurial mindset to become one of the next best technopreneurs.