If you want to be a successful franchisee, you’ll need to adopt an entrepreneur mindset. Not sure how to be an entrepreneur? We’ve broken down how the best entrepreneurs think and approach their ventures, and how you can train your mind to be just like them.
Becoming a successful franchisee takes a lot of work and often rests on lots of external factors, like your choice of franchisor, the economy, your location and the staff you employ. But there’s one, often-overlooked internal aspect that can mean the difference between failure and success: an entrepreneur mindset.
Over the years, business communities everywhere have talked about the key traits of an entrepreneur and the right mindset is something that crops up in every conversation. But it can be hard to switch to an entrepreneur mindset if you’ve never owned a business before and don’t have the first clue what the term means. We’re going to take you through the basics of an entrepreneur mindset and give you some simple ways to shift your way of thinking.
Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
You might’ve seen a lot of chatter about growth mindset vs fixed mindset if you’re on a personal development kick. The concept was pioneered by psychologist Carol Dweck of Stanford University in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Essentially, people with a fixed mindset believe that their character, intelligence and ability to be creative (among other things) can’t really be changed. Generally, those with a fixed mindset avoid failure at all costs, as it’s an indication they’re not up to society’s similarly fixed standards.
Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, use their failures as an opportunity to grow and adapt. Someone with this outlook believes we have the power to shape ourselves into the best version of us. While a growth mindset won’t turn you into Bill Gates overnight, Dweck found it encourages a passion for learning and development within us, rather than making others’ approval our key goal.
This concept is just a theory, and there are potential problems with both mindsets. While a fixed mindset could lead us to avoid even moderate risks, leaning too heavily into or misinterpreting growth mindset could give people harmful false belief in their abilities and drive them to take risks that won’t pay off.
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Do entrepreneurs have a growth mindset?
Entrepreneurs are more likely to naturally have a growth mindset, as they’re willing to accept they could fail in pursuit of business goals. While the risks they take are calculated and all of the signs suggest a good outcome is likely, entrepreneurs know anything from economic trouble to financial failure could come along and ruin their hard work. All businesspeople make plenty of mistakes on their journey to success, but they use these slip-ups as learning opportunities, rather than treating them as a sign they’re not good enough.
Albert Einstein once said:
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
In order to shift your way of thinking to an entrepreneur mindset, you’ll need to get comfortable with the idea you’re going to get a lot of things wrong during your franchising journey. As long as you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and genuinely put in the work needed to improve, there’s every chance you’ll succeed, whether you’re investing in a takeaway franchise or a B2B franchise.
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Traits of an entrepreneur mindset
You can break an entrepreneur mindset down into lots of smaller categories. Here are five specific things you’ll notice about the entrepreneur mindset and how you can adopt them.
1. Never lose sight of goals
If you’re thinking like an entrepreneur, you’ll never take your eye off the goals you set yourself - you decided to become a franchisee for a reason. Whether you’re seeking financial rewards, a better work/life balance or genuinely love the sector you’re now operating in, you saw (or can see) that a franchise gave you the opportunity to achieve something you’d always wanted to.
Life can get very hard as a business owner. So hard, in fact, you’ll probably think more than once about throwing the towel in. No matter what’s happening around you, never lose sight of why you became a franchisee in the first place. You might have to revisit your business plan and adapt it in light of new circumstances or be more flexible with the timelines you initially set out.
A change in plan is ok – there’s no set timeline for success. Those with an entrepreneur mindset know it’s better to work towards your goal slowly and sustainably than rush into a venture, only to lose sight of your goal at the first obstacle. Set yourself smaller goals to work towards, while keeping one eye on the ultimate prize.
2. Thirst for knowledge
True entrepreneurs never stop learning or bettering themselves throughout their franchising journey. You don’t have to spend every second with your head in a personal development book or work ridiculous hours to grow your business. Instead, those with an entrepreneur mindset build small chunks of learning into their day. Maybe they start the day by reading a sector-specific news site, or try to attend a networking or professional development event at least twice per year.
The main thing that sets entrepreneurs apart is that they genuinely want to learn about the world their business exists in. If you’ve started a franchise in a sector you love, you’ll probably find this bit easy. Even if you’re not naturally curious, introducing just 10 minutes of learning into your daily routine will build a solid habit that will really help your business.
3. Rise to a challenge
When we shy away from a challenge, it’s usually because we believe we’re not ‘good’ enough to overcome it. People with an entrepreneur mindset look at challenges with an open mind. They’re not scared of failure and, as a result, often achieve more than they believed they were capable of. Most entrepreneurs aren’t Mensa-smart or world-leaders in their fields; they’re simply willing to give new things a go without writing themselves off immediately.
If you struggle with believing in yourself, check out our five tips for boosting your self-confidence as a business owner. It might take time to truly shift your mindset, but any challenge you can say yes to will make you a better franchisee over time.
4. Seek out opportunities
Entrepreneurs never rest on their laurels and neither should you if you want to achieve that entrepreneur mindset. It’s easy to stop looking for new business when you’re busy, but it’s one of the quickest ways to limit yourself as a franchisee. Even if you have contracts that make sure you’ve got regular work, you’ll never grow your business if you never look for new opportunities.
Make sure you’re actively dedicating some of your time to looking for opportunities that could help you grow your business. It’s not enough to just keep your eye out for prospects that float by. Entrepreneurs get out and hunt down new clients, new ways to operate and other chance encounters that will greatly improve their business.
5. Avoid complacency
While a key part of the entrepreneur mindset is believing in yourself and not beating yourself up about failure, it’s vital you also hold yourself accountable. Entrepreneurs know there’s always more they can do to make their business, and their leadership, even better. If they find themselves going after fewer opportunities or know they’re slacking on their personal development, they don’t give themselves false praise.
Regularly self-assessing the way you’re running your franchise will help you see how you can make it even better. You might find it easier to do this with an honest friend or mentor, as an external perspective can often motivate you out of a rut. But if you want to really nail that entrepreneur mindset and stop complacency setting in, point 1 (never losing sight of your goals) will really give you the boost you need to keep working on your business.
If you’re a franchisee that really wants to adopt an entrepreneur mindset, we hope this article has highlighted how you can get there. It’s not always an easy shift, particularly if you’re plagued by self-doubt or struggle to stay focused, but it’s one that will ultimately be worthwhile. Be patient with yourself and work hard at improving your outlook and you will notice important changes within yourself. If you’re still looking for the perfect franchise opportunity, check out our UK franchise directory.
Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©