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Mentality & Opportunity Recognition

In the last post I briefly explained the first steps in creating a business. Today we are discussing that first step, which involves your mentality and ability to recognize opportunities. Mentality is a very complex process, but vital for entrepreneurship, or any part of life really.

“The mind is a powerful place and what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way [...] Every day when you get up and think you'll never be great, you'll never be great. Not because you're not, but the hate will always find a way to cut you up and murder your faith” - NF, the Search

To translate that to the entrepreneurship scene, I believe there are three main points in terms of mentality that have to be considered:

  • glass-half-full mentality: of course you need to be realistic to some extent, but realize that there is a fine line between realism and pessimism. And that is a line you do not want to cross. Positivism is extremely important, so I would say, try to make an effort in seeing something positive in everything and possibly an opportunity in everything. I have also linked this to the exercise for this week, which will be to try to see something positive in everything that happens to you this week, especially in the negative things! This will not only help you in the field of entrepreneurship, but I think it can be very helpful in general to life.

  • motivation: quite naturally, it is important to stay motivated for what you’re doing. Of course, we are all humans and motivation is not a straight line in any case. And it is okay to feel a bit off about your project sometimes. But as long as you can always get back up and re-find your motivation, you are totally fine. However, if you start noticing that you no longer have any motivation to work on your project and that feeling stays, you should probably start considering if it is worth it to continue to pursue this idea. Afterall, your mental health should be a priority, and continuously working on something you don’t have any motivation for, may be only harmful to you in the end.

  • dealing with (fear of) failure: failure is scary and frowned upon by many. Especially in Europe, entrepreneurial failure is viewed as a bad thing. In the US for example, this mentality is a bit different, where entrepreneurial failure is almost encouraged because of all the lessons one can learn from such experiences. Personally, I think the latter is a much better attitude, since there are indeed many lessons to learn from entrepreneurial failure. You have to realize that failure happens to us all over and over again, and it’s the ones that always get back up and continue that become successful.

The second aspect is opportunity recognition. Even though it is intrinsically linked to mentality, there are some aspects that rather set it apart. The way you recognize opportunities cannot be controlled for a large part, because everyone has their own “mental model” that controls this. Your mental model is shaped by your knowledge, experiences, background, etc. However, there are some aspects that you can somewhat control. For instance, this includes:

  • open perspective. Having an open perspective or even an open heart is very important. Be aware of your surroundings, community, the news, and so on. This will help you find opportunities in places you might not have expected it!

  • thinking outside of the box. I discussed this in a previous post of the necessity of business school as well. If you focus too much on theories and rules, it can lead you to think too limited, or “inside the box”. Try to step away from this, and basically to forget all the rules of what can and cannot be done. That way you can let your creativity go completely free, realism is for later stages haha!

  • believing in yourself. Lastly, it is important to always keep believing in yourself. Persistence and research will get you almost anywhere! So many successful entrepreneurs were told “no” a million times before they got a single “yes”. But they kept believing in themselves and continues to work hard on their dreams, so you should too! Why would anyone believe in you if you don’t?

If you would like me to get into this subject more or if you have another subject you would like to see discussed, don’t hesitate to comment, email or contact me through one of my social media channels.

Big love!

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