Publisher’s Perspective
Publisher’s Perspective
Publisher’s Perspective
Entrepreneur’s Mindset

I cannot imagine a more complex time to lead a business. I have been saying this for many years now. Yet, somehow, each new year manages to deliver the previously unthinkable along with escalating levels of complexity with which to contend. What’s more, this trend toward the increasingly complex shows no sign of abating. How do we respond? As entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurism is often romanticized for its creative, independent, and risk-tolerant cachet. And of course, when things go well, for its economic rewards. However, hidden beneath the bravado of this veneer is the reality of the experience. The fact is that entrepreneurism is a perpetually uncomfortable journey devoid of guarantees. This is because entrepreneurs don’t seek structure; they seek to create it. To do so, they must become comfortable with the ficklest and most unforgiving of companions: uncertainty. Every day they wager effort, money, reputation, and self-esteem backed only by their vision, intellect, and tenacious personal conviction that they can create something better. Not only for themselves, but for those who will follow.

Entrepreneurism is not an occupation—it’s a mindset. An attitude toward problem solving that acknowledges obstacles but sees possibilities, that is inspired by opportunity, resilient to setbacks, and undeterred by failure. Entrepreneurism is often perceived as an approach to business when, in fact, it’s an approach to life.

Throughout the past two decades, perpetual and escalating disruption has impacted virtually every aspect of our personal and professional lives, its force and ubiquitous nature so intense and complete that it has penetrated the structure of even the most established and well-fortified comfort zones. Today, uncertainty is everyone’s companion. Today, we are all entrepreneurs.

For many, the thought of adopting an entrepreneur’s mindset with uncertainty as a constant companion is not only unsettling, but downright terrifying. However, they might be surprised to learn they have already begun to embrace the shift. Two years ago when the pandemic began, businesses large and small pivoted to new and creative ways of working to remain productive and profitable—complacency was not an option. In response, individuals at all levels and in all industries worked tirelessly to define and implement new and creative ways to communicate, collaborate, and serve, overcoming uncertainty and fear in the process. Many did so not only for their own wellbeing and job security, but for the wellbeing of their friends and coworkers. An entrepreneur’s mindset is often the byproduct of necessity.

The pandemic, as tragic and disruptive as it has been, has also had a silver lining—it has woken us up. Fifty years of relative stability rendered us complacent, causing us to ignore the obvious and the risky in favor of convenience and profit. It is easy to assume that the pandemic created supply-chain and energy vulnerabilities, deep-seated employee dissatisfaction, and festering social and political tensions. It did not. The pandemic simply created the conditions that made these problems visible—it exposed them.

The challenges we face today are of lasting consequence and will impact the generations to come. They are enormous, complex, and the result of short-term, opportunistic thinking. Fortunately, the strain of the past couple of years also revealed within us an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit. We have the capacity to acknowledge uncertainty while striving to create something previously unimaginable, something better. We may not be able to solve all the problems we are facing, however, we can create the foundation on which the solutions will be built.

It will not be politicians, celebrity executives, or the ultra-wealthy who provide the ideas, effort, and tenacious resolve necessary to address the national and global challenges of our time. It will be you, me, and our entrepreneur’s mindset.

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Rick Thomas

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