There is not a more useful or important trait to possess than resourcefulness in the pursuit of success. Resourcefulness is a mindset, and is especially relevant when the goals you have set are difficult to achieve or you cannot envision a clear path to get to where you desire to go. With a resourcefulness mindset you are driven to find a way. An attitude of resourcefulness inspires out-of-the-box thinking, the generation of new ideas, and the ability to visualize all the possible ways to achieve what you desire. Resourcefulness turns you into a scrappy, inventive and enterprising entrepreneur. It places you a cut above the rest.
1. Open minded.
As an open-minded entrepreneur you must be passionate about breaking boundaries and redefining what is and is not possible. You must possess the unique talents necessary to leverage and fulfill the immediate goals set out in front of you, and remain open when considering new ideas and differing thoughts from your own. Open-mindedness is critical when taking the actions that will lead you towards success.
In being open-minded you find value in all kinds of different people, events and circumstances. You demonstrate a willingness to embrace an array of possibilities, opportunities, thoughts, views, suggestions and experiences outside of your normal repertoire. You push yourself to do what others believe to be impossible. This is how you attain success while the less resourceful give up on their dreams. Stretch out of your comfort zone and expand your thinking. As you stretch yourself you discover things which greatly improve your business, and ideas which help you bypass current obstacles standing in your way.
Believe you are capable of handling any problem placed in front of you. You must wholeheartedly hold the belief that you are competent and adequate enough to achieve what you desire. This belief is the first step you take in getting things done. When you are self-assured you like and trust yourself. You know your value, appreciate your talents, work ethic and your ability to consistently follow through on your every word, deed and action.
Hold the mindset that workable solutions exist for every problem. Visualize yourself being successful every day. When facing difficulties picture yourself overcoming them. Imagine accomplishing your goals and celebrating your successes. Openly accept compliments and know that you deserve them. Keep a daily log of your successes. Write down your achievements each day and soon you will fill the pages and develop a clear scope on how far you have come and how much success you have had. This will go a long way in helping you realize that you have earned the right to be confident in yourself and your abilities.
Resourcefulness is having the mindset to look at what’s in front of you and to optimize what you have to work with. Being imaginative is not always about creating something new, but also, with a little ingenuity making old things work better. Reach far into the depths of your mind and come up with outlandish possibilities as well as practical ones. Allow your mind to wander. Never stop your creative process, as you may talk yourself out of great idea. Creative thoughts quickly move you from one idea to another and to another. One of those ideas may bear the fruits of a genius idea or solution.
There is no such thing a procrastination in the mindset of those who are resourceful. To be successful you cannot put your dreams on hold and wait for the right resources or people to show up. There is no waiting. Get out there and create your own resources and networks. When you are resourceful you do not allow outside circumstances determine when or how you take action, or you will always settle for less.
When opportunities present themselves do not overthink or talk yourself out of them. Get in the game. Avoid being a passive observer. Participate actively and always be deeply involved. Take initiative to be a part of creating and finding solutions. Engage with and influence the people, events, circumstance and knowledge which come your way. It is when you are actively engaged in your business that you have the most significant impact on everything you touch.
To be resourceful you can never give up. If you stop trying before a problem is solved then you haven’t accomplished anything. If you don’t succeed at first, get up and try again. Try a dozen things a hundred different ways if that is what it takes, but don’t give up the fight simply because obstacles present themselves on your path. Trust that every “No” puts you that much closer the “Yes” you are looking for.
Let anxiety and frustration motivate you. Get in touch with how deeply you want to succeed and make a difference. These motivators largely determine what you accomplish. Discipline yourself to keep going when you want to quit. Any sought after goal worthy of your effort will place challenges in your way. If you practice persistence and make it your habit to discipline yourself to get done what needs to get done, you are guaranteed to reach your goal. Gregariously go after what you want. Never see a setback as a failure, view it as practice. Practice makes perfect. Use fear and frustration to push you over the finish line of what you are seeking.
Possessing a resourceful mindset requires you stay positive. There is a solution to every problem, even if that means a change in direction. Train yourself to see the positive benefits in every situation. As you cultivate a positive outlook you will see it is easier to come up with solutions. Fear and frustration block innovation.
When frustrated, remind yourself of all the times in the past you dealt with a crisis or difficult situation and the stories of victory and success that resulted from those hardships. Allow these memories to keep you hopeful in your present situation. Each time you are successful through hardship you grow into a stronger, wiser person. Your experiences teach you things you can now pass onto others when in need of support and encouragement.
To develop a resourceful mindset be willing to constantly improve yourself. Be open to learning new things and do all you can to keep current with what is happening within your industry. Even if your business becomes more successful your learning must continue because learning provides enrichment to your life. Know and embrace what your personal strengths and weaknesses are and learn how to control and overcome them. You cannot manage every situation you encounter effectively if you do not have the ability to harness your fears and/or weaknesses. Therefore, read as many books as you can, consistently educate yourself and put what you learn into full blown action. Become the person who finds the loopholes, who is scrappy and innovative. When you practice resourcefulness, you raise the bar and success is a guarantee.
Originally posted on entrepreneur.com by Sherrie Campbell
Entrepreneurs don’t think like most people. They swim upstream when everyone else swims down. They say “yes, I can” when others say, “No, I can’t.” And they zig when others zag.
All of these qualities take a certain type of personality: someone who possesses not only the competence to answer a consumer need but also the confidence to challenge the status quo. These qualities also require persistence, because the ability to hunt down solutions to complex problems, and keep hunting, separates the “gonna-be’s” from the “never-will-be’s.”
The gonna-be’s find reasons to succeed — and keep succeeding — while the never-will-be’s find excuses not to keep going. And what separates the two is how they think, specifically whether they think effectively.
Now, there’s good news and bad news with learning to think effectively. The good news is, it’s possible to rewire your brain to look for positives instead of negatives, to see failure as a temporary state of learning rather than a permanent state of acceptance. The bad news is that rewiring isn’t easy. It requires a keen sense of self-awareness to recognize what that voice in your head is saying in uncomfortable situations. It takes courage to admit that your current mode of thinking can be improved. And it takes consistent effort, to cultivate a new process.
So, are you ready to optimize your thinking? Here are three strategies to get started:
1. Measure and manage.
What gets measured gets improved, so the first step to optimizing how you think is to take an inventory of two things: 1) the situations that cause you anxiety, fear or restlessness; and 2) the words and phrases you tell yourself in those situations.
Imagine the number one situation you try to avoid at all costs. It may be public speaking, working with someone one-on-one or raising your hand to voice a concern in a meeting. Next, identify the negative words and phrases that come to mind when you think about it. Some examples are, “I hate public speaking,” “I get nervous in front of crowds,” or “I’m not good at this.”
2. Visualize success.
Now it’s time to flip the negative on its head. Once you’ve identified the situation and the negative self-talk that comes to mind, visualize yourself in the hot seat. That is, if public speaking makes you want to run the other way, imagine yourself delivering a presentation. At this point, you’re probably feeling the same emotions arise as if you were actually there (and this is an imaginary situation!).
But these feelings are good, because they mean that you understand the power of visualization. If you can imagine the negative, then you can also imagine the positive. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what isn’t, so every time a negative enters your thought stream, replace it with a positive.
It doesn’t even matter if you don’t believe what you tell yourself at first, because the more often you tell yourself XYZ, the more inclined your brain is to believe it’s true. The key here is consistency. Every time that little “I’m not good at this” thought comes to mind, immediately replace it with “I’ve got this” or — even better — “I’m going to crush this and everything else in my path.”
3. Establish benchmarks.
Set small goals for yourself to measure progress. Make it a goal to pay attention to your self-talk every day until noon — if the thought of doing so for an entire day is too much. Or, start with just one single event, and every time a negative thought enters your mind, flip it on its positive head, and visualize success.
Repeat this every time that the thought of that feared event occurs. Once you’ve overcome this hurdle — and be aware that nothing will happen overnight –move on to the next. You’ll know you’re “there” when you find yourself in those situations you used to dread and have no tendency to take flight.
How you think determines how you feel, and ultimately how you perform. Leverage your own thinking to overcome the inevitable setbacks and you’ll be on your way to becoming the next success story.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Jeff Boss
Risk, especially entrepreneurship risk, has two parts: assessment and action.
After recognizing an opportunity and measuring the risk by talking to experts and doing your homework, the next part of the entrepreneurship mindset is taking that risk.
But how much risk is appropriate?
It would be easy if there were a magic formula that could tell us when risk is calculated and smart versus when it’s not. But there isn’t.
The track record isn’t clear. For every successful entrepreneur such as Richard Branson who preaches taking risk, there is another who urges caution when doing something such as leaving a steady job to launch a new venture.
While you can always choose not to take risk, that means you’re essentially choosing not to be an entrepreneur. That’s fine. Risk and entrepreneurship aren’t for everyone. But there really isn’t a path to entrepreneurship that doesn’t include risk.
To win, you have to bet.
For those who aren’t naturally adventurous or risk-takers at heart, being able to bet — risking your money, energy and ideas — is a skill. Like any skill, it can be learned. It gets easier when you watch others do it.
Ask any so-called serial entrepreneur — people who’ve taken venture risk over and over again. Dale Turken is one. Counting his latest endeavor, ScrapGo, he’s launched a dozen companies across several industries.
“Taking risk gets much easier with practice,” he says.
That’s why we teach risk taking as an essential part of thinking like an entrepreneur.
Through practice and observation, we know we can teach tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to bet smarter and more often. But unlike practicing entrepreneurs whose wagers have real, lifelong consequences to families and industries, we teach taking risk in the comparative safety of a classroom.
Our students still take risks. They are required, for example, to present ideas in front of their peers, and many go on to business-plan competitions where they present in front of hundreds of people including established business leaders. For high school students, these are usually huge emotional investments that help prepare them to take and manage future risks.
Further, in a classroom, teachers and mentors challenge students to reach higher and risk more. When they fail, it’s fine.
By watching, doing and preparing, future entrepreneurs get more comfortable with risk. They quickly become less nervous and more confident in their ideas and goals. As they learn that they can also influence the outcome, a few blossom into risk tigers — throwing more energy and passion behind their investments.
Not everyone is Richard Branson — the living caricature of a thrill-seeking maverick. For the rest of us, that safe space to experience risk is essential. It’s doubly essential for young people who may be experimenting with financial and business risk for the first time.
When you’re ready to take your risk and make your bets, here are some things from our classroom experiences that may help make the experience — and outcome — better.
1. Start small. We send students with $20 in cash to a wholesale mart or district to buy products for resale. That’s likely too small a venture for most people — but the point is the same. If you’re new to entrepreneurship risk, it’s unwise to risk everything on your first venture.
2, Expect to fail. Failure isn’t a bad word or a bad thing. Figuring out what people want by learning what they don’t want is part of the process. But that means first-time risk takers should prepare for the possibility that their investment won’t pay off. At least not at first.
3. The next matters. While you may not control the results outright, you can influence the outcome of your risk. Hard work, flexibility and marketing can all influence whether your venture succeeds and by how much. Investing in entrepreneurship isn’t a lottery ticket. If it feels as though your entrepreneurship risk is a lottery ticket, you may need to back up a step and re-assess.
4. Watch, don’t read. Instead of looking back on past successes of others, go to a micro-investor meet up or entrepreneurship club and watch others as they make investments of time, money and energy in real time. Watching them calculate, risk, succeed and fail in a real-world setting will help you spot dangers and opportunities when it’s your turn. The people you meet can also be great mentors.
5. Share your passion. When you’re passionate and confident, friends and family will support you. Sometimes, an encouraging word is the nudge you need to take the plunge.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur by Amy Rosen
On this Thanksgiving, I woke up grateful for the opportunity to be an entrepreneur. Here are a few lessons that I have learned a long the way — hopefully, they can help others in some small way.
1. Grateful entrepreneurs are happy entrepreneurs. To be an entrepreneur, you have to enjoy the ride. While you’ll experience the highest of high’s and the lowest of low’s, you can’t allow your emotions to get too high or too low. The key is to be happy and enjoy the ride.
2. Grateful entrepreneurs recognize the talents in others. The best entrepreneurs are self-aware and recognize that one of the keys to their success will be to surround herself with team members that are more talented and/or smarter than them. If you’re grateful, you’ll look to recognize the talents of others; you’ll appreciate the talents of others rather than feel threatened by them.
3. Grateful entrepreneurs give credit where credit is due. The best entrepreneurs and leaders are willing to take the blame when disasters occur, yet willingly heap praise on others when successes occur. Employees and team members want to feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts — especially if they have gone above and beyond to drive results. A grateful entrepreneur will defer the spotlight from themselves and shine it brightly on his/her team members.
4. Grateful entrepreneurs will work tirelessly to drive results. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that much of your success has come because of the help that you’ve received from others. That help may come in the form of an early investor / friend/ family member that lent you the first $10,000 that you needed to get your idea off the ground. Or, perhaps it came from an associate that allowed you to have free office space for the first 6 months of existence. The grateful entrepreneur will recognize those acts of kindness and will work tirelessly to show your appreciation and/or reward those acts of service. Even if the final outcome isn’t what you wanted, your supporters will recognize your effort and appreciate that you aren’t taking them for granted.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur by Brock Blake
With Veterans Day upon us, there is no better time to laud the men and women who selflessly volunteer their time, energy and personal well-being to protect our country, allowing us the freedoms we enjoy. So, thank you to all who have, and continue to, volunteer and risk their lives in the service of our country.
Given today’s observance, we should take the time to recognize and consider the other challenges veterans face as they return from active duty.
First, they’ve been secluded from the political and cultural events we stay-at-home Americans have known: from hurricanes to happenings in Washington to cultural oddities like the Fidget Spinner.
More seriously, returnees subjected to incredibly stressful and violent situations overseas may still suffer from debilitating injuries and emotional wounds, leaving deep scars that never heal.
In addition, when it comes to life after service, there is something more that is amiss — entrepreneurship. After World War II, almost 50 percent of returning veterans started businesses. Since 9/11,that figure has dropped to less than 5 percent.
Recently, I moderated a panel discussion with talented veteran-entrepreneurs at an event Bunker Labs hosted in Wilmington, N.C. The event opened the floodgates to some amazing stories from these people, who, it turns out, wanted to share their stories with other veterans even more than they wanted to promote their businesses.
Here are the tips and lessons I gleaned from five of those conversations.
Ray Antonino/ PermitZone: Understand your career capital.
Upon returning to the United States, Ray Antonino transitioned from a 45-K (tank turret tech) and 95-B (military police) to a licensed contractor. His firsthand experience maneuvering contracting’s complicated, cumbersome and archaic permitting process led him to start PermitZone, an online service aimed at making the building permit process easier.
“Don’t listen to the people that tell you to ‘follow your passion’ or ‘do something you love’,” Antonimo started. “Doing so will set you up for failure and is a highly flawed way of thinking.”
Instead, Antonino said he believed strongly in taking personal stock of your skills. “Read the book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You [by Cal Newport],” he suggested, “and understand how the skills you have built can offer career capital.”
He also emphasized that success is less about passion early on. “Once you understand what career capital is, and where you are in the process of obtaining it,” he said, “then it will be time to leverage resources that help you convert your skills into the civilian work force.”
Andrew Williams/ Elite Innovations: Have confidence and plan ahead.
While deployed in Afghanistan, in 2011, Andrew Williams and a fellow serviceman, Pete Foster, created a prototype of a product idea using parts of their gear and the assistance of a local Afghan sewing master. After nine iterations, they were able to get their product manufactured and distributed to every Marine Corps Exchange in the world.
Later, having left the military and learned the pain of development, sourcing and marketing a self-started product, Williams started Elite innovations, which focuses on engineering, prototyping and consulting, with a focus on assisting veteran-inventors.
Having confidence in your own ability and skills can serve you well if you’re an entrepreneur transitioning into entrepreneurship. “You’re a veteran, you’ve been getting it done your whole professional career,” Williams said. “When you step into the entrepreneurship realm, it’s just an extension of everything you’ve learned from a life at war.”
As a serviceman, he said, he was trained to “control chaos,” knowing when to pivot, and being able to handle the unknowns during the “fog of war.” These situations mirror that of entrepreneurship, he said, acknowledging that much less is on the line, of course. Still, there is a commonality in terms of the unpredictable unknowns.
“The struggle isn’t the hustle,” he said. “It’s correlating what you know with business and human capital goals, which requires creativity on your part.”
Jessica Harris/ K9 Salute: Understand the costs associated with starting a business.
Jessica Harris is a retired combat medic who served with canine units. Upon retiring, she founded K9 Salute, a company that produces and provides healthy treats for all “four-legged heroes,” as a way to honor and remember our nation’s hero military dogs.
Harris said she enjoys helping ambitious veteran-entrepreneurs. “One of the most important things to consider when starting a new business is understanding how much it will cost,” she said she tells them. “Most of us underestimate how much money it can take to get a business going. I would say ‘Multiply your expected startup costs by two, maybe even three, depending on your business of course.'”
She admitted that she personally drastically underestimated the startup costs associated with her company while she was seeking funding: “Much [of my underestimations] was because my business plan evolved as the business started to grow, and I didn’t anticipate that.”
Financial planning is key, she added: “Give yourself the best possible start by either saving more money than you’ll think you need or acquiring sufficient startup funds from the beginning. As veterans, we have some great resources for funding, so it definitely makes it much easier if you get it right from the beginning.”
Phillip Freeman, Murphy’s Naturals / Work with other companies that fit your vision.
Philip Freeman believes strongly in the importance of all-natural products and the benefits they provide, and he understands that health and wellness are closely connected to one’s environment. For that reason, Freeman founded Murphy’s Naturals, a line of earth-friendly products made from responsibly sourced, plant-based ingredients.
He said he finds it difficult to stand in the shoes of every veteran leaving service, and therefore tailors his advice to the personal experience of every veteran. Still, all entrepreneurs should start out with a couple of things, he noted: “First, establish a mission statement for yourself and your future endeavor based on your core values and passions.
“Sometimes,” he added, “you solve a unique problem that needs a unique solution. Other times, you find a twist to how business traditionally addresses a problem, and you address it in a unique and fresh way that will evolve the marketplace. Regardless, understand the uniqueness of your purpose and avoid the traditional routes.”
Veterans, Freeman said, should cooperate and collaborate with others who share a similar mission and passion. “Visit other entrepreneurial companies that fit your vision and values,” he advised. “You will be surprised how willing they are to share.”
Offer to work with them, Freeman continued. “Map out a bunch of companies on a map that fit your vision and go on a road trip to visit and interview their leadership. Remember that the companies you visit do not need to do what you want to do; they just need to share your values.”
Ed Hall/ Petrics: Embrace and leverage your military training.
Ed Hall found the transition from service to civilian life unnerving. “For many, the military is a replacement for family and home while away,” Hall explained. “Entering the civilian life after being in the military can definitely be a scary transition.”
Deciding to pursue entrepreneurship is even worse. “I was absolutely excited and nervous,” Hall admitted. “I was excited to go back to school, yet, I was nervous I was walking away from a stable, secure job.”
Despite that nervousness, he fulfilled his entrepreneurial ambitions by founding Petric, which provides tailored health and nutrition information for pets (and their owners) via a mobile app and online platform. His military training helped, he said.
“I found that the military instilled phenomenal skills of adaptation, ability to continue under pressure, and even use that pressure to perform better and use it as a strength,” Hall said. “This is why many veterans become good entrepreneurs, because those skills are everything that a business owner needs.”
Today, as he tackles the immense and competitive pet industry, Hall said he enjoys advising other veteran-entrepreneurs to take heart about returning to the civilian world. “Just remember,” he likes to tell them, “that you have had many worse things thrown at you and you were able to persevere.”
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Peter Gasca
With Halloween approaching, our minds tend to shift to those things in life that are spooky and scary. As we get older, the ghosts and goblins that once kept us up at night are now funny, iconic reminders of a nostalgic time of year. But, interestingly, many aspects of Halloween can serve as a great foundation for entrepreneurs.
Choose the path less taken.
Sure, one easy thing to do on Halloween is follow the crowd of kids and parents down the well lit neighborhood streets. In many neighborhoods it looks like a swarm of bees navigating together. This is safe and easy, but what if you veer down the sidestreets and venture to the houses just off the main path? Sure, sometimes you hit a dead-end, but sometimes you also find the wonderful older couple who are so excited to have visitors and they graciously give you the greatest treats. If you want two Hershey kisses or a few Toostie rolls, follow the crowd, but the hand-tied bag full of Snickers, Milky Way and Crunch bars are often on the path less taken.
Many fears are irrational.
Halloween is full of masks, makeup, decorations, and creepy sounds. All kinds of things that ‘up’ our anxiety and ignite our irrational fears. For entrepreneurs, these fears come in the form of fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of being wrong, fear of running pursuing our passions. But, fear isn’t real. Fear is nothing more than images we make up in our mind. Remember, when you face these fears you can make them disappear.
Walking door-to-door and starting conversations leads to great outcomes.
The great tradition of walking door-to-door (often with parents a sidewalk away) teaches us some independence, but also allows us to confront adults face-to-face. This is the foundation for one of your most valuable skills – your ability to look someone in the eye and communicate clearly. Sales, marketing, raising capital, hiring a great team, etc. all stem back to strong interpersonal communication. Door to door is a powerful and efficient teacher.
With a little effort, you can be a completely new person.
It amazes me that when the shy, quiet boy puts on his Superman costume, he becomes a confident, outspoken actor. He takes on the characteristics of his hero, stands a little taller and is ready to conquer the darkest streets in the hood. But wait – nothing physical changed. He didn’t grow new muscles or drink a special potion – it was 100% psychological. He just decided he could, so he did. Why not put on that psychological costume, armour or mask whenever you need it. Just decide you can.
So this holiday, as you walk with your kids or attend the friend’s costume party, just remember that even on November 1st, you can be anyone you want to be.
Originally posted on LinkedIn by Mac Lackey, Entrepreneur and Investor