Seeing the World Through Entrepreneurial Eyes

I believe I was born with the entrepreneurial mindset. I see opportunity in everything I look at. Sometimes it drives me crazy. I can’t have hobbies because I always turn them into businesses. After I had my first son I tried to be a full time stay-at-home mom. I thought it would be nice to start a hobby so I pulled out my childhood dollhouse and started working on it. Soon, I had a stack of wholesale catalogs. Then I started placing small orders. 1 item for myself, 2 to sell on eBay to pay for the one I kept. Counter space started filling up with miniature dollhouse items. I had to step back and think “Is this really what I want to do?” I just wanted a hobby but it turned into a business. I wanted to do scrapbooking or stamping like friends but I knew it would be dangerous. I have already attended trade shows in Las Vegas pursuing craft vendors. I have finally succumbed to the idea that my hobby is selling books. This confuses some people. “Isn’t that your business?” they ask. Yes, but it is also my passion and my hobby.

It is easy to spot people who don’t have Entrepreneurial Eyes. They have beliefs that hold them back:

Us vs. Them

When I first met Steve we butted heads about jobs and business, because he did not have entrepreneurial eyes. He had an Us vs. Them mentality. He considered “Us” as people who he thought worked hard for their paycheck. “Them” were managers and business owners. I would get angry. I never saw an Us or a Them, we were all Us. We are all capable of doing great things. It’s all a matter of how hard you want to try and what you are willing to let go of in the process.

Retirement Thinking

Worker Bees have this idea of retirement – it’s the day you quit your job and everything changes. It’s something they dream about for 20+ years. You hear comments like “When I Retire I Will ______” (fill in the blank) Play Golf? Travel? Volunteer? Hang Out with the Grandkids? It’s a well documented fact that depression can hit hard after retirement. It’s rarely the freewheelin’ lifestyle they thought it would be.

Someone once asked me “When will your dad retire?” I was surprised by the question. My dad is a serial entrepreneur. In his twenties, he started a highly successful driving school which he sold and then later bought a small bookstore to run during his retirement years. His small bookstore turned into 7 bookstores and 6 Christmastime calendar kiosks. Today, he’s back to one bookstore which he plans to close because he’s tired of dealing with the public. He will continue selling books online and try to grow his business in different directions. Isn’t he already retired? Isn’t retirement when you don’t have a boss anymore and are free to do as you please whether it’s running your own business or knitting sweaters? He told me, when his largest business, his driving school was at its peak, he worked the fewest hours of his life.

Naysayers

Don’t listen to naysayers. They will tell you all the negatives about every idea you have. How much work it will be, how much money it’s going to cost, how much time it will take. Those are all legitimate things to think about, but not at the idea stage. Entrepreneurs love talking about ideas, nothing kills forward motion like a naysayer.

I used to take my son to a toddler group and we would have “mommy time” to talk about our concerns and issues. I said I had an opportunity to open a bookstore but I was concerned about putting my kids in full time daycare. The negative feedback was instantaneous, “Do you think you could really run something like that?” “Have you done your research?” “Do you know that bookstores are failing everywhere?” But there was one woman with a big smile on her face who said “Wow! What a great opportunity, how exciting.” I knew she was the only one in the room with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Money and Jobs

Everyone has different ideas about what money is and what it can do. Most people believe you need a job to get a paycheck so you have money to pay bills and maybe buy yourself something nice. They believe the harder you work the more money you will have.

Someone very wise once told me a great piece of advice– the only reason to have a job is to learn something that you can take with you. Once you stop learning it’s time to move on and learn something else. You should never work for the money. What a great piece of advice, especially for young people before they get caught up in the paycheck merry-go-round. Make more, spend more, keep up with the Joneses.

Entrepreneurs don’t start businesses for the money. Money is the result of the game. The game is creating businesses. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the fun is seeing what works.

Entrepreneurial Eyes

Once you have Entrepreneurial Eyes they never go away. You think about how to make everything you see better. When you see a weakness with a gadget you think about how to produce a better one. When you see people struggling, you think about how to help them. You listen to others ideas you become inspired and excited about their opportunities. You encourage them and give them positive feedback. Once you have Entrepreneurial Eyes, you’ll never see the world the same… you’ll see a world filled with endless opportunity.

To find out more about how you can start your own internet based business check out Skip McGrath’s site.

17 thoughts on “Seeing the World Through Entrepreneurial Eyes”

  1. I’m a serial entrepreneur and it drives me insane. Since about 2000 I have always had at least one side business going, some successful and others complete failures. Like you mentioned about the inability to have hobbies I know exactly what you mean. Almost every one of my businesses stemmed from what was just a benign hobby.

    Sometimes I wish I was a worker bee, where I could just go into work everyday, put in my time and come home and have nothing to think or worry about. Instead my mind is running at 100 mph constantly thinking about other businesses, new ideas, how to improve something and I have no idle time at all.

    What I really need is a system to help contain my ideas in a way that allows me to focus my efforts. Right now I feel that I’m spread way too thin trying to accomplish too much with too many separate ideas at the same time.

  2. So for those of us Young’uns who blatantly don’t have the “entrepreneurial eye”, how would one go about developing such a thing?

  3. Thanks for posting this. It’s very encouraging.

    I find for me, fear and responsibilities are a big hindrance in branching out and making new moves.

  4. I belive that this is one of those gifts that you’re born with.

    Some people do these things so naturally that it takes almost no effort and the results are great. Others put in incredible amounts of energy and the results are nowhere to be seen.

    Being an entrepreneur is just one of the millions of possible paths that one has in life.

    We can’t all be business owners… 🙂 Everyone should spend time in finding their strong points and making the most of them, because trying to become something you’re not made for can prove to be really frustrating.

    PS: I have a natural entreprenorial mindset. I FEEL it every day, and this article gave me even more trust in my abilities.

  5. I am usually not a naysayer. I would listen to people talk about their ideas and unless they are totally stupid and I know for sure that it wouldn’t work, I usually say go for it. I mean, you never know until you try, right? And it’d be boring if you already know what the outcome would be.

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  7. Wow you covered a lot of great points here! Nice article!

    I have the entreprenurial eye but I was raised in a strong “nay sayer” environment; my parents were incredibly risk-averse and that influence is what I spend a lot of my time trying to overcome.

    Ironically, I married a man who is very much the same. We both see opportunity all around us and for years we discussed different ideas that were, on the whole, good ideas…until we talked each other out of them. We are now at the point of saying, “well, why NOT us?” and laying down plans for our dream businesses.

    I think it is important to understand how powerful the Nay Sayers are in our culture; they protect the status quo and they use it as well to justify their own decisions. However in today’s world there is no such thing as a “secure” job that will take care of you; everyone is an entreprenure whether they know it, like it, or not.

    Funny story: I work temp jobs to keep money coming in while we are in college. One group of office workers was discussing retirement, and I said, “I can’t wait to not have a job.” Meaning, of course, that I would not have a “normal” job and could spend all my time doing the businesses I want to do, the “hobbies” I always have on the burner so to speak. They were adament that I would hate it, because without a job, I would get bored. I have to admit, that idea never occured to me. Their worldview was so different from mine, I had no way to translate!

    Keep up the great posts, Christine!

  8. Wow!
    I must say this was a very good article, and I totally agree and have just recently learned how to have entreprenurial eyes. You must learn to have a mindset that is set to positive and positiveness will sourround your life. And if you learn how to use entreprenurial eyes and stop being a naysayer, then you have the world at your feet.

    “Imagination is Everything”
    – Einsten

  9. You mean it is too late to go back to the job mentality…sob sob….
    What a great article positive article about the entrepreneurial mindset.

    You have been stumbled again.

  10. Here again!

    I am reminded of my mom (she definitely has the entrepreneurial mindset and the eyes) a minute ago, we (self & mom) were in a conversation and I was think, why is she like this? – never let go of something she wants me to have? why – why – why? (I didn’t want it)

    Now I understand why she was right! –
    After reading this journal, meanwhile she came back starting that conversation again – this time I agreed to her thought. While she was talking, using the synonyms of opportunity –
    I paused her and said, “Mom, isn’t this an opportunity.”
    she said, “That’s the word son! Now you are looking at it the right way”

    Man! now even I have entrepreneurial mindset and the eyes TOO

    Boy this Amigo is Qool – way to go!

    and one more thing – “There is nothing like a ‘Jewish mother’ “

  11. Great post. I totally agree on that once you get your Entrepreneurial Eyes on, they’re there to stay. You should read the book “The Richest Man in Babylon”. You’ll like it.

  12. You make a lot of good points in your post. =3

    I think I’ve always had entrepreneurial eyes, but they clouded over for a bit between the ages of 14 and 18. Now I’m 19 and they’re back with full power.

    However, I’m not really a believer that people are born, with or without entrepreneurial ability, I think it’s one of those things that everyone has within them but can easily become unlearned due to societys current standards. D:

    It’s sad really.

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