By Michael S. Melfi, author of “The Simple Secrets of Being an Entrepreneur“
Which came first, the mindset or the strategy?
Being an entrepreneur involves overcoming challenges, being resourceful, staying committed long after it is no longer fun to be doing something. Along this journey there are many obstacles and challenges that arise. So often when a problem arises for an entrepreneur, it is natural to immediately look to creating a solution. While being resource and problem solving are key attributes of any successful entrepreneur, solving the problem immediately may not be the best first step.
The ability to be resourceful and problem solving are categorized as strategic thinking, which is a great skill to have yet even with the greatest strategy, it is important to have the right mindset behind the execution of a strategy. They say that execution is key to obtaining results, yet without a strategy, how can you create priorities to execute. On the other hand, without the right mindset, specifically focused, how can we begin to create a strategy?
One of the best ways to lead your problem solving efforts with mindset is to pause any urgency to take action and take the time to establish the right mindset. This can be done by asking yourself a few key question:
- What are my beliefs around the current situation?
- Are any of these beliefs prohibiting me from the ultimate outcome? If so, what can you do to change them?
Additionally, it is important to understand the value based mindset as an entrepreneur – how do you develop value for the key stakeholders in an entrepreneurial endeavor? First, it is necessary to create value, either perceived or actual value to the customer. When you create a solution for a customer pain, they are willing to pay for the product or service. Next, it is important to provide value to the investors or funders of the project. This may be the founders, could be family and friends or possibly an angel investor. Next, it is important to provide. Last, but just as important as the first two is the ability to create value for the team. This can be partners, employees, independent contractors and vendors. By providing them with the right value in the form of culture, you will have tremendous success.
Once you have asked and answered these questions, and understand your beliefs around the situation, then it is ideal to move onto the strategic aspects for success. This may, at point, bring up some questions which might include:
- What are my resources for executing on a potential strategy? Are there any resources I am missing to execute on the strategy? How do I get those missing resources?
- What do I need to focus on to execute and implement the strategy based on my beliefs and capabilities?
- How do I measure the results? How do I know if I have achieved the outcome? (creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal is an important aspect of creating success)
As you embark (or continue) on your entrepreneurial journey, there is nothing wrong with creating solutions as it is key to building a value mindset and success, however one cannot help but question which came first, the mindset or the strategy.
Which will you put first?
Michael Melfi is an IP attorney, entrepreneur coach, investor, media personality and four-time author. Michael has a dynamic background that allows him to provide insightful legal services, while creating business development strategies for funding and growth. He is author of “The Simple Secrets of Intellectual Property“, “The Simple Secrets of Being an Entrepreneur“, “The Simple Secrets of Social Media“, and “The Simple Secrets of Crowdfunding“.