So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Change Your Mindset for Business Success

So you want to start a business and reap all the benefits of being an entrepreneur? If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, most entrepreneurs don’t know what they’re doing when they start out. The fake it til you make it mentality, coupled with a strong dose of good old-fashioned hard work, is the perfect solution for success. As we emerge from the pandemic, a solid entrepreneurial mindset will be “make or break” in your business taking off. In this article, Ed Stillman of Austin Vistage presents the critical mindset fix needed to succeed in this field.

Leadership Mindset

Arm yourself with a strong team with a diverse skillset, so you’re set up for any business hurdles that come up. Be picky about who you entrust your fledgling business to, as they will form the foundation for your business. If you’re on a tight budget, start slow with a few employees and build your way up as sales increase. You can also save money by monitoring how your staff is spending their time. Effective tools to connect office and field staff can help you oversee billable hours to manage time more efficiently. Look for features such as real-time updates, job scheduling, and on-the-spot invoicing, as this will benefit business cash flow as well. As a leader, it is important to set yourself up with tools that free up your time, while bettering your business practices.

Planning Mindset

Entrepreneurs need to be practical yet visionary. No matter if you’re in the pre-launch stage or if it’s been a couple of months of operations, you will need to plan ahead for the future. Many entrepreneurs are driven by passion, but passion alone will not drive revenue, growth, and scaling. Instead, have concrete goals and strategies, with actionable steps to help you achieve them. For example, ask yourself how many years you want to be in business and why this work is important to you — self-reflection is key to learning from the past.

Support Mindset

In addition to being deeply committed to your business, you will also need to nurture a network that boosts you along your way. Look for mentors, supporters, partners, allies, and vendors. The more you build up your network, the more growth opportunities will present themselves to you. You can do this by joining local business groups or peer networks. As the world has gotten increasingly digital due to the pandemic, you can find non-local online network events across the country too! And don’t forget – networking is a mutual relationship – you need to give as much as you get.

Pivoting Mindset

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a business. Critical to success in entrepreneurship is the exploration – of different business models, product lines, and service styles. According to the Wharton School, pivoting is one of the most important attributes that set entrepreneurs apart. You will need to be open to change, particularly in this post-pandemic stage of constantly changing safety regulations, business protocols, and fluctuating customer bases. Embrace change, and listen to your intuition rather than tackling every business problem with just numbers. Oftentimes, logic can’t predict what the human mind can.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a business. Funding, hard work, and great employees are the foundation of every business – but if you don’t build vital business attributes within yourself, your business will lack a much-needed anchor. So be strong, ride out those waves of difficulty, and remember – you’ve got this.

Building a business while we go through the last stages of the pandemic can be confusing to navigate. Luckily, Austin Vistage’s Ed Stillman – CEO advisor and leadership and life coach – is here to help. If you need help developing your business and attaining your leadership potential, be sure to contact me at 512-422-6232.

Welcome Ankur Agarwal, Vistage’s newest Chair

As the senior group chair in Austin, I would like to welcome Ankur to his newest chapter in his book called LIFE.

Here’s to local leaders reaching new heights — in business and in life.

A growing number of business leaders across Texas and throughout Austin have a major competitive advantage — a proven platform for success that helps them make better decisions, get better outcomes and grow their businesses 2.2x faster than similar-sized companies.

As a result, these CEOs and owners of small and midsize businesses are elevating their companies, their families and everyone around them. At Vistage, we call this “a life of climb,” and we are proud to support these peak performers as they achieve ever higher summits. And we want to support you, too.

Through coaching 100,000+ CEOs for over 60 years, Vistage has honed a proven approach to leadership success that includes:

● perspectives from trusted and respected peers who’ve got your back

● professional guidance from an executive mentor (Chair)

● and deep insights from subject-matter experts

Vistage presence in Texas powered by a global network of CEOs:

  • 1,337 Vistage Members
  • 1,116 Local Companies
  • 109 Peer Advisory Groups

Vistage presence in Austin:

  • 158 Vistage Members
  • 118 Local Companies
  • 14 Peer Advisory Groups

Please note: Vistage membership is open to CEOs, business owners and top executives across all industries.

If you’re the CEO or owner of a small or midsize business in the Austin area, let’s find out how to take your company, your community and your life to a whole new level.

Ankur is interviewing founding members for a group start in the 4th quarter and he can be reached at (512) 809-4096.

Mid-year self-reflection for strong leadership

Are you willing to do a little self-reflection? Reflect on these 9 questions and see what the questions reveal about yourself. What changes are you willing to do between now and the end of 2021 to make you a better leader?

Not sure where to start? Analyzing our individual habits and behaviors is a good way to open the door for some serious reflection. This is something I am comfortable in guiding CEOs into the right self-reflection for their personal and professional needs.

“Do you have any habits that hold you back from being the leader you’d like to be?”

High-performing leaders have to push themselves to look at inward on a regular basis. From “stop-doing” lists and fire fighting to goal-setting and talent planning, these nine question are a good place to dig in when leadership is feeling stuck or focus feels misplaced.

9 powerful questions coaches ask CEOs

Asking a tough question can be — tough. But not for Vistage Chairs Ken Proctor and Wally Schmader. Over their combined 12 years of coaching Vistage high-performing CEOs, they have honed the craft of asking great business coaching questions. They’ve come to know what makes executive leaders tick, and with insightful questions they reach the core of a CEO’s values, discover their blind spots, and design strategies to transcend personal and business challenges.

In this post, Ken and Wally share questions they ask CEOs who want the opportunity to join a Vistage peer advisory group. For busy CEOs who are under constant pressure, the 1-1 business coaching time spent with Ken or Wally becomes a meaningful moment of reflection. These questions are the beginning of a CEO’s journey toward stronger decision-making and more effective leadership development.

1. “Are you running your company or leading it?”

2. “Are you doing more fire-fighting or fire prevention in your business?”

6. “Think about the last direct report who left the company. What percent of that employee’s departure are you willing to own?”

9. “It’s the last day of the year. What would have made this year truly meaningful for you — personally and professionally?”

There are several helpful discussions we can have around just one of these questions. Pick one, and let’s talk.