Mindset of an Entrepreneur

CEOs, business leaders, pastors and specifically participants at my workshops are asked these questions –

Questions:

  1. What will you do if I gave you INR 200 today?
  2. With a specific mandate to invest this amount, where would you invest?
  3. By end of one year, how much would this amount have grown to?

Answers:
(Typical answers that I get)

  1. Save / spend / help others or a mix of everything.
  2. Invest in bank, stock markets or start a business
  3. INR 200 would have grown to 210, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 50,000 or 5,00,000

Their mindset determines the answers.  I then proceed to narrate two stories that start with INR 200.

Everybody desires growth be it an individual, family, team, Business, Church or an NGO for that matter. Growth for a business could mean revenues, profitability, ROI, new markets, etc. Growth for a Church could mean quality of life, increasing maturity levels of its members and addition or preferably multiplication of new members.

It’s a common understanding that growth requires plenty of resources. Based on our experience and research, the first and most critical success factor would be the mindset of leaders.

Why is the right mindset required?

A company I consult were satisfied with the fact that they never made a single loss in any financial year since the time of its inception.  They had built a good brand. During the peak recession of 2008 – 2009, they had to lay off employees. However, even after recession was long over and with every company aggressively pursuing growth, this company stayed with the same mindset.  I gently asked them to look at similar 10-year-old companies, what were the opportunities, how did they capitalize them & chart an enviable growth. How do you compare with them? They went racing ahead and we are lagging behind. The answer was “silence”. Fortunately they realized that they need to change.  Unfortunately, execution needs to be much faster.

This company was blessed with resources, team and money (backed by a wealthy owner); yet, it failed to capitalize on growth. In contrast, ThoughtCapital started with a humble INR 200 without an office, website or even business cards. We started with minimal resources, yet witnessed an exponential growth of 12,500 times in the first year. This was during the same recession what was acknowledged to be the worst after the great depression of 1930s. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love the company mentioned above and some of their team members are my good friends.

The reason for comparison – I used to be an employee in this company during the initial years of its aggressive growth.

Businesses and churches struggle to grow because they failed to adopt the right mindset. Another reason is the failure to build leaders. In this case, the founding team refuses to let go. They are deceived in believing that they are surrounded by leaders; however, lack of empowerment and skills building (strategic thinking, decision making amongst other critical skills) render the so-called leaders as mere followers awaiting orders.

Until next time!
Ronald Raj S J



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