Why you should never lose your startup mindset

BY Amanda Smith


6 December 2017

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You know a startup when you see one. They have a big idea, a vision that drives every decision they make. It’s present in the conversations they have, using every opportunity to tell someone new about their offering.

They’re flexible, adaptable and constantly evolving, always in tune with their customers. Their spirit is undeniable.

Yet, somewhere along the way, this energy starts to dilute. Put it down to success, the comfort zone or something else, but things do change. And while it’s normal, you shouldn’t accept it.

No matter what stage you’re at in business, your first or tenth year, constant movement and evolution are critical. Things happen fast in today’s world. Trends come and go, and what was once popular gets replaced by something newer and more innovative.

While you might have a select few customers that stick with you throughout the years, 90% of them will come and go. The industry will change, too. Take Google, for example. They encourage creativity and innovation by letting their employees take time out of their day to work on individual projects. This is how one of their now leading services, Gmail, came to fruition.

When you think of an entrepreneur, a few personality traits come to mind. Passion, resilience, a strong sense of self, flexibility and imagination are a few.

Startups aren’t in it for the money. They’re fuelled by an inner fire to solve a problem, help people and make a life for themselves. They pull all-nighters just to bring their dream to life. Being driven by heart and having an immense sense of purpose is infectious. Customers want to work with these entrepreneurs and take a chance on them. These companies get to know their customers deeply, which becomes their greatest tool to success. Nothing is superficial and their future products and services are solution-focused.

People think there’s a magic secret to success. When in reality, the difference between companies that last is one simple thing: persistence. To continue to push the limits every day, a sense of curiosity is required. It’s about always asking questions, exploring what went right and wrong and learning from this.

There’s no doubt that there will be trying times in business. Always searching for the ‘why’, in both the good and bad situations will help you foresee the next move. This long-term mindset will help you through any present setbacks. Opportunities will present themselves, but they won’t always look lucrative. Most people shrug them off, either because they don’t ‘understand’ them or aren’t used to taking risks.

Startups take punts, without having the evidence to back it up, often launching a new service without having anything to compare it to. Much of being an entrepreneur is intuitive. It’s about having a strong sense of self and listening to what your gut is telling you. Whether it’s securing funding, convincing strangers about your new offering or quitting your day job, being an entrepreneur requires a thick skin.

It’s natural, as your business grows and there’s more at stake to be conscious about taking risks. You have staff now and maybe partners or investors to consider. But this shouldn’t stop you from chasing new opportunities and evolving what you do.

Having the confidence to adapt to changes and challenges is essential for any business – but something that’s lost on many. Accept that things will evolve. Actually expect it! Don’t assume anything. Be curious, be bold, and don’t forget to have fun. Show your personality and truly get to know your clients, employees and industry.

Your startup mindset will help you stay in it for the long haul, not just during the launch phase.

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