How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur with the Right Mindset

Successful Entrepreneur

Throughout my career I have met many different entrepreneurs starting out who have great ideas and visions for their company. They have all the right ingredients that make a successful entrepreneur: They know who their target market is, their problems and the solutions they seek, they know how to reach them and they have a sure-win marketing strategy to get them going. The complete package, almost.

However, some of these entrepreneurs don’t have the right mindset when starting out and this has a direct affect on their success.  So how do you ensure you have a mindset geared for success?

It is said that 80% of the reasons holding us back from being successful are inside us and only 20% are on the outside – wow. . . I find this so interesting. How often do we take time to reflect on what is going on inside our minds and how this is affecting our outside world?

10 Habits of a Successful Entrepreneur

Here are 10 habits that the successful entrepreneur practices. Read on to know which habits form the mindset of a successful entrepreneur and how these habits will help you during your entrepreneurship journey.

1. Take Responsibility for the Results

Decide to be in charge of your business success, and not at the mercy of what happens to you.
Cause side: You are responsible for everything that happens to you and your company results and you know that your business is a reflection of your actions.
Effect side:  You have excuses for why you can´t succeed, because of this or him or that and you live by these stories, you blame everyone else before looking at yourself. Some reasons are valid but being on this side is limiting you.

2. Have the Right Attitude – Failure as Feedback

Our attitude determines how we look at setbacks, events, and situations, if we have a positive attitude we could look at the same situation very differently to someone who has a negative attitude.  A failure in business could be very daunting for some people or it could be positive feedback to others, the feedback that they need to alter their course a little, change what they are doing to get a better result. Failure is guidance, helping us to find the best way to succeed, so cultivate the habit of using failure as feedback.

3. Where is Your Focus?

Try to focus on what you can change and do and not on what you can´t. Some of us spend a whole day, focusing on the negative, how bad the situation is and how unfair, how could this be happening, instead of moving on and changing what we can. Our focus determines our reality so keep focusing on succeeding and not on what we can´t control.

4. Commit & Persevere

Don´t give up! Perseverance is the key in reaching any goal. Being focused and committed throughout the journey will surely pay off.  Being an entrepreneur is not always easy, you may have setbacks, perceived failures, but successful people are the ones who have the ability to overcome setbacks, use them as feedback and keep moving forward.

5. Organize Your Mind

Be very clear about where you are going, the vision you have for your business and the certainty that you will have it as well! If your mind is full of doubt, uncertainty, and your thoughts are all over the place, this will have a very negative effect on you. If your mind is disorganized, this will reflect directly on your outside world.

6. Shun Bad Habits

You also need to break old habits as well if they are not serving you or helping you to succeed. Bad habits will only hold you back and have a negative impact on your life. I encourage you to identify your bad habits and find the strength to change them. You will feel empowered when you make the changes you want.

7. Improve Self-Esteem

If you have a low self-esteem, improving it should become a pre-requisite for you to succeed in any career. That does not mean that you cannot start your journey, but in parallel, also work on improving your self-esteem. Having a low self-esteem can make one feel less productive. Because we don´t believe in our abilities, we might not challenge ourselves as much.

8. Stay Motivated & Inspired

If you start to lose motivation, remind yourself of the WHY. Why are you doing what you are doing? Think about the reasons you started out, what inspired you to do what you do? Reconnect yourself to the image/vision you had to start with. Look for ways to incorporate things that motivate you into your daily life.

9. Communicate

Reach out to others, find and support others to help you succeed. A mastermind group is a great way of doing this. This is a group of people who come together with the objective of helping each other to succeed. You share different perspectives, resources, advice and feedback and it also helps you to receive accountability and inspiration from the group, which keeps you focused on achieving your goals.

10. Question Your Thoughts

Be aware of your thoughts. If you are thinking more negatively than positively, ask yourself: How does this help me n any way? Control your thoughts or they will control you. Your thoughts lead to feelings, your feelings lead to actions and your actions lead to habits.

I hope you found some points here useful and insightful. Here’s one to your success!

What other habits do you think make up a successful entrepreneur’s psyche? Share them with us below!

Photo by aPrimaDonna.

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Kirstin O´Donovan is a Productivity Coach – get free e-course - 7 Simple Strategies to Triple Your Productivity” eBook at – follow on Twitter @KirstinOdonovan.


  1. Roland Daher on the 16th March

    Another very important point: Stay “coachable” and open to learn continuously. Never assume you know it all.

    • Pooja Lohana on the 18th March

      Great reminder Roland!


    • Small Business Startup Ideas on the 5th April

      Agreed Ronald! You’re only hurting yourself by not being open to learning.

      That’s why we offer tools to help with the process of learning about the problems your customers want you to solve at VocalTap

  2. Ali Davies on the 16th March

    For me mindset is a top priority. That is because no matter what else I learn to be successful in life or business, it is my mindset that will influence how I use and implement that learning. Upgrading mindset should be part of every Self Employed persons business and personal strategy!

  3. Lisa Stoops on the 16th March

    This is a great list! Focus and being determined are both huge. I would also say being consistent in taking action AND believing in yourself!

    • Kirstin O´Donovan on the 20th March

      Definitely! Consistent action in many areas and not doubting yourself or imposing limits on yourself! Thanks Lisa!

  4. Peach on the 20th March

    Very insightful!

    I find myself procrastinating every now and then when I have something big to do with my startup. It’s really hard to start working on something that will take at least a month to complete.

    I find myself searching for the “big block of free time” to start. To tell you the truth, the big block of free time never came. I decided to instead of focusing on the big picture, I divided it to small tasks and assigned them to myself small chunk at a time.

    Although, I’m still far away from my goal, at least I’m more closer now than yesterday. 🙂

    • Kirstin O´Donovan on the 29th March

      Thanks for sharing Peach, Procrastination can definitely undermine our achievements, you have done the best thing by breaking the task up into smaller tasks. This makes the tasks more manageable, motivating and achieveable.

      There are many reasons why we could procrastinate however, i have a great video on my site that covers everything from why we procrastinate to ways to overcome it – have a look -

      To your success!

  5. Susan on the 22nd March

    Great article! I love that it is short and sweet! I can print it out and refer to it daily!


  6. Eleanor on the 29th March

    Hi Kirstin,
    Great article. I can feel the motivational energy behind it 🙂
    I agree with everything you have said and in my work I have noticed a lot of issues, particularly in women with low self esteem. As coaches it is a wonderful feeling to know we can help people with that. And I just love No9! I have found reaching out and communicating with others has helped me through some crappy days,

    Thank you for sharing


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