The 4 Mindset Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur
[Time to read: 6 minutes]
I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately and a few weeks back I tried to look up details of the first company I worked for: U-Microcomputers Ltd, to see what I could find.
I was amazed to find that the founder and Managing Director of ‘U-Micro’ – Bill Unsworth had written an autobiography!
It took a bit of tracking down, but I managed to buy a copy: “My Life – Scientist & Entrepreneur”.
Bill was a pioneer of the introduction of Microcomputers (1978) and the Internet (1994) into the UK.
For those of you that remember the early 80’s this was an exciting time for Microcomputer development in the UK – you may remember the Sinclair Spectrum, BBC Micro or the Acorn Computer?
I worked for Bill from 1987-1989 as a technician.
U-Micro designed and manufactured computer systems such as the ‘U-Man Series 1000’ used in University Chemistry laboratories. They also manufactured interface cards for the Apple I and II and were an IBM reseller.
I looked forward to reading Bill’s book. I’ve read lots of books about entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Richard Branson. I thought it would be fascinating to read about an entrepreneur ‘closer to home’ and compare their stories.
When I read books about entrepreneurs, I’m always keen to understand the challenges that they faced, their successes, their failures and most importantly to me – their mindset.
I’ve found it helpful in my businesses to see how successful business owners deal with failure and create success.
Bill’s book did not disappoint! Without going into the details of Bill’s story, I want to share four of the ‘secrets’ that I discovered in Bill’s book that he shares with the more famous entrepreneurs that I just mentioned.
Secret #1: Learning from Mistakes
The first secret I discovered is that it is critical to learn from your mistakes. I liked the way that Bill noted ‘Life Lessons’ and ‘Business Lessons’ as he travelled through his life. When he described a mistake in his book, he referred to it as “another lesson learned”. It seems many entrepreneurs note down or make a point of remembering mistakes and failures that they’ve experienced. The key is to learn from these mistakes and not repeat them!
One way to do this is either to develop a particularly good memory, or to write it down!
If it’s a mistake you’ve made in life, then keeping a journal and writing about your mistake will help you to commit that experience to memory. This will help you avoid repeating the mistake in the future.
If the mistake is in your business, for example – a mistake in a process, then this is where SOPs – (Standard Operating Procedures) could help. The process is documented in a step by step approach. Should you encounter mistakes in the process, you can amend the steps. This will also ensure that should other people in your business use the same process – they won’t repeat the mistakes that you experienced.
You will probably make a lot of mistakes in Business and Life. It’s just part of your journey. But the journey is smoother when you learn from your mistakes! As the saying goes: “You must live and learn!”.
Secret #2: Pick Yourself Up When You Fall
The Entrepreneurs that I’ve read about have all experienced business failures – some of them huge failures such as the business collapsing. It was clear that Bill experienced setbacks and disappointments in his personal life and business life. His ability to pick himself up after experiencing a these ‘failures’ was another thing Bill has in common with other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs like Bill self-motivate themselves to see past the failures. They ‘dust themselves off’ and carry on!
Talking from experience, this is easier said than done!
However, I share four strategies on how to do this in my recent blog: How to Deal With Failure and Disappointment in Business.
Secret #3: Never Give Up
I didn’t know Bill’s story before reading the book. However, after reading it I was amazed how many setbacks and disappointments Bill had! I think many people would have given up. However, he describes a quiet determination to succeed. It was clear Bill’s drive to succeed was strong!
Developing determination can be difficult for some. I read an article recently, written by Lilia Manibo from AnthroDesk which provides 10 ways to help develop determination.
One of my favourites from Lilia’s article is: “Decide to be Determined”:
“A decision to be determined is where you should start. That decision gives you a direction. It leads you to where you should be moving even if there are challenges along the way. When you make a decision, this should be done with conviction, both in smooth and hard times.”
CLICK HERE to read Lilia’s full article.
Secret #4: It May Be a Long and Winding Road to Success
The final secret for me that I took away from the book was that the path to success may be a long and winding road. It was clear that Bill certainly achieved a LOT of success – but his journey was not straight forward!
On your own journey to success, you may need to take breaks along the way. You may need to change direction and your journey may take longer than you first thought!
If you can apply the knowledge of this secret and of course the previous three, this will go a long way to move you towards success in whatever endeavors you are working towards!
Reading about Entrepreneurs is a great way to experience the long and winding road to their successes. I’ve yet to read a book about an entrepreneur who was an overnight success. Sometimes it may seem that way but their ‘back story’ usually provides a long list of mistakes, failures, delays, and changes of direction well BEFORE they achieve success.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at U-Micro. I learnt a lot and had fun! Reading that part of the book brought back some good memories for me.
The biggest takeaway from Bill’s book for me was that we are all on our own journey in life and business. You don’t have to be a famous entrepreneur to experience ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in life and business.
However, I believe that you do have to decide how you’re going to react and respond to the ‘failures’ that you may experience, if you want to move forward to success – just like Bill.
The perceived ‘failures’ you see can actually be ‘steppingstones’ to your success, as long as you apply the four secrets Bill and the other entrepreneurs demonstrated:
- Secret #1: Learning from Mistakes
- Secret #2: Pick Yourself Up When You Fall
- Secret #3: Never Give Up
- Secret #4: It May Be a Long and Winding Road to Success
Bill bounced back many times from ‘failures’. I believe it was his mindset that ensured his success – just like the other entrepreneurs.
I think we can all learn a lot from Bill’s story!
Thanks for sharing it Bill!…Oh and thank you for giving me my first job!
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