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The counter-conventional mindsets of entrepreneurs


Business Horizons



Authors / Editors

Mullins J


Publication Year



These days, it seems, nearly everyone aspires to be an entrepreneur. But many entrepreneurs think and act differently than the ways in which most other businesspeople do and the ways much of today’s business education encourages them to think and act. My in-depth examination of dozens of entrepreneurs I’ve come to know well over the past two decades tells me that their unconventional – or, dare I say, counter-conventional – mindsets and behaviors are marked by six common patterns: “Yes, we can”; Beg, borrow, or steal; Think narrow, not broad; Problem-first, not product-first logic; “No” is something waiting to be turned into “Yes”; Ask for the cash and ride the float. Thankfully, we now know that entrepreneurs are made, not born. These six patterns of entrepreneurial thought and action are eminently learnable. If you want to someday be an entrepreneur, or if you want the people in your company to become “more entrepreneurial”, developing – or encouraging and incentivizing your people to develop – such a mindset might constitute a suitable first step toward preparing you to follow a more entrepreneurial path or to foster a more entrepreneurial culture in your company.


Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial mindsets; Entrepreneurial behavior

Available on ECCH


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