What we’re going to explore is the ability for you to open your mind, to identify opportunities. Why is it that some people can see things before others? Why is it that they can actually do things with these ideas? How is it they can see these?
If you can imagine a horse in a race – why do many of them wear blinkers? To keep them focussed on the straight and narrow. What do they miss? All the noise, action, and in our examples, opportunities in the market place.
We have to remove our blinkers – have a wide view, a wide vision, so we can look at everything as they pass by.
I encourage you to simply play with ideas, because ideas are worth nothing. If we become attached to ideas, we’ve become attached with our ego. We defend them, and think of the energy that we could put into growing ideas as opposed to defending them.
“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one”
— Mark Twain
Mark Twain said this a long time ago, and you can see how modern innovation and enterprise really is. What this is really saying is 20/20 hindsight. Yes, 20/20 hindsight. Can you imagine, and don’t you hate those people that create ideas and make them happen? You may be standing in the shower or driving to work. You have a great idea and three months later there it is in the marketplace. What is it about those people that can do that? How come they can do it and how come most of us can’t? As you explore, you will discover the skills to make it happen, and more importantly, start to practice that behaviour that we all look for – the enterprising mind set.
What is entrepreneurship?
Most people still think about entrepreneurs as risk–takers, gamblers, people that hope things happen. Why is it in our community we only hear about failed entrepreneurs on the news? Why is it that we always associate entrepreneurs as risky people doing risky things? Why not just call them gamblers? Entrepreneurs actually do a lot of hard work, and are into the management of risk.
What is Mindset?
Mindset is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity and pursuing it regardless of the resources under your control. Entrepreneurs have the inner strength to pursue something new or different. This is because any time something new or different is introduced, it is almost always rejected.
The giving network and the taking network
Entrepreneurs belong to a network – the giving network or the taking network.
The taking network is one most of us can relate to. It involves meeting as many people as possible and giving out as many business cards as possible. When you arrive home with a handful of business cards you think to yourself “Who were all these people?” The giving network is quite different. It’s quite demanding. This is where you attend a group, business, community or social meeting and ask yourself “What can I bring to this network? What opportunities have I identified for people at this network?” It’s very interesting to note that these sorts of giving networks are the ones that flourish, the ones that grow, the ones that can achieve minimum effort for maximum output.
Taking the blinkers off
I’d like to summon up that vision of a horse with a pair of blinkers. Why do horses wear blinkers? It’s so they can see only straight down that racetrack, straight ahead. And in business we call that ‘sticking to the knitting’. And the problem is, if you’ve got your blinkers on what is the first thing that you’ll miss? They’re those things on the peripheral. They’re normally called ‘competitors’. And as you start a new business and take a new venture into the marketplace, why on Earth would your competitors let you enter, survive and thrive? After all, you are taking their money.
Time to choose
There are a number of decisions entrepreneurs need to make when deciding on which ideas to choose. These are:
- Do the new ideas fit with your vision?
- Do the new ideas fit with your existing skills?
- What is the cost of not pursuing the idea?
Creativity and thinking
Most of us have forgotten how to be creative. Most of us, sometimes all of us, think about, “Gee, I should be more creative.” How many of you do something creative? How many of you would play an instrument? How many of you would draw? How many of you cook? Is that an act of creativity? Some of you may say it’s an act of survival.
Another funny thing about entrepreneurship and enterprising behaviour is to think about intuition. We’re not allowed to use that word because it’s very hard to measure in serious business but, gee, another word for that might be wisdom. Also, practice thinking. Start to look at things differently. Remember, lose those blinkers.
Why our current thinking is inadequate
If I’m right and you’re wrong, look at the energy we have just wasted talking about an idea that really is worth nothing. Why don’t we start to think about thinking?
Why be a creative thinker
Most of us have forgotten how to be creative. Creative thinking affects the way we behave – it is positive, constructive and upbeat. When we start to think about thinking our resistance to new ideas reduces and we are far more receptive to new, different and challenging views. Think of the opportunities that we can now consider!
So you reckon you’re creative!!
Are you working hard or working smart? If you think you’re already creative, consider the following points:
- How much thinking do you do before you act?
- Why do we work in teams?
- How much time do you spend in meetings?
We work in teams so that we can all work less. Teams, however, don’t work because they spend too much time reacting and not enough time thinking.
Innovation is not a one hit wonder – it has to be achievable, measurable and repeatable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do a course, attend a seminar, and all of a sudden the facilitator, the presenter, the lecturer comes up to you with a magic wand, hits you on the head, and poof! – you’ve turned into an entrepreneur. If only it was that easy.