The Mindset of an Entrepreneur


Elon Musk is so smart. Mark Zuckerberg is so lucky he built his empire before the pressures of real adulthood set in. It was so convenient that Steve Jobs was born at a time when he’d be 20 when the computer revolution was an embryo. 

These people are so blessed.

Yes, they are, but maybe there’s something else.

We as humans know there’s a cause and effect element to life. There’s a way to treat another person to roll smoothly through a social interaction. There are habits we can adopt to increase our base of knowledge. There are exercises we can do to shape our bodies.

These aren’t acts of luck, they’re principles.  And there are principles that successful business owners, of any size, have figured out and subscribed to. 

Let’s break them down.


1. Principle to subscribe to: Cultivating your own emotional security is the ultimate foundation

Entrepreneurs develop inner value in the form of a skill set, knowledge, or creativity then use that inner value to benefit someone else. The value begins with the business owner, flows to the customer, and then comes back to the entrepreneur in abundance. But building that inner value takes learning and practice—something others may not understand.  “Why are you doing that? How’s that going to work?” is something I’m sure you’ve heard.  

But you continue to learn and practice because it feels good to you. That good feeling outweighs the need for acceptance from others, and boom, the spark of being secure with your own emotions is lit.

That spark becomes the foundation for providing value for others, and ultimately, you.

What you’ll get when subscribing to this principle: The foundation for something genuine and heartfelt.

Personal currency needed for this principle: courage, discipline, vision,

a willingness to grow


2. All you ever have to do is take the first step, and once you do, the universe will reveal the next step to you

No one knows how to do the next big thing, but the universe put that idea in your mind for a reason. You have something that’ll be needed to bring that idea to life. The universe has your back, but you have to do the work as the human.

“But I don’t know how.”  

All you ever have to do is take the first step, and once you do, the loving energy of the universe will reveal the next step to you. This step-by-step process will add up to a journey, with each growth-filled step molding you into the person who can handle the rewards coming your way. 

What you’ll get: A life path that’s authentic to you.  

Personal currency needed: intuition, insight, courage 

3. We get in life what our highest value returns

Sounds like something a dad would say, right? “Now, son, before you enter the complex world and make choices that’ll affect you forever, keep in mind that you get in life what your highest value returns.” 

“Okay, dad. Thanks.”

Let’s dissect those “dad words” and see what the ol’ man is trying to teach us.

A value is kind of like a priority. When we’re presented with a decision, whatever we choose becomes our priority. This priority becomes what we value and that value becomes who we are.

We make hundreds, if not thousands, of choices a week, but there’s always something we consider when making those choices: our kids, our relationship, our business, a habit, etc.

Whatever we consider the most when making choices becomes our highest value.

We get what that highest value returns.

If we make all our decisions around partying, we get what partying returns. Maybe that means fun, socializing, and meeting new people. If we make the most choices around learning, we’ll have more ideas and a bigger vocabulary. If we make the most decisions around our business, we’ll get what it returns.

Dear old dad just wants us to take an honest look at our choices and what they’re getting us. Thanks, dad.

 What you’ll get: Independence…and not just from dad.

Personal currency needed: internal honesty, discipline  

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4. Social status is an allure

“See that person over there? They have a new car, nice clothes, and a membership to a fancy club.”

“Oh, them? I heard they filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.”

“They did?”

A dirty truth of human beings is that they love to put themselves ahead of each other. Appearing like they’re in a higher class may be the easiest way.

Business owners know things are not always what they seem, especially when it comes to status symbols. Humans have almost two lives: an inner life and an external life. Developing a healthy inner life takes messy growth and admitting the truth of things, but pays off forever. Having an external life can be exaggerated via material possessions and is much easier, but doesn’t lead anywhere.

Business owners know this.

Entrepreneurs put their money into assets that will pay them over time, even if that means driving a beat-up car or wearing secondhand clothes.

“But what if that doesn’t get them acceptance?”

“It doesn’t matter. They already accept themselves.”  

What you’ll get: True fulfillment.  

Personal currency needed: self esteem, courage, emotional security


5. Time is the greatest resource

Remember those report card comments that read “uses time wisely”? I always wondered if I really did use my time wisely or if the teacher just said that to be saying something.

All we’re really born with is time. And to an extent, we can use our time however we choose—to build a skill set, develop a product, or watch TV.

Without dispute, the return we get on our time is determined by how we use it. Therefore, time is the resource used to accumulate all other resources.

We can literally create something out of time, making time the most valuable resource.

Maybe those teachers were onto something.

What you’ll get: The key to whatever you want.

Personal currency needed: wisdom, discipline 


6. Failure is rapid growth

The basic way to describe failure is “things not working the way you want them to.” But there’s something deeper.

Failure is dirty. Failure is painful. Failure is suffering. Failure is healing. Failure is  

learning. Failure is growth.

Failure is all these things, but most importantly failure is rapid growth where you shed who you used to be while taking steps to move forward.   

Failure will peel away any thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that aren’t needed for where you’re headed. You know that thing you avoid because you tried it once and got embarrassed? Failure will get you over it.

What you’ll get: Emotional freedom that’ll lead to financial freedom.

Personal currency needed: courage, action


7. Action is the catalyst for change

Have you ever brought up The Secret around a cynic? “Yeah, all you have to do is think positive and things will happen. Yep.” Well, the cynic is right in a way. It’s hard to think your way into a new life, but action (hold on tight) will get things moving!

Action presses buttons, but sometimes there’s a time lapse before they activate.

“I did something one time and it didn’t work!” 

Do it again, and again, and again. Switch it up. Repeat.

Then hold on. It’ll work.

I wish there was more to say about action getting things moving, but that’s all there is to it.

What we’ll get:  Change, something new  

Personal currency needed: Courage, discipline, action

So maybe, just maybe, if we follow these principles, we’ll develop the mindset of an entrepreneur, no matter what else you know, where you’re at in life, or when you were born.

The mindset of an entrepreneur is for everyone.


Brandon Mullan is the author of Entrepreneurship for the Cool Kids, the reference book on going an unconventional route, and a workshop instructor. Find out more about him at and his services at