How to start being an entrepreneur: It’s all about mindset

How to start being an entrepreneur? What does it take to become an entrepreneur? Is it a certain set of qualifications, personality traits, skills, or gifts? Is entrepreneurship a strength that some of us are born with or a checklist of careful steps we take to make it to the top?

The last time I checked, there wasn’t a list of criteria or a one-size-fits-all guidebook on how to become an entrepreneur. That’s because all kinds of people can become successful in business.

That’s right; anyone can succeed in entrepreneurship, and you don’t need a particular personality, degree, or IQ to make it happen. But I’ll tell you the one thing you do need, that key differentiator separating successful entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack: an entrepreneurial mindset.

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

Entrepreneurs often think in a similar way. They approach challenges head-on. They see failures as learning opportunities, choosing to find solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This can-do, risk-taking, problem-solving attitude is at the core of the entrepreneurial mindset. It’s that ability to overcome obstacles and push through barriers, constantly adjusting and growing toward bigger, more ambitious goals.

Entrepreneur Mindset - Todd Snively

An entrepreneurial mindset is not something you are born with, nor is it something you can simply wake up and decide to have one day. But it is an attribute that you can work on daily to develop and maintain.

People with an entrepreneurial mindset have this superpower because they worked hard to cultivate it. They got out of their own way, refusing to give up as they shaped their winning approach to life and business. Luckily, there are plenty of proven strategies to help you harness your entrepreneurial mindset, so you can apply this attitude as you move forward on your path to success.

How to become an entrepreneur: strategies for cultivating the mindset

Below I’ll walk you through my tips and tricks for how to start thinking like an entrepreneur. These are lessons I’ve learned along the way that still help me in my daily life as an entrepreneur today. Anyone can develop this mindset, and these proven strategies will show you how.

Have a clear purpose

As an entrepreneur, your mission, vision, and contribution to the world are what will motivate you through the difficult days. It’s crucial to make sure you have a clear idea of these things, as they’ll form the foundation of your entrepreneurial mindset. Some call it finding your ‘why,’ those fundamental reasons you keep going when your plans fall apart, the power gets cut, or you feel like giving up.

Believe me; it’s worth taking the time to get clear on the purpose behind why you do what you do. Because those ugly days are inevitable. They happen to everyone, especially people like entrepreneurs who are always trying new things and taking risks to achieve their dreams.

My original mission was to escape the 9-5 rat race and achieve both financial and time freedom in the process. I did that, and now I stay motivated with a vision of helping others do the same.

Seek out opportunities

Whether in life or business, look for opportunities to improve your situation and that of those around you. Never stop observing the world and dreaming up ways of making it better. I’m a firm believer that the best business ideas come from the needs you observe in your own life. Making the world a better place allows you to improve people’s lives while developing innovative business ideas along the way.

My entire empire was built on this desire to make life better for myself and others. I sought solutions for making money without being dependent on the corporate world. My path wasn’t straightforward or fail-proof, but I saw the setbacks as opportunities to continue learning and building toward my goals.

I realized that my business approach could be replicated by other individuals looking to avoid living paycheck to paycheck. I used what I had learned as another opportunity, a way to help others achieve the financial independence I had earned for myself.

Learn to manage risk

Instead of avoiding risk, accept that it is an inevitable part of the road to success. You have to weigh the pros and cons to make choices for your business, and there will always be some level of risk involved with the bigger decisions you make. If you can become comfortable with the idea of taking risks, betting on uncertain ideas or ventures, you’ll be one step closer to achieving that entrepreneurial mindset that will set you apart in business.

I see a healthy dose of risk as a necessary part of any entrepreneur’s journey. If I hadn’t taken any risks, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. But this doesn’t mean just flying blindly toward any opportunity. Managing risk is all about weighing the potential benefits against everything that could go wrong. Come up with strategies for working through the possible setbacks, but don’t let them keep you from taking chances every now and then.

Think outside the box

Look for new approaches and unconventional ways to solve problems. Entrepreneurs allow their creative brains to take the reins every now and then, using that out-of-the-box thinking style to tackle challenges with a fresh perspective. Creativity is how new and innovative ideas come to life. It’s the reason companies like Apple and Amazon came into existence. 

Taking an unconventional approach to business is how I wrote my own success story as well. I saw the idea that we have to go to school, get demanding corporate jobs, and wait until retirement to enjoy minimal savings and live how we want to, and I didn’t buy it.

I decided to flip that idea on its head and come up with a new approach to business. That unconventional path is what led me here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Develop decisiveness as a skill

Don’t suffer the consequences of failing to take action. If you find yourself stuck on a decision, take the time to learn everything you can about your problem. Read the research, pore over the data, and do whatever it takes to make your decision with confidence.

With that said, the worst thing you can do is let a decision freeze you up. They call that analysis paralysis, and it can be a death sentence for your business. So my advice? Do your homework, but don’t overanalyze things. Once you’re fully informed of the problem you face, you should trust yourself to make the right choice for your company.

Cultivating decisiveness as a skill helped me on the road to success with wholesaling on Amazon. I took the time to understand and develop my business model and choose the right products to sell, but I didn’t let fear hold me back. That ability to make informed, confident decisions is vital for cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

Shift toward resilience

Resilience will prove crucial as you continue on the road to success, with both big and small mistakes. If your setbacks send you into a spiral of despair and self-doubt, you’ll never survive as an entrepreneur. The mistakes may sting at first, but it’s all part of the process. And cultivating resilience can help you push on and learn to see them as opportunities for growth.

Resilience has kept me going throughout all of the mistakes, career changes, and risks I’ve experienced over the years. I’ve grown to learn that the more mistakes you make, the more resilient you become. And the more resilient you become, the more your business can grow.

Now that I see each mistake as an opportunity to become more resilient, I’m much less afraid to make them. This attitude helps me operate with that entrepreneurial mindset 100 percent of the time, taking challenges and setbacks in stride and using them as fuel to grow my business.

A willingness to learn

One misstep many aspiring entrepreneurs make is that they let pride and arrogance drive their work. This is a huge mistake that will ultimately stifle your growth in the business world. Instead, be open to growing and learning, especially when you’re trying to accomplish something new.

Adding a sense of humility to your arsenal will help you achieve a more focused, adaptable mindset. Yes, you need to be confident, but you always have to be willing to take on new ideas, admit you don’t know everything, and learn from the people around you. Outsource tasks to dedicated experts and focus on what you do best and you’ll start to see your business fly.

I can confidently say that without a willingness to learn, I wouldn’t be making the millions that I am today. The times I’ve realized a need to learn something new, be it from others around me or within my own business, are times I’ve received new insights and made necessary adjustments to my approach moving forward.


And now for a little bit of tough love: you have to understand that everything that happens in your business is your responsibility. Blaming others for challenges will give you no opportunity to fix them or find newer, better ways of doing things.

The entrepreneurial mindset is all about taking responsibility for the failures and successes along the way. There is no need to beat yourself up, but it is crucial to accept responsibility for your business and keep yourself accountable no matter what happens. You may not have the time, money, or support you need, but making excuses won’t do anything other than hold you back.

There have been many times in my career where the odds were stacked against me. If I had decided to make excuses, blame others, or punish myself in those moments, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have in business. Accountability is a core facet of an entrepreneurial mindset. It helps you see things clearly, avoid mental hangups, and move on quickly when challenges arise.

Start seeing the big picture

Learn to take a step back and see what really matters in the day-to-day drama and challenges of entrepreneurship. Your energy is a vital fuel for your business, and becoming caught up in the small details can quickly drain this finite resource. Practice zooming out when you start to micromanage and scrutinize every last detail, making sure you are protecting your energy and using it as the all-important resource that it is.

This also means being careful with factors like who you discuss your big ideas with. People that add negativity, drama, or fear to the equation are draining your energy, whether you believe the things they say or not.

This approach can save you endless time as well. Remember to look at every task, conversation, or activity with this big-picture mentality, and you’ll be on your way to thinking more like an entrepreneur.

Prioritize communication and collaboration

Communication and collaboration are crucial for entrepreneurial success for many reasons. You can receive great inspiration for success by collaborating with others. When you have the right people around you, sharing ideas with them can help you clarify your direction, develop plans, and build the momentum for bringing them to life.

Effective communication also helps your team members align with your vision. Even if you think everyone is on the same page, it’s essential to have a clear strategy to make sure you are all united toward the same goal.

In my business, this is crucial, as I outsource much of the talent I work with. Taking the time to ensure expectations are clear from the beginning has saved me endless amounts of time and money. It also means my teams are happy, and we’re all producing our best work.

Stop thinking, start doing

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is a long-term strategy that even the most successful entrepreneurs need to work to maintain and improve. The first step is becoming aware of your thoughts and behaviors, so you can start taking steps to improve your approach to the business world.

Try my strategies to begin harnessing your inner entrepreneur today. Then start putting those key points into practice. You’ll find that soon you will be seeing opportunities where before you saw challenges and can start building your own successful business.

We all start somewhere, so I hope my tips give you a leg up or serve as a reminder on your path to business success.

Explore my other articles to gain key insights, whether you’re wondering why to become an entrepreneur or how to get started. I share all of my best advice and wisdom right here on my blog, and I also offer a course – Wholesale Product Mastery – if you’re looking to build an Amazon business. I’ll share the tips and strategies that put me on the path to seven and eight-figure annual sales. It’s time to take that first step to being an entrepreneur.

Todd Snively has been a serial entrepreneur since 1983. Now, Todd is best known as an Eight Figure Amazon seller, creator of multiple seven and eight-figure online income businesses, and consultant to thousands looking to make money online. He has taught over 6,000 people the wholesale distribution method of selling name brand products on Amazon using the buy box rotation method. Todd is available for speaking engagements all over the world. He is a frequent guest on some of the best-known podcasts in the world. His keynote speeches at masterminds are always well received. Todd has two books coming out, "The Amazon Code" and "How to Become a Virtual CEO".