Entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset

Published 9:56 pm Friday, May 19, 2017

People with an entrepreneurial spirit have an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change. It’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement. It is about thinking like a business owner, whether you own your own business or are employed by a company.

Traits of people who have an entrepreneurial spirit include the following.

1. Agility and flexibility.

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2. Continuously seeking out new opportunities.

3. Never being complacent or resting on your laurels.

4. Taking ownership.

5. Having pride in your organization.

6. Loyalty, even in difficult times.

Many companies nurture an entrepreneurial spirit within their organization by encouraging employees to tackle problems, seek out solutions, look for opportunities and come up with new ideas. Employees feel motivated, empowered and capable of handling tasks on their own. New ways of doing things evolve due to employees’ involvement. Growth in the company results as opposed to becoming staid and stagnant. Employees are allowed to take calculated risks, sometimes failing. The amazing results include greater employee satisfaction, increased profitability, gains in  employee retention, higher levels of productivity and positive public relations.

An entrepreneurial spirit can exist in businesses large and small, start-up businesses or long established companies, in small towns or metropolitan areas. It is necessary for success in individually owned businesses but also promotes success through teamwork in corporations and other larger organizations.

Building a team of people who possess leadership skills but at the same time can follow other people’s lead is key. The team is built around collaboration in a culture of appreciation of the contributions of other team members. It is important to foster an environment where people are encouraged to try new ideas,  whether you are an executive or a staff member, a long term employee or the newest hire, young or old. Listening to others in a non-critical manner, allowing for nurturing and expressions  of innovative ideas will develop more communication and understanding. New directions for the company, new ways of doing things, openness in communications, seeing the big picture and thinking like an owner are all benefits of an organization that embraces an entrepreneurial spirit throughout the ranks.

It takes commitment to maintain an entrepreneurial spirit. Some of the companies known for embracing it are Apple, Virgin, Google and Zappos.  It becomes more challenging as a business grows. Increased bureaucracy, complacency, hierarchy and complexity are  challenges to be overcome in the continuance of the entrepreneurial spirit. A passion for being successful, determination, perseverance and tenacity are components of entrepreneurs. The ability to succeed against all odds, to turn failures into opportunities and keep on going are necessary. Being enthusiastic, team oriented and a leader are the attributes to stay a step ahead. Accepting every challenge as an opportunity in business and in life will give you success and at the same time inspire others to attain ultimate success.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.