Have you heard of the five levels of the entrepreneurial mindset? In this video, I discuss all five levels of this mindset, illustrate the characteristics of each level, and explore how you can move up to the next level.
First off, this video is not meant as a criticism of those who choose to become lifetime employees. After all, if we all became entrepreneurs, none of us will become employees. Societies need both entrepreneurs and employees to function well.
The five levels of the entrepreneurial mindset are:
- The self-employed mindset
- The managerial perspective
- The attitude of the owner
- The entrepreneurial investor
- The true entrepreneur
Level One: The Self-Employed Mindset
The self-employed mindset can be summarised by this statement: “I want to work for myself.”
Those with this mindset think they can do everything by themselves: decide on their own for their own business and take on every aspect of their small operation as their sole accountability and responsibility. They will struggle however, in delegating tasks to others.
The business remains in its very early stages where a single person does everything—it is a one-person venture. Someone who operates this kind of business is no different from someone who works as a freelancer who believes that working hard and getting more clients will result in higher income and growth. The problem sets in when the business gets more clients than it can handle. This means that it is time to go up to the next level.
How does one move up the second level? It begins with understanding and accepting that working smarter doesn’t mean working harder.
Level Two: The Managerial Perspective
The managerial perspective can be summarised by this statement: “I need to delegate if I want to accomplish more.”
Those with this mindset recognise the growing demands of a business and is learning to appreciate the value of delegating. However, they still struggle with full task delegation and are prone to micromanaging. While able to pass on some tasks, they still find it challenging to cede full control to the person who already, supposedly, “owns” the task.
How does one move up the third level? One needs to understand that business growth requires stepping aside to allow people to do what they are hired to do.
Level Three: The Attitude of Owner/Leader
The leader’s attitude can be summarised by this statement: “I need to trust the people around me if I want my business to grow.”
Someone with this mindset recognises that delegation means trusting people to do the job that they were hired to do, and giving staff the space to work on and accomplish what they need to do in the way they see fit. Even if it means doing it differently from how the business owner used to do it. Someone with this mindset understands that it is counterproductive to micromanage people and that, to succeed, people need the freedom and autonomy to do the job.
While those with this mindset understand what the business needs to succeed in the short-term, they may find themselves at a loss with its long-term needs. They know that they want to grow, but they need help to get there.
How does one move up to the fourth level? One must learn how to plan in the long-term and manage resources to accomplish the growth objectives of the business.
Level Four: The Entrepreneurial Investor
The entrepreneurial investor mindset can be summarised by this statement: “I want to start building wealth.”
Someone with this mindset has had a good amount of experience being in business. They know what it takes to grow a business and to make it profitable. They also recognise that they can use their expertise and experience not just to grow one business but many other businesses.
Someone with this mindset does not only sell products and services—they have the expertise to create and sell businesses. Think of someone who can leverage the success of their first business to create a second or third business—or someone who sells franchises to others and buys other businesses to add to their portfolio.
Someone in this mindset still struggles with stepping aside from running the businesses and being heavily involved in its operations. To move to the fifth and last level, an entrepreneur must learn to entirely cede control over the business and focus on raising capital and building more assets.
Level Five: The True Entrepreneur
The mindset of a true entrepreneur can be summarised by this statement: “I want to raise capital to build more assets and create more wealth.”
How does one create more wealth? The secret is to have access to resources that you don’t own to create wealth. A true entrepreneur knows how to skillfully use other people’s money (through selling stock to raise capital), talent (through hiring the best minds to come forward with the best strategies), and time (through allowing other people to run his or her businesses) to create wealth.
Most business owners I have met fall within the first three levels of the entrepreneurial mindset. However, there is a sizeable minority who fall in level four and level five.
If you are in a particular level and wish to move forward to the next level, you will need to change the way you think. You may contact me—let’s have a chat about where you are, where you want to be, and let’s see how we can get you and your team to where you want to be without pushing yourselves unnecessarily.