The entrepreneurial mindset: how can you develop it?

entrepreneurial mindset is about balance

What makes someone entrepreneurial isn’t just one key trait. It is not as simple as having an entrepreneurial mindset or not. It is not a Yes or No question. Instead, it is a complex subject.

The mindset consists of traits, skills, and thinking styles. In turn, they also depend on, for example, the phase of the business, the sector, and the economy.

Why is it important to develop an entrepreneurial mindset? The economy and the customers’ needs are constantly changing. New opportunities and challenges are constantly emerging, and you have to deal with them.

People with a particular entrepreneurial mindset could excel in one business. But be a disaster for another company. 

In this blog, we will discuss 3 typical examples of entrepreneurial mindset. What are their pros and cons? Can they develop an entrepreneurial mindset? Grow one or go (doing something else).

Table of content

Entrepreneurial mindset 1. The inventor who better not start a company


Founder Eli has a restless entrepreneurial personality. Every day, he is constantly spitting new ideas without any reason. He comes up with the most original solutions. Even if it is not a problem yet, he has already thought of multiple ways to deal with the possible issue. 

Eli has started a few companies, but none of his firms have completed the first five years. Like the 50% in the EU and USA that do, according to the statistics. His ideas – like, for example, an ingenious keychain that always floats when dropped in water – are genuine innovations of their kind. 

Being an inventor or true innovator doesn’t make you a true entrepreneur. The actual question Eli should be asking himself is; how entrepreneurial AM I?

Something he could have found out within 12 minutes and for a whole lot less money than the costs of the failures and bankruptcies he had to face. 

Joining a governmental entrepreneurship development program, he got the opportunity to do the E-Scan entrepreneurial assessment at the beginning and the end of the program. Because of his Pioneer thinking style, he always thought he was an entrepreneur. So did his friends and family, who almost all worked at the giant insurance company in the neighborhood. 

Below, you see an image of his E-Scan entrepreneurial mindset profile:

entrepreneurial mindset of an inventor
The entrepreneur profile of Eli


Eli has a strong Pioneer thinking style, as you can see in his entrepreneurial mindset profile. Eli is not as structured as most of his family members. He is clearly a right-brain thinker. Consequently, these two stronger thinking styles, both Manager and Specialist, overpower his left-brain thinking styles. 

One more reason Eli sees himself as a true entrepreneur is his traits: Achievement, motivation, and endurance. It is often a success factor but can be a failure factor, too. It is good to be willing to go the extra mile and not give up until you succeed. However, sometimes it is better to know when to stop, especially for a Pioneer. They always see the sunny side of things and overestimate their chances of success more than once. Their willingness to fight to the bitter end exceeds their critical thinking ability and gut feeling knowing when pulling the plug. 


Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset are all about balance. Keeping the balance between thinking up and implementing ideas, between revenues and costs, earning money and spending money, and between planning and improvising.

Eli is good at planning, which is crucial for setting up the business or turning an idea into a viable and smoothly operating business. Yet, it is not enough on its own. The entrepreneurial mindset is better off being balanced between all traits and skills. 

Coupled with his strong ambition to strive and thrive, his high Creativity and Market awareness scores make Eli entrepreneurial. That’s what is very strong about him. However, the enterprising mindset is not just about your strengths. Your weak areas are as important as your strengths. Your more vulnerable areas are your pitfalls or even your blind spots if you don’t know or are dishonest about your weakest traits and skills. They will hinder you from the success you’re chasing. 


Eli has great ideas that have a target market or group of people that would benefit from the solution. Yet, at what cost and price? The solution has to come to existence, no matter the costs. But if the expenses exceed the revenues, it will never become a viable business. 

Unfortunately for Eli, his high need for Achievement combined with his high endurance, he risks the penalty of not being able to stop. He is the biggest obstacle between himself and success. 

But suppose you think you’re the true entrepreneur, the genius inventor. In that case, it is even harder to accept that your weakest entrepreneurial traits and skills exist or can have that disastrous effect. 

Due to his low social orientation, power, and self-belief make it challenging to call for help. He feels uncomfortable with the people around him. 

Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset: Grow or Go?

Short answer; yes, he can grow into a successful entrepreneur, however, not as a self-employed or entrepreneurial leader of a venture. It would be wise to sell his ideas or prototype solutions he has created. That would put him in the right spot and honor his true strengths far more than running and leading a company of his own. 

He could sell his ideas, but what also would work well for him is that people hire him for his creative and innovative way of thinking. So, they borrow his creative brain for whatever ideas pop out. 

Could he find a business together with others? Of course, that is entirely up to him, but we would recommend him otherwise. Due to his low social orientation and self-belief, he’d be better off not working in a start-up as a co-founder. Being independent suits him far better and puts him in the right position to excel in what he does best: innovate.

Entrepreneurial mindset 2. The self-employed pedicure who didn’t get off her feet


Tamara is a friendly girl who wants to help people in any way she can. She accidentally ran into a pedicurist training through a good friend of hers. Painting her nails has always been her thing. Coincidentally, she was rethinking her career then. 

Her girlfriend suggested that she could start a nail salon after training. Her uncle recommended that she take the E-Scan. He told her to find out if she had what it takes to set up a nail salon of her own. So, she did. 

Below you can view her entrepreneurial mindset profile:

entrepreneurial mindset of self-employed pedicure
The entrepreneurial mindset of Tamara


She has the perfect combination of thinking styles for being a pedicurist: Salesperson ranking first in variety with a slightly lesser Specialist. Being with people and helping them by being the nail technician enhances her clients’ appearance by grooming their feet and toenails. 

She is determined and willing to work hard, looking at her high need for Achievement. 


She scores significantly lower than the norm profile for the personal services sector, the blue line. That means she has more weak points than strong entrepreneurial competencies. This is also indicated by her low actual entrepreneurial index of 19. 

She hesitated if running a nail salon would be a smart thing to aspire to; she knows she is not the most confident personality. Her low self-confidence and endurance have especially prevented her from achieving her goals. She knows that of herself. She is self-aware, which in itself is a good thing. However, it will not help her ambition of becoming an entrepreneur. 

Grow an entrepreneurial mindset or Go?

It is best to let go of her thoughts of starting a business of her own. To be honest, her girlfriend suggested it. It wasn’t her idea initially. But because so many pedicurists started their own business, she began to think about it. Yet, she hesitated if she could adopt an entrepreneurial mindset.

Even becoming a self-employed nail stylist is not something to advise her either. It is best to partner up with someone else or start working for another nail salon in town. 

Entrepreneurial mindset 3. The ignorant business coach.

business coach


Peter, not his real name, is a business coach specializing in finance, financing, and strategy. Although focused on the business side of his clients with his critical thinking ability, he sees himself as a creative and entrepreneurial coach. So, says his LinkedIn profile. 

Yet, his entrepreneurial mindset profile (first image below) shows a high Pioneer and Salesperson thinking kind of entrepreneur. So, a more right-brain business coach. 

entrepreneurial mindset of the ignorant business coach
Peter’s mindset

However, his entrepreneurial self-assessment depicts an opposite image; see below.

360 degrees feedback on the entrepreneurial mindset of a business coach
Average E-Scan feedback profile on Peter by three people

Three people he asked for feedback on his entrepreneur profile demonstrate a far more left-brained business person. That is someone with high scores in Specialist and Manager type of thinking. That’s a huge difference from his view. 

How is that possible, and what does that imply? 


Peter started his coaching business, so he is an entrepreneur. However, having a company doesn’t naturally make him enterprising. Which traits, skills, or thinking styles favor his entrepreneurial thinking? For that, we need to look at his entrepreneurial profile. E-Scan is a scientifically validated entrepreneurial mindset tool. It gives an accurate view of how entrepreneurial someone is. 

The first observation of his mindset is that he has a round shape. No spikes upwards or downwards. Which is a good thing. Also, the slight difference between his estimated entrepreneurial index of 70, and his actual entrepreneurial index of 65,9, is a good thing.

entrepreneurial mindset index and estimated index
Entrepreneurial Index & Estimated Entrepreneurial Index of Peter

Let’s look at his entrepreneur feedback profile. Peter is a networker (social), a planner, and he is good at finance – obviously. Although for his own company, he doesn’t keep a sharp eye on his finances. Like the painter’s house needs painting because there is no time to paint his own house. 

He did the E-Scan for himself as an owner of a coaching business. Typically, we would argue that his strong Pioneer and Salesperson thinking style makes him enterprising. Someone who sees new opportunities and likes to converse with people. Yet, his entrepreneur feedback profile shows a very different image of his entrepreneurial thinking style. More of a manager and specialist.


There is a significant difference between his own mindset profile and the feedback profile. That’s the biggest problem for Peter.

The E-Scan is an entrepreneur self-assessment tool that shows your entrepreneur profile after a 7-minutes questionnaire. To verify the profile, the 360 feedback feature lets you invite others who know you well to do the same E-Scan on you.

The 3 people who gave him feedback see him differently. He thinks he is a Pioneer. The people he works with see him as the manager. These are opposite thinking styles. His self-awareness is low. His Self-Awareness Index scores a mere 29, which is way below the minimum required of 68. 

self-awareness index entrepreneurial mindset
Self Awareness Index of Peter

If he doesn’t know his entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses, he will make decisions based on the wrong assumptions. And that can have devastating effects. He will be unable to grow his business or even go bankrupt. 

Grow or Go?

How to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset?

Peter has the ability and opportunity to grow. By understanding what his entrepreneurial style is, coupled with his qualities and shortcomings, he will improve his business successfully and achieve growth. 

Becoming more self-aware is a crucial task for Peter. Doing an E-Scan is a perfect first step, followed by discussing his behavior and performance with an entrepreneur coach. He is probably much more of a manager than he thought he was. But that’s what his clients look for in a business coach.

He can work with others in his weaker areas. For example, he could start delegating tasks to freelancers who are far better at them than he will ever become. He can choose a different way of working. Or even another business model that seamlessly suits his mindset (online courses, for example).

Want to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset yourself? Take the E-Scan