How To Think Like A Successful Entrepreneur

How To Think Like A Successful Entrepreneur

If you want your small business to succeed, it is important for you to study how successful entrepreneurs think so you can begin thinking the same way.

Most start ups do not have a clue of what they are about to get themselves into. If you think you are creating your own job rather than a vital, growing business, you very well might end up as merely minimally self-employed. Self employed means you have a skill, you decide what service or product you will sell, you go out and start to talk to people, perhaps throw out some advertising, get some business cards printed, and work on getting some clients so you can pay the bills. You have  essentially created a job for yourself.

But suddenly you are in over your head. Either you cannot attract enough clients to pay the bills, or you have a stream of clients and are spending nights and weekends trying to do the books, payroll, taxes, returning phone calls and e-mails, scheduling etc. You aren't really profitable and you do not know why. This is not your idea of fun anymore.

The first thing true entrepreneurs do is to identify what they are really passionate about.  If you do not love your work and you are just doing it for the money, chances are you will not have the passion and drive to push you onward when the business becomes demanding.  You will then feel discouraged and disillusioned. It's just like a marriage. If there is no passion, no deep love, where will the motivation come from to work through problems and issues?  People who look for the fastest way to earn money instead of focusing on what will get them excited about work each day are not thinking like entrepreneurs.

Next, entrepreneurs think big. They create a clear, dynamic, exciting vision of how they can develop a business that will not rely totally on them, will be sustainable, provide them with the income and lifestyle they want and will grow into a marketable asset.  If your business always relies on you selling time for money, what happens if you are ill or on vacation? If people think of you as the entire business, they will only want to do business with you. Even if you work 80 hours a week you will be limited in the amount of money you can make, And you won't be able to sell your business one day, because your customers think of you as the business.

It is okay to start out like that, but be smart and plan right from the beginning to make your company appear larger, and to transition to being the leader of your business–not the doer. At some point you will have to document how each function is performed so that you can train others to take over some of the "doing".

Entrepreneurs are creators–self-employed people are mainly doers.  Of course, that doesn't mean you won't deliver services or work in your business if you are an entrepreneur. But there will be others who help you, whether you hire employees or outsource. Your job will be to create new services, products, strategies, and systems. Entrepreneurs let others implement them whenever possible.

You might be wondering how you can think this way from Day One. Even though you may be doing everything in the beginning, if you have a map or plan of just how you want your business to look in a year or two, that plan will determine which actions you take each day. A true entrepreneur bases every decision on that vision. You will not be "flying by the seat of your pants" and you will know just when you need to pass off some of the work to others.

This is not about a big business plan. This is about getting clear on the details of the business you hope to create and getting both the dream and the details down on paper. Why? Because entrepreneurs are idea generators and it is very easy to become distracted and unfocused.

Another reason is that the biggest fear early stage businesses have is not having enough clients or earning enough money. In my experience, if you have done good research and you are offering a service that people want and are willing to pay for, then the only missing ingredient is a clear vision. If you are passionate, have a clear purpose and a plan, the energy and excitement you create will attract clients to you like a magnet.  Following is a specific example:

You are a consultant. You are smart and have knowledge people need, so you set up a home office, name your business, form a legal entity, and create a logo and business cards.  So far, so good.  Now you start to prospect for clients. You network, send out emails, contact your database of former colleagues, and after a while you get a few clients. Now you are approaching a crucial fork in the road. Do you repeat this same process over and over, or do you create a bigger vision and long term plan to build a bigger, better business?  A big vision may lead you to:

  • create a group of sequential products, services or packaged services to encourage repeat business

  • create products that will generate passive income

  • market more creatively for bigger results

  • outsource simple, repeatable marketing tasks

  • create a plan to build your expert status

  • create key relationships with joint venture partners to grow sales

  • develop a consulting process that you can teach to other consultants who you will eventually hire or certify

Perhaps you outsource your online marketing, administrative work and bookkeeping so you can spend your time doing what you love.


To think like a successful entrepreneur means thinking about

  • Strategy

  • Systems

  • Outsourcing

  • Time Management

  • Focus

This mindset can mean the difference between mediocre and outstanding results.

Back when I was first starting my practice, if you had told me what it would take to grow a profitable business,  I don’t know if I would have believed you—at first.  You see, along the way I started to take note of all the other successful entrepreneurs who were seeing big results and lucrative rewards in their own businesses and I started to realize that if they could do it, so could I. After all, they were no different from me. I soaked in all that I could from listening to their stories of success and I allowed myself to be lifted and inspired by the possibilities—and to envision a future for myself and my business that surpassed my wildest dreams. 





About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. This gave me a lot of food for thought, Rachel. Especially the ‘passive income’ part. I’ve been chewing on it, and needed this validation. Thank you!

  2. Excellent article Rachel. You are correct about the differences between being self-employed and building a sustainable business. We recently transitioned from a service-based to product-based business for this reason. I’m all about systems!

  3. Rachel – there are also studies out that state that entrepreneurs actually get a dopamine surge from taking big risks (so do people in prison for violent crimes). Anyway, they’re risk-takers by nature. I often wonder if, in order to be socially responsible, we should raise our children a little different. Maybe, instead of saying, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” we should ask “How can I help you create jobs for other people?” and then help our sons and daughters doing just that while also incorporating their personal passions.

    • Joan, I have always believe that we should rear our children to think in terms of being business owners rather than employees. I have spoken to entrepreneurs from other countries who benefited from that type of upbringing.

  4. Great reminders on how to craft a sustainable business – I know I need to work on systems. Why repeat over and over again? Just have to do the work once and then let the system take care of itself!

  5. This was so interesting, Rachel. I often think this kind of advice doesn’t relate to me as a writer but just recently I watched a video series about writing and it was giving similar advice. Having a strategy and thinking of the big picture applies to anyone with ambitions to be successful.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO MAKE A PUPPY PUPPETMy Profile

  6. This should be required Entrepreneur 101 required reading. I admit I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, but I’m working on it. I can see how much your clients benefit from your coaching.

  7. One of the things I have learned from the successful online experts, is to create a passive or residual income stream. This is one of the things I love about creating my health and wellness team. Together we all can build our own individual business, and yet we are creating residual income as we support and help others to optimize their health. It does take a clear vision and persistency for sure. Lots of seeds planted and lots of ‘watering’ of those seeds to see them grow. Thanks for the great clarity in creating systems for ourselves in this post, Rachel!
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Rediscovering Our Humanity Through NatureMy Profile

  8. Love the honesty and clarity in this piece. Had no idea exactly what it would take to switch to online sales a few years ago, but knew it was doable cause others were succeeding. We could too.

  9. Awesome tips Rachel! Being an entrepreneur is as simple as just “thinking” like one and you have detailed what has to be done to do so 🙂 Thank you for sharing the value!

  10. I am not a believer in comparing myself to others, but learning from them is another thing. This is my 3rd business in 26 years and yes, it takes a lot to grow a successful one. It is not for the faint of heart.

  11. Hi Rachel

    For me, this is a food for thought for all Entreprenuers. Thanks so much for sharing this post. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…Blog-Alone: What it Taught me About Developing AlliancesMy Profile

  12. ‘Entrepreneurs are creators, self employed people are mainly do-ers’. That’s an interesting statement, Rachel. I am self employed offline but consider myself to be far more than just a ‘do-er’. But maybe because I am also a creator I don’t fit into the ‘mainly’ part. Or maybe you meant ‘mainly’ as in that is what they do the most of…

    Enjoy the journey!
    Mandy Allen recently posted…Want More Blog Visitors? Run Your Own Challenge!My Profile

  13. Thanks for sharing some excellent and extremely practical advice Rachel!

    And I completely agree with the five major areas you stressed, aspiring entrepreneurs, have to focus on!
    And also, how many incredibly skilled, self employed individuals, often seem to confuse that process,
    with being an entrepreneur!

    They often don’t totally realize the major differences, until they are buried in the process of merely trading
    their time for hours!and they see no way out!

    Your excellent post, definitely helps un blare the lines!Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…A Profitable Marketing Lesson The Oil And Gas Industry Can Teach Your Small Business!My Profile

  14. Great article! The deeper I dove into owning my own business dream, the more I realized the difference between the pushers and the opportunities. True opportunities are about things you are interested about and keep you excited and they are also promoted by people that share in that same interest. It drives you to research and be prepared. Where, the pushers are just trying to convince you to buy into whatever they are selling. Making sure your choices can be sustaining and something you will continue to love is of utmost importance and reading informative articles like this helps reinforce this belief, thank you!

  15. For me, entrepreneurship is about taking accountability. Accountability for success, failures, and for learning. Some jobs are not easy. An employee expects to be trained, an entrepreneur goes out and learns on his own time.
    Annette S. Gallant recently posted…Dressing to Impress at Business MeetingsMy Profile

  16. One of the qualities I’ve noticed in successful entrepreneurs is that they have thought through the element of time. They’ve used it both to empower themselves — as a pressure and a guide. They use time as a hard boundary to help them recognize when something isn’t working. And they are often extraordinarily hard-driving when it comes to deadlines.
    Graham Watts recently posted…Dressing to Impress at Business MeetingsMy Profile

  17. Informative article on how to think like a successful entrepreneur. Thanks for sharing this great article.

  18. When it comes to you and your money, it makes no difference if you are an employee, an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time student. What matters is the mindset you bring to your business—your asset column. When it comes to your asset column, every one of you is a business owner.

  19. I think it is important to be passionate about whatever it is you want to do. Have a clear concise vision, and drive that will carry you through the good times and the bad. Don’t rush into anything, take time planning everything out. I think it is good to talk with other entrepreneurs, maybe some in the same field/industry and also talk with an accountant and lawyer as well. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  20. Insightful article Rachel. Everything is all about having the right mindset. That is while i aways read books by other successful entrepreneurs. Reading is the best way to unlocking the right mindset. I am glad i found this article.
    And yes, Running a business and being an entrepreneur are 2 different things.
    Edema Ero recently posted…21 Point Checklist To Improve Your Blog Post Ranking On Search EnginesMy Profile

Your thoughts?...


CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)