Two Entrepreneurial Decisions that Set Successful Entrepreneurs Apart


Successful entrepreneurs make a lot of decisions every day. In fact, making entrepreneurial decisions and having the courage to take action on them are critical skills for entrepreneurial success. Nevertheless, there are two foundational entrepreneurial decisions that set successful entrepreneurs apart from those that struggle. Like a two-edged sword; the two entrepreneurial decisions can significantly expand or curtail the success and freedoms available to entrepreneurs throughout their lifetime. They transform how entrepreneurs think, where they go, and what they do. In my experience, entrepreneurs whose thoughts and actions are deliberate and in cooperation with the two entrepreneurial decisions achieve more successes than rivals.

Understanding the two entrepreneurial decisions

The two foundational entrepreneurial decisions that set successful entrepreneurs apart are the decisions to:

  • Be responsible for providing own economic security using their capabilities.
  • Expect no opportunities or rewards from anyone until after creating value for others.

Now, let us look at each of these important decisions in greater detail…

Responsibility for own economic security

The first time an individual decides to become an entrepreneur, he or she signs up, consciously or unconsciously, to taking responsibility for his or her own economic security. The decision transforms how the entrepreneurs think, where they go, and what they do with their time. In my experience, entrepreneurs whose thoughts and actions are deliberate and consistent with these entrepreneurial decisions perform better than their counterparts.

The decision to be totally responsible for own economic security protects the entrepreneur’s greatest asset – time, from abuse. Being deliberate about the decision means focusing your time and energy on creating economic values for the client. It is a decision that holds entrepreneurs responsible for depending on no one else for putting food on their table. Moreover, it shapes successful entrepreneurs’ consciousness about what they spend their time on. 

Also, being responsible for own economic security puts successful entrepreneurs on the driving seat for their entrepreneurial destinies. For example, the awareness that you depend on no one, not even the government for your success greatly motivates you to learn new skills, develop new capabilities, and expand your possibilities. These decisions are equally responsible for why successful entrepreneurs think differently, behave differently, and act differently. It also explains why entrepreneurs’ attitudes toward time are totally different from non-entrepreneurs.

No opportunities until values are created for others

Once in a while, in every economy, some people depend on the government, parents, or communities to provide for them. Such an entitlement attitude imprisons their innovative capacity and makes a mess of their life expectations. People who depend on others disenfranchise themselves from the huge abundance of life. In other words, their ability to envision and capture future opportunities is limited. Successful entrepreneurs do not depend on the government or society. Their successes are based on their individual capabilities to create value; and until they do so, successful entrepreneurs expect no rewards from the marketplace. By being conscious of the entrepreneurial decisions, successful entrepreneurs liberate themselves from the entitlement mentality. This decision sets many successful entrepreneurs apart from rivals.

The decision not to expect opportunities except value is first created for someone comes with a lot of consequences. First of all, the entrepreneur realizes that it is no longer business as usual; as a result, learning new skills and consistently developing new capabilities becomes an inevitable competitive advantage. Second, since the entrepreneurs depend on their capabilities for what they can accomplish, they never seize from creating new possibilities and growing as a result.

Why the two entrepreneurial decisions matter 

Transformations occur the moment entrepreneurs begin to operate with the consciousness of the two entrepreneurial decisions. To begin with, the shift in mindset from “entitlement” to “non-entitlement” or productive mentality creates a sense of “freedom” and “capability.” The freedom to search for new opportunities, and the “capability” to take action, overcome obstacles, and accelerate growth. Until entrepreneurs become aware of how these decisions play in their entrepreneurial pursuits, they are never fully emersed in their entrepreneurial games. 

Understanding the impact of the two entrepreneurial decisions makes a huge difference between successful and average entrepreneurs. But the good news is that any entrepreneur can make the decisions, regardless of education, age, or wealth. Those who make the entrepreneurial decisions, and are intentional with their actions always free themselves from the bondage of depending on others for their success. Instead, they commit to developing new capabilities as a competitive strategy for accessing future opportunities and making more progress. This is the leverage that successful entrepreneurs have that helps them overcome obstacles and accelerate growth continually.

Author: Nkem Mpamah
Nkem Mpamah is Nigeria's #1 business coach, leadership, and strategy consultant for the services industry. Nkem coaches successful entrepreneurs to improve performance, increase competitiveness, and expand their entrepreneurial freedoms. He is the founder of Cognition Global Concepts, and creator of the Growth Syndicate Program." Nkem is author of "The ART of Achievement and Fulfillment", and "The Entrepreneur".

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