The word entrepreneur only appeared in our lexicon in 19th century France. It combines two words: entre, meaning “swim out” as well as prende, which means “understand.” In other words, someone who understands the risk of “swimming out” to unknown waters.
Humans have had a sense of entrepreneurial culture since the beginning. Without it, we wouldn’t have made our greatest achievements. The problem is, it’s not so easy to promote entrepreneurship in others.
How do you get the entrepreneurial process going with employees and colleagues? We’ve got a few tips. Read on as we discuss how to inspire this feeling in your professional environment.
Be a Paragon of Entrepreneurial Spirit
Leaders should always lead by example. If you want your subordinates to do something, do it yourself. Exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurial culture.
This means openly taking risks and working hard. Show up to the office early and leave late. Treat weekends as the time to get ahead instead of relaxing.
Your enthusiasm and optimism will be infectious. We humans operate by the principle of mirror neurons. That is, we emulate the things we see around us.
Monkey see, monkey do is an incredibly simple principle, but it works. If you provide the template, they will fill it themselves. Follow e-commerce podcasts at AmpiFire for ideas on how to lead in this manner.
Hire People Who Exemplify Entrepreneurial Culture
It’s difficult to create entrepreneurial culture from scratch. So, take a shortcut. Hire entrepreneurs.
It’s easy to tell the entrepreneurs apart from the chaff. These are go-getters, folks who have sacrificed everything for their own passionate ventures. They may have 100 failed businesses, but that just means they’ve tried.
Make the work easier for yourself. Choose folks who don’t make excuses when they fall behind. It’s much easier to foster the growth of entrepreneurial culture when people live its basic precepts already.
Give Your Employees Stake
A common issue in the modern workplace is people don’t care about their company. They just want a paycheck. After all, they get no bonuses or pay raises when the company succeeds.
Entrepreneurship hinges on one thing: incentive. If there is no incentive, there’s no reason to risk anything. Therefore, consider giving your employees stake.
This could be a simple policy of pay raises and bonuses after major successes. The company grows, and their salary grows commensurate.
Or, you offer them an actual stake in the form of equity. That is, vested shares and controlling interest. If the company rises, their investment grows in turn.
Have Regular Contests
Competition is the driving spirit behind capitalism. It’s what incentivizes innovation and change. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t implement it in their internal work culture.
The easiest way to do this is with a sales contest. Whoever gets the most sales gets a commission bonus. You can organize this into teams to have them work together.
Contests between employees like this excel at driving entrepreneurial behavior. They are competing against each other while still fighting for the company. The combined efforts help not just everyone else, but themselves.
Accept Failure With Open Arms
Failure is one of those things we detest, yet know is inevitable. We all know, deep inside, that success only comes after a string of failures.
Despite this, we always beat ourselves up for failing. The solution? Embracing failure with enthusiasm.
Greet failures with applause and excitement. Change the paradigm by which you and your team view them. As the saying goes, turn that frown upside down.
Tweaking the way you naturally respond changes your behavior going forward. Now, you have a more fortified mindset against discouragement. You are less likely to crumble in the face of hard times.
Allow Employees to Speak Up
Another critical mistake many bosses make is to allow no dissent. They don’t ask for input or feedback. They assume–falsely–that employees have nothing worthwhile to contribute.
This is a huge mistake. Employees are on the front lines of everything your company does. They see how the sausage gets made in a way you cannot.
Having a culture of entrepreneurship is a collaborative effort. It’s not just a handful of firebrand employees getting stuff done. It’s about having everyone in sync with each other.
Plus, entrepreneurship prioritizes innovation and streamlining things. How could you ever hope to do that if you don’t know what needs to improve? Your employees can provide the answer.
Assign the Right People to the Right Tasks
Everyone manifests their entrepreneurial spirit in unique ways. Some are outgoing extroverts who handle business meetings. Others, the behind-the-scenes experts who tackle logistical problems.
It’s your job as a leader to identify which is which. You want the first handling people jobs, and the second handling processes. Know your people and assign them accordingly.
Measure Employees by Confidence
Confidence is perhaps the most important characteristic of an entrepreneur. They take risks because they trust themselves. They never short-change themselves and accept their flaws.
Ever heard of the “drawing an owl” test? It’s a simple, even silly method. But it has surprising effectiveness.
In essence, sit an employee down and tell them to draw an owl. Only give them one instruction: draw two overlapping circles. It’s up to them to self-direct and finish the task after that.
How good the owl looks at the end is irrelevant. The point is distinguishing confident people from the rest. Regardless of drawing ability, a confident entrepreneur will press forward and figure it out.
Build Entrepreneurial Culture Today
Entrepreneurial culture is one of unstoppable, risk-taking individuals. These are the folks who jump out of bed in the morning to beat their competition. You can create an entrepreneurial culture by using this article as a guide.
Follow our blog for more ways to improve your business culture.