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Beyond Breakthrough Ideas: 3 Tips for Bringing an Entrepreneurial Spirit to Your Day Job

The line between ‘corporate employee’ and ‘entrepreneur’ is blurring fast. Organizations now recognize the need for rapid innovation, growth mindsets, and other self-starter habits typically reserved for entrepreneurs or scrappy startups.

Whether you’re preparing to make the leap into entrepreneurship or just need a little bit more of that creative, buzzing energy in your day, here are three tips to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to your day job:

  1. Don’t Self-Edit Too Quickly

Your first idea is rarely great off the bat, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great starting point. Here’s the challenge- high performers have little patience for ideas that aren’t great. And sometimes, they kill a decent idea too early, before it ever gets the chance to evolve into ‘great.’

Try the 10-minute hack to push your creative edge
If there are some flaws with your plan, worry about it in 10 minutes.
If that hasn’t been done before, worry about it in 10 minutes.
If it would never work because it’s too expensive, too time consuming, too logistically challenging, worry about it in 10 minutes.

Be loose with your mind, at least at first. Entrepreneurs make a practice of mentally removing the guardrails of the world.  Good ideas start out messy. Make peace with it and don’t kill the idea too early.

  1. Widen Your Lens

Any good performer can get the to-do list from the boss and check the boxes. The boss will be pleased, but . . . breakthrough results are unlikely.

Yes, you need to accomplish the deliverables. AND you also want to be the person thinking two moves ahead, analyzing chain reactions, and looking for themes.

You can embody an entrepreneurial mindset by approaching situations with questions like:

  • What’s the root cause?
  • Has this happened before?
  • Will it happen again?
  • If I don’t solve it, what will happen? And then what would happen?
  • If I solve it once, what will happen? And then what would happen?

Viewing the day-to-day through this wider lens will prompt you to be more strategic with your insights and help you identify opportunities faster.

  1. Avoid Perfectionism

I’ve yet to meet an entrepreneur who has come up with a big idea, captured the market, made the headlines, etc. who also describes their execution as perfect. There are points for good execution and there are also points for speed.  (and in many cases speed counts more).

The ‘winner’ is usually the person who got it 90% good enough, and they did it faster than everyone else.

Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the enemy of good. If the thought of that makes you squirm, I feel you. My first book was literally titled Forget Perfect (did you know that authors often write the book they need to read? In my case, that’s 100% true.)

Here’s what I’ve learned about perfectionism and entrepreneurship: Instead of trying to be perfect at everything, identify the few really high value things that actually deserve detail-oriented attention. Having a place to channel that meticulous refining keeps you from getting bogged down with endless details.

Whether you’re out on your own, working for a big firm, or part of a small scrappy team, embodying and an entrepreneurial ethos that can help you up your game.