Entrepreneur at business table

The future of business will be created by entrepreneurs. Not only is it easier than ever to start a business, these new ventures have the potential to grow in scale unlike never before. But that growth comes with expectation, which is why leaders in industry, academia, government and the community expect their teams to think and act like entrepreneurs.

There is a stark difference between entrepreneurship and being entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurship is the act of starting a business while taking risks, with the hope of a financial return. Your entrepreneurial orientation, or mindset, captures the behavioural components that leads you to engage in the act of entrepreneurship. It is a vital skill-set that can be adapted to make you more effective, in any job.

Three tips for entrepreneurial thinking

Here are three tips to get you started.

1. Be proactive

As an entrepreneur, no one is going to tell you what to do, you will have to make decisions for yourself. In the context of entrepreneurship, this is a daily reality - without you as a founder taking each step, the business will never get started. This is different to a traditional employment context. If you do not actively pursue opportunities to advance your work, and your career, you can’t expect progression.

2. Be innovative

It’s a buzz word that has been used and misused so often over the last decade, it has almost lost its meaning. In this context innovation means doing something different, or better than it’s usually done. To be an effective entrepreneur, you have to have a unique approach and stand out from your competitors. You have to be bold enough to try new approaches in order to find out what works, and what doesn’t.

3. Take risks

Which leads us to the last and perhaps the most important point, taking risks. French-Irish economist Richard Cantillon coined the word entrepreneurship in the 1700s, during a time when everyday life, in the age of exploration, was full of dangers, including diseases and treacherous sea voyages. These days, the risks we take might be more calculated, but the core formula remains the same - no risk, no reward.


Thomas Anbeek is part of Victoria University’s VU Innovations, an initiative that supports, promotes and discovers tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Find out more about VU’s Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Mindset.