So you want to start a company. That's great! It's an exciting time and you must feel eager to launch your idea into the world.
As a founder of a new company, one of the best characteristics you can develop is to be open-minded about your ideas and the creative options and solutions for the customer problem you hope to solve. It's important to know as you start out that at times it is absolutely necessary to change your mind about some part of your business if you receive new information that nudges you to make changes.
You might be wondering, "Mmmm.... Isn't staying focused on my original vision what will bring me success?"
Ideally yes, you'll need focus and determination to bring your plan to life. But it is also crucial not to get stuck in your original vision or idea too much either. There's no way for you to anticipate in your planning every single situation that might arise. Open-mindedness can help during your moments of challenge and change.
In this blog post, we'll touch on some reasons why open-mindedness is so important for you when starting a new company.
What does it mean to be open-minded?
It basically means that open-minded people are open to new ideas. They don't automatically reject something because it doesn't fit in with their preconceived notions about how things should be done or what they think will work best. Open-minded people are willing to consider all options - even if they seem crazy at first glance!
However, open-minded people are just as committed to their own beliefs and opinions as other people. What makes them different is that they’re also open to considering the possibility that they could be wrong about some or all of those things.
Open-mindedness is an entrepreneurial mindset of seeking out new information and having a willingness to listen, learn, and change one’s opinion in response to new information.
Why being open-minded is important for entrepreneurs
Being open-minded is especially important when you're starting a new business. You'll likely face a lot of challenges in the early days, and it's crucial that you're open to trying new things in order to overcome them. If you close yourself off to potential solutions or ideas, you'll struggle!
It will help you if you're open to asking and receiving advise and feedback, and are willing to change your plans based on what you learn. It also means being open to different ways of doing things, and not getting overly attached to your original ideas.
The key reasons why it’s important to be open-minded when starting a business includes:
1. It leads to more creativity and a better chance at success.
2. It allows you to see more possible solutions to a problem, not just the first one that comes up.
3. It encourages risk-taking, which is necessary for entrepreneur success.
4. It helps you to learn from mistakes, avoid repeating mistakes, and move on from them quickly.
Characteristics of open-minded entrepreneurs
There are a few key characteristics that open-minded entrepreneurs tend to have:
1. They’re not afraid to change their minds.
2. They’re always looking for new opportunities and ideas.
3. They’re not afraid of failure.
4. They’re willing to take risks.
5. They’re good at brainstorming.
6. They’re usually very passionate about the outcome they want to achieve (or then the problem they are trying to solve for their consumer).
How openminded are you?
"I'm open-minded in my own life and business. I don't mind listening to other people's opinions and respecting them even if I don't agree with them. I open up to change and try new things. I don't get attached to my own ideas, but rather open for criticism and suggestions from people around me. I encourage other entrepreneurs just starting out or in the early days of their business to open up their mind as well!"
Does this sound like you? If you can self-identify with this statement: well done! You've already done a lot of work on yourself to be open-minded.
If being more open-minded seems like something you want to work towards, then set goals for yourself to achieve it. Get specific! In the next section, you'll find a few suggestions.
How to develop open-mindedness as a new founder
Here are a few ideas on what you can do to develop open-mindedness:
- Be open to different opinions. Talk to people from all walks of life about your business and listen to their suggestions. You might be surprised by what you learn!
- Don't get overly attached to your original ideas. Be willing to try new ideas or improve on existing ones. It's important to test your assumptions and to learn from your network about ways to build on your ideas.
- Be open to criticism. There's no such thing as a perfect company or product - so just because someone criticizes your business doesn't mean they're wrong! You may actually learn something valuable from their comments that you can use to improve instead of getting offended by them.
- Be open to new ideas in all areas of your life, not just work. The more open-minded you are when making decisions on non-business related matters, like for example, what to eat for lunch or what movie to watch, the easier it will be for you to stay open-minded with work too. Challenge yourself to try new things regularly.
Your entrepreneurship how-to on open-mindedness: Being a successful founder requires being able to constantly learn and adapt. And the key to this is being open to new ideas, and being willing to accept that you might not have all the answers. Other people may have valuable insights that can help your business grow.
Want to hear more on this topic?
Do you want to hear more about this topic with specific examples of what it means to have an open mind as a new founder?
Listen to this related entrepreneurial podcast episode, Successful Entrepreneurs are Open-Minded, for more:
We discuss in this episode, on how successful entrepreneurs are open-minded:
What it means to be open-minded. (6:15)
3 benefits of holding an open mindset. (7:47)
A simple strategy that will help you to build your ability to be more open-minded. (10:25)
If you’ve found this blog insightful and it has opened your mind to new ways of thinking, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you about what resonated most with you; feel free to share below!