Entrepreneurship Is a Mindset
Entrepreneur|March 2021
I cofounded LinkedIn, invest with Greylock Partners, and host the Masters of Scale podcast. Take it from me: Success in entrepreneurship must begin in your head.
By Reid Hoffman

I often say that starting a company is like jumping off a cliff and building an airplane on the way down. It’s a vivid metaphor that contains a lot of truths. First, you’ll need courage and optimism. You have to believe you can pull it off. Next, you’ll need ingenuity. Assembling a plane takes talent and skill, even under calm circumstances. In the chaotic rush of a death- defying plunge, you need agility. You need to react quickly. You need to be calm under pressure. You need to find the plunge exhilarating.

And then there are the stakes. If you don’t assemble the plane in time, you crash. In real-world terms, you run out of money. This is why speed matters. Once you jump off the cliff, the ground comes at you fast. It’s why, in almost every case, a slow-moving startup is dead. That’s part of what makes entrepreneurship so grueling— because the default outcome, until you get the whole plane running, is death. Not just for you but also everyone you persuaded to jump with you.

So what does it take to succeed in these entrepreneurial leaps of faith? The answer is at once simple and infinitely complex: You need an entrepreneurial mindset.

And yes, it can be cultivated.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ENTREPRENEURView All

Staying Ahead of Change

Yousuf Ali had a successful career in marketing until he failed to embrace new technologies. Now, as a My Eyelab franchisee, embracing forward-thinking capabilities is the key to his success.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

THE CREATIVE PROCESS STARTS WITH PROCESS

My business barely survived its first few years, and I nearly crumbled under the stress.Then I learned the greatest lesson of my career, which transformed our company into the go-to apron brand for restaurants everywhere: Without process, we are nothing.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Ready For A Big Return

The end of the pandemic is in sight, and many franchises are anticipating an explosion in business. Leaders at four franchises share how their brands are working overtime to prepare for the rush and win back coveted business.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Bethenny Frankel Is a Time-management Machine

She builds multimillion-dollar brands, stars in TV shows, and vigorously defends every moment of her day. The secret? It starts with deciding what matters (and what doesn’t).

9 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Think Like a Disruptor

If you want to shake things up, you must have a mindset that’s different from everyone else’s. Here are three ways to reshape your thinking.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Can Creativity Be Created?

Your team has big ideas. To unlock them, you must first build an environment of support and encouragement.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Managing Mental Illness Can Be a Team Effort

Like so many people—and so many entrepreneurs— my husband and business partner struggles with his mental health. I’m speaking up so others know: With the right understanding, life and business can still be good.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

His Worst Five Years Were His Life's Best Gift

What is it like to build a hit business and then lose all control? The founder of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man has a lot to say about that.

6 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Creating Trust Where There Was None

Home renovations are full of headaches—but how do you fix an age-old industry woe? Here’s how Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten, built something better.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Build Lasting Partnerships

Finding trustworthy vendors and partners is key to growing your business—but it’s a challenging relationship to perfect. We asked six entrepreneurs to share their best methods.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021