Think Like a Disruptor
Entrepreneur|April - May 2021
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.
By Hamza Mudassir

Henry Ford. Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Disruptive entrepreneurs may upend industries in different ways, but they have one thing in common: They don’t think like the people they disrupt. They look at the world differently— and, in my experience, more emotively, too. They appear contrarian, which makes sense. To create something new, an entrepreneur must see things as they should be, rather than simply as they are.

What can we learn from them that we can repeat ourselves? That’s tricky. When a disruptor’s story is told, it often focuses on what they did, rather than how they thought through it. But a disruptor’s mindset changes along with their businesses! To truly know their mindset, you must observe them in their element— while they are in the middle of disrupting.

I’ve been fortunate to do that, as I’ve worked with many disruptors (and eventually started a consulting company that focuses on disruption). Here, I’ll share what I learned from three disruptors while they were actively rethinking their industries for the better.

1/ Focus on inputs over outputs.

Nabil De Marco is the general manager for Amazon Business in Europe, and he hired me to work with him fresh out of business school. Back then, he was responsible for launching and growing the e-commerce giant’s pan- European auto motive business, and he had giddy ambitions to change how vehicles and car parts were sold in Europe.

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