Any real estate investor looking to make a career out of their efforts needs to exercise what has widely become known as the business owner mindset. If for nothing else, investing in real estate only becomes one of today’s most lucrative monetary vehicles when you treat it how it deserves to be treated: like a business. You see, it’s entirely possible to invest in real estate as a hobby or even as a part-time job—however, those who treat real estate investing as a business stand to reap the greatest rewards. And what better way to start treating your real estate business like a business than to exercise a business owner mindset?
It is quite simple: to run a business, you need to think like a business owner. That said, it’s the business owner mindset that will help you navigate just about every obstacle that is placed before you. However, it is worth noting that a proper business mindset is not only necessary to turn your hobby of real estate investing into a life-long career. It also results in several subsequent advantages, not the least of which bring to light the true value of a great real estate business owner mindset.
The mindset of a business owner, otherwise known as the entrepreneurial mindset, as the Financial Times so eloquently suggests, “refers to a specific state of mind which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation, and new value creation.”
It is not hard to see why a mindset such as this would benefit business owners, but the devil is really in the details. To understand why a business owner mindset is so valuable in today’s fast-paced world, let’s take a look at where its value really stems from.
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Today’s most successful business owners know it, and it’s about time you did, too: your mind is your greatest asset. But how can such a bold statement be quantified? What is it about the business owner mindset that makes it so valuable to entrepreneurs?
Below you will find five reasons the mindset of a business owner is invaluable to today’s investors:
Entrepreneurs and business owners — good ones, at least — have developed a reputation for maintaining a solid connection with their customers. You could argue that it’s the relationship today’s business owners share with the customer base that got them to where they currently are. That said, those that typically exercise a business owner mindset will also share a closer connection with their customers, something that is invaluable when owning and operating your own company. You see, only those that truly understand their customers can actually offer them what they really want. Therein lies one of the greatest advantages of having a business owner mindset: a deeper connection with the people you serve. When you are in sync with the people you serve, it stands to reason you will offer a better product or service, which establishes credibility on your behalf.
Those with a business mindset are probably more than aware that their savvy way of thinking placed them in their current position. However, said mindset also tends to rub off on employees. At the very least, employees tend to mimic their bosses; they base their work environment “norms” off of what they see from their superiors. That said, if you exercise a business mindset that prioritizes strong work ethic and individualization, your employees are bound to do the same. As a result, there’s no reason to think your own work ethic won’t carry over to your employees, effectively making them, well, more effective.
Anyone who owns their own business must be receptive to constructive criticism or face the repercussions that typically follow closely behind ignorance. Perhaps even more specifically, listening to what others have to say is important, and those with a strong business mindset already know that. What’s more, it takes a smart man or woman to know they don’t know everything. That said, keeping an open mind about yourself could actually result in constructive steps being taken.
The best business owner mindset will distort the modern conception of hierarchical roles, as the very definition of a boss has undergone some critical changes. In the past, the boss was the boss. And while that sentiment still rings true today, the term boss doesn’t necessarily mean what it used to. As I said before, today’s bosses with strong business mindsets know they can influence their employees. However, influence can only take place through interaction. It is, therefore, in your best interest as a boss with a business mindset to interact with your employees regularly. Exercise an open door policy that lets everyone know you are there to help them. That way, you will gain more respect from your employees and, inevitably, bring out the best in them. At the very least, employees want to work for people they respect, so give them a reason to respect you.
Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite aspects of the business owner mindset: speed of implementation. The speed in which you can get things done is absolutely invaluable, especially concerning an industry as competitive as real estate investing. If for nothing else, speed of implementation is an advantage, one that will place you far ahead of the competition. Those business owners that can act fast will find that more opportunities coincide with decisive action than they do with reaction.
Sometimes improving your business owner mindset has nothing to do with learning new skillsets. Oftentimes, business owners will find that improving on their own shortcomings is the fastest route to drastically improving the way they approach things. That’s not to say learning new ways of looking at things won’t improve your mindset, but rather that there are two ways to improve on your current state: learning new skills and overcoming existing weaknesses. Since the vast majority of this article already touched on teaching new skills, let’s take a look at what business owners can do to improve upon or compliment their own weaknesses.
For starters, business owners need to practice humility; they need to know that they don’t (or can’t) know everything. Even our time’s most prolific business owners have inherent weaknesses or shortcomings. However, the best business owners won’t ignore their weaknesses; they will build upon them until they are turned into strengths. In doing so, many will turn to personal development, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t. After all, a well-rounded person is the foundation of any good business owner.
Start by identifying your own shortcoming. Compile an unbiased list of the areas you need to improve on and seek out the most efficient ways to gain the information or help you need. Look to the books and podcasts of those who have done what you are looking to accomplish. Learn how to become a good business owner through the trials and tribulations of those who are already successful business owners. If you are truly honest with yourself, it will be easier to find the answers you are looking for.
The mindset of a business owner isn’t merely the daily thought process of an entrepreneur; it is a fundamental tool used to strengthen, improve, and grow a successful business simultaneously. That’s not to say a business owner mindset isn’t responsible for a company’s daily operations, but rather so much more. That said, the mindset of a business owner should never become complacent; it must always be sharpened and honed to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. Only then will the true value of a business mindset be revealed.