First off, you might be wondering: What is the entrepreneurial muscle?
The entrepreneurial muscle is what brings about innovation and helps take existing concepts to the next level. It creates the next major invention featured on Shark Tank. It’s the brainstorming and construction of a business from a determined ability and passionate desire to provide a product or service. In the example above, it’s the mental muscle that helps you see “business” in the small details of day-to-day life.
You could easily be exercising it too. Honestly, you don’t need a business for that to be the case.
For Example: You’re watching a television ad for paint. During the ad, your brain starts noticing the opening line, message content, graphics, and the call to action. Unconsciously, you start noticing how they address the way you feel about home DIY projects and your current obstacles in painting.
You think, “Hey, I see the tactic here. I see their approach.”
In reaching that conclusion, you might start to wonder, “How would I go about marketing XYZ?”
In this example, you’re engaging the entrepreneurial muscle.
What’s the big deal here?
Whether you’re critiquing an ad for paint, calculating the revenue of a workout class based on the number of attendees, or even brainstorming the next household item to address a “wouldn’t it be easier?” complaint, you’re flexing your entrepreneurial muscle. For some, this muscle is always active in looking at the next trends and the next cash-generating business plan. For others, it’s activated less frequently.
It’s worth mentioning that there are variations in exercising this mental muscle. You may be pursuing your solo ventures and ideas, or navigating novel idea implementation within the parameters of your employer’s organization. Like I mentioned before, owning your own business is not a strict requirement.
In any event, I can tell you that when you activate the entrepreneurial muscle — it’s hard to not regularly exercise it.
How do you activate and strengthen the entrepreneurial muscle?
Like any form of physical exercise, a few precise changes that are practiced for a few minutes each day, can make an impactful difference. The following are four ways you can stretch your entrepreneurial, mental bandwidth.
1.) Question what you see in everyday media marketing.
There’s a lot of information and marketing out there. Likely, you’re not surprised to be bombarded by ads daily, but the real point is actively questioning what you see in those ads. How are companies targeting you? What colors and designs are they using to appeal? What part of the message captures your attention? In the current situation, how is the company reframing its offer? Whether it’s television ads, email marketing, or Instagram influencer stories, you can gain insight into entrepreneurial and business processes by critiquing what you see.
2.) Think of one new idea every day.
Not only does this open the door to some exciting and heavy brainstorming, but this is also a common habit of extremely successful CEOs. If you see a need, fill the need with ideas for how to innovate. Challenge yourself to think of ways you could better a common product or service. Write down every novel idea you have, no matter “dumb” it might seem. It’s not to say that every concept will yield a hands-free, self-cleaning litter box, but you never know unless you take the time to note the idea to revisit later. Push yourself to think like an entrepreneur.
3.) Craft a personal product page.
Generally speaking, everyone has had experience in online shopping and stumbled across a product page that convinced them to share credit card information. What did that take? That answer to that is what helps you in this exercise to create a product page description for yourself. This is key to get you thinking about the concept of effective promotion, starting with yourself.
Think about the following questions:
What’s your major benefit statement that you can “market” to others?
How would you craft a short description of your skills and strengths?
What specific action would you want people to take after networking with you?
Review your resulting product page. Is the marketing strong and to-the-point? Would you be convinced to take action to “Connect” or “Hire”, for example? If so, you’re right on track in exercising the entrepreneurial muscle.
4.) Surround yourself with relevant media.
Finally, stop scrolling through cat videos on social media, unless you’re developing the next hands-free, self-cleaning litterbox. Start subscribing to blogs and email newsletters for influential marketing and business gurus. Watch videos of CEOs sharing their advice. Record and watch episodes of shows like Shark Tank and The Profit. There’s a wealth of information available. Whether you’re starting from scratch in defining “entrepreneur” or learning how to launch your membership model, there’s no end to the content that can help you start thinking along these lines.
I challenge you to take the next hour and employ the tips above. (Set yourself up for daily practice.) Engage your entrepreneurial muscle to think critically and be a part of the innovation you care to see and create.