by Niall Doherty

It’s becoming apparent to me that successful entrepreneurs tend to look at the world in two ways distinct from most other people:

1. They view problems as opportunities

Which sounds obvious, and I’ve known this for years, but only recently have I really started to pause and identify problems as they’re occurring. It’s especially tempting to overlook those little repetitive frustrations that we encounter. Which is a shame, because those are often the easiest to solve.

An example for me would be my monthly finance reports. Those are a bit of a pain to put together, taking up a good chunk of my time. Until a few weeks ago I was of the mindset that there was no other choice, that’s just how it had to be. There was never any good reason to think like this. That just seems to be the default setting of my brain. I’ve been making a conscious effort though to change that, and already I’ve come up with several ideas for making my finance reports easier to produce.

What problems have you encountered recently? What’s the root cause of each? Can you think of a solution?

2. They aim to improve themselves constantly

I realize now the opportunities I wasted back in college when I worked part-time at AOL technical support. I learned pretty much everything there was to learn in the first 3-4 months on the job, and after that I switched to cruise control. I’d show up for work, punch in, and go through the motions to collect my paycheck. I wish now that I’d moved on from technical support after a few months and tried working in some other departments. Like sales or cancellations. I would have developed some interesting new skills, skills that would still be serving me well today.

You often see security guards here in Thailand either fast asleep or glued to some silly show on television. It’s amazing to me that none of them use all that sitting around time to level up their education. You even see some of them with smartphones or iPads, but instead of looking up online courses or educational videos, they’re tuned to Facebook or some mindless videos on YouTube.

I’m pretty sure that successful entrepreneurs would never let such opportunities for self-education go to waste. If you find yourself stuck in a boring security job, why not use that time to study a new language, or learn accounting, or start a blog?

What do you think? Do you agree that these worldviews are essential to entrepreneurial success? Am I missing others? Let me know via the comments.

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