When you start living like an entrepreneur…

…you start developing habits that allow you to build the foundations of an entrepreneur’s mindset. That careful balance of preparation, skill, and opportunity. These behavior traits start to manifest themselves in subtle, yet important ways:

1. You start reading more about the subject. You look for role models who have made it Big. Donald Trump (The Art of the Deal). David Ogilvy (On Advertising). Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Stanford thesis on PageRank and how it works). Mark Cuban. Michael Dell. Warren Buffet. My list of heroes for entrepreneurs are two-fold – those in the valley (Tom Perkins, Larry and Sergey, the Twitter founders, my ex-CEO who sold his firm), and those in entertainment (Hugh Hefner, P.Diddy, Chris Angel). Most interesting is the story of Hefner. Borrowing against his furniture for $6000 at the age of 25, he launched the first issue of Playboy with the Marilyn Monroe cover. As his daughter Christie recalls, (Authors @ Google) “my dad never thought Playboy would become as global and as successful as it did. He just wanted to be good enough to not have to ‘get a real job’.”

2. You start visualizing what life is like with the financial foundations of a successful entrepreneur. You start developing discipline about working outside of work, and developing the skill sets to further your enterprise. You start having a board, a “dream board” with images that remind you of the life you want to live.

3. You start becoming more careful about money. You manage money, it doesn’t manage you. Thriftless spending goes, and more prudent spending takes place.

4. You start talking more to other business owners. You start feeling frustrated at employees and the employee mindset. You eventually learn to tune these out, or not talk about this subject with people who are lifetime employees. Their mindset is one of the “sheeple” (Sheep people). You begin to realize that less than 5% of people in this world are entrepreneurs. According to trump, less than 1-2% are real entrepreneurs.

5. Perhaps most importantly, you start believing that a life of freedom from the corporate life is possible, and the journey begins to seek out this freedom.

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