Entrepreneurship is a hot topic these days. The ability to start up a personal website, get a small business loan, and use social media to promote your creations have made it easier than ever to chase the dream of being your own boss. There's even a long-running reality TV show dedicated to the people willing to take a risk supporting themselves with a unique invention or idea. 

 
One person standing out in a crowd of many people dressed in suits.

As we talk about in the Master of Engineering with a concentration in Information Engineering Management (IEM) at UAB, it's not quite as simple as only having a website and social media accounts to successfully run a personal business. As many of our IEM alumni success stories will tell you, one of the most important qualities for a successful start-up comes from an entrepreneurial mindset that is cultivated long before your company has a name, website, or even a business model.

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs, also sometimes coined as "serial entrepreneurs", have a mindset that is constantly seeing new possibilities, seeking open opportunities, and looking beyond barriers to how they can do more than just have a job - they want to own their job.

Whether you are already working for yourself or working for a large company, an entrepreneurial mindset will help you enjoy your work, be more successful on the job, and make more money. The good news is that it's never too late or too soon to start developing this mindset. Even if you're one of one thousand employees, you still have the ability to own your future. In fact, I think the concept of ownership is what separates employees from entrepreneurs. These few helpful tips will help you begin to change the game and teach you to move from an employee to an owner.

3 Tips to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

  1. Know your brand.

    This can feel cliche in a world where a term used in Fortune 500 companies has also taken root in how one crafts their Instagram feed, but it's a valid point regardless. Knowing how you are perceived by others and communicate is one of the most important ways to begin developing a mindset of change, growth, and opportunity.

    A personal brand does include how you look to the outside world, but it's also more than just outward appearances. Taking just a few minutes a day to be mindful, center yourself, and really focus on who you are and why that makes you stand out from other people is one the most impactful things you can do to sharpen your personal brand and develop a mindset of personal ownership.

    At first thought you may think a personal brand has to be energetic and wide-open. However, even the most thoughtful and reserved people can come across as trustworthy and strong when they know who they are and stay true to that in their personal decision making.

  1. Create a vision.

    Develop a short and long-term vision of where you want to be, starting with the long term first. Visualizing where you want to be in 5, 10, 15, even 20 years, and even beyond that, will help you stay focused, and know when to make moves, when to say yes or no, and know what you need to do now to reach that final longterm goal.

    Know where you want to be, what you want to be doing, and what you want out of both your work and life. This vision will help you stay on track as you're developing ideas for a personal business, creating that business, and even when it's fully functioning. Knowing what opportunities are fit for you and what opportunities you need to pass on is a key characteristic of someone fully owning themselves, their brand, and their path ahead.

  1. Be your work.

    Oftentimes we hear people say "I am not my work." I find this funny, when in reality our work is an expression of who we are, so if you're unhappy with your work and are keeping your work from defining you, you may be actually hiding from yourself.

    You are your work. When you have this mindset you get to decide how much of your life is work, what limits you can push yourself to, and how fully you own yourself and even your own company.

    Reminding yourself to be thankful for the opportunities, talents, and knowledge you've been given to serve others can help to keep you centered, fully trust yourself to make difficult decisions and moves, and take full ownership of your life, business, family, and future.

Own Your Company. Own Your Future. 

You don't have to want to start your own business to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Thinking this way will simply keep your eyes and mind open, and know that you are fully living and enjoying all the possibilities life has brought your way. In IEM, we want to help you develop this mindset and give you the resources to make confident decisions whether you are looking to make a career change from engineer to manager, develop your idea into a side job, or make that little hunch of genius into your full time gig. If you're interested in learning more, fill out the form on this page to schedule a time to talk or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About IEM

The Master of Engineering with a concentration in Information Engineering Management (IEM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a specialized concentration designed primarily for engineers and people in technical positions. The concentration presents business systems and soft skills in a curriculum that is based on actual engineering industry needs and is offered completely online.