Take your business venture to the next level by embracing the innovative attitude and becoming a successful, innovative entrepreneur.
In the 21st century we live in an increasingly competitive and constantly moving market; the challenge of any successful venture is to be able to position itself in that context. As consumers we are more demanding, we want the best, in the shortest possible time, and at the lowest possible price. Technology and social media have determined new work standards and those who cannot rise to those standards run the risk of being left out of the competition.
Today, as much as it hurts us to say it: entrepreneurs who do a bad job will not even be able to start; entrepreneurs who do a good job will go out of business; entrepreneurs who do a very good job will get mediocre results; entrepreneurs who do excellent work will get very good results. Only entrepreneurs who do extraordinary work will obtain excellent results that will lead to success.
How does one become an extraordinary entrepreneur? The answer is innovation. Innovation results in extraordinary products or services that enable us to achieve success in the market today.
In the 21st century, resistance to change is not an option, every entrepreneur must develop their attitude and innovative capacity to meet the demands and changes of the market.
We could say then that innovation is one of the consequences of raising work standards towards the extraordinary, which implies finding and offering solutions out of the ordinary.
Just as there is the entrepreneurial attitude as a great umbrella that frames the skills of an entrepreneur, within it there is the innovative attitude. The innovative attitude is a basic characteristic of every entrepreneur, but the degree of intensity varies in each case.
There are no innovative ventures, only innovative people. If you want to take the next step in your business by innovating or want to create an innovative business, stop focusing on market opportunities and begin to focus on developing the skills to be ready to detect the needs in a new reality and have the ability to create something to satisfy them.
Innovative people take the pre-existing and redesign it with the goal of improving it, or in some cases create something entirely new. Innovation results in tools created by human ingenuity to improve the quality of life for millions of people.
There would be no Apple without Steve Jobs; there wouldn’t be a Tesla without Elon Musk; There would be no Amazon without Jeff Bezos. But what is even more important is that not all these companies would exist without customers who love their products and services. So these innovative geniuses understood the needs of their customers and offered innovative solutions. The key then is not only innovation, but finding and offering an innovative solution aimed at meeting the needs of people–of many, many people.
The 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur
Always look forward and up
Innovation is highly related to continuous improvement. Innovative people don’t settle for what’s out there, they always want to go for a little more.
Constant fighters of “It was always done like this” seek change to improve standards in their results, and thus deliver more efficient solutions to the market. Innovators are fine, but they want MORE, and move up and forward. That is why innovators are often portrayed as positive and somewhat restless people. Having a positive attitude is essential for any area of life and any business. In order to innovate, it is necessary to not only have a positive attitude, but a constant attitude of personal and professional improvement that spreads to the business. Wanting to grow and improve is then almost more important than having a positive attitude to innovate.
Innovators are Mad Hatters
Most people do not even dare to dream something if they do not know how to achieve it. In many of my inquiries I ask questions such as: Would you like your business to expand throughout the country? And the most common answer is “I don’t know, I can’t even imagine it, I wouldn’t know HOW to do it.” I call this “the tyranny of the HOW”. It happens when we let not knowing how to do something limit our creative capacity. We let uncertainty and the lack of concrete answers limit our ability to dream and create a new reality from it. Innovative people ask the HOW at the end of the process and not at the beginning. When we really want something, we find all the Hows along the way, when we walk.
The right questions to foster our innovative spirit are: Why? Why not? What if …? What would happen if…?
Every great invention was first a great dream of someone who dared to dream and fantasize big.
The mad hatter in the book Alice in Wonderland says, “Sometimes I think six impossible things before breakfast”, this is an exercise that encourages our creativity, awakens our dreaming spirit and leads us to start the day thinking differently.
Innovative entrepreneurs are futuristic
Creative personalities are often confused with innovative ones. Creative people have the ability to create new realities, they have many ideas, flexibility in their approach; but an innovative person has something else, which is that they are seekers of change whose gaze is oriented to the future with the aim of finding and providing solutions to society. While the creative person may be left alone in the present and create a wonderful piece of art or isolated idea, the innovator goes much further. The innovator has a vision and purpose for change; and seeks to disrupt entire industries and its creations can impact future generations. Sustainability and innovation are highly related.
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Innovators play devil’s advocates
Innovative entrepreneurs often have the attitude of “Devil’s Advocate.” They go against the established and always look at a reality from different perspectives. “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect,” says Mark Twain. If we want to innovate, if we want to achieve something different, we must lead ourselves to think differently and question what is established. It is useless to see reality and think like most when we want to create something new. It is for this reason that the most diverse work teams are the most effective when it comes to innovating. We are not used to dissent, they taught us that good work teams are those in which the members are all the same and agree on everything. In the twentieth century school, few were the brave who dared to raise their hands to say that they did not agree with the teacher or that they had not understood the explanation. The reality is that it was not well seen to interrupt and much less to disagree on something. Some of us have even been punished for it.
We are trained to think and work in “series” in the Fordist style, it is up to us to promote our innovative attitude because perhaps it does not come naturally to us. To foster an innovative spirit then we must take ourselves to different places, talk with people who think differently from us, and above all, question what is established. The status quo is what we must challenge to innovate. Highly innovative people are curious, dreamy, and tend to question what other people accept without even thinking that there may be the possibility of change.
Innovative entrepreneurs are attentive servers
Innovation is not fun, it is not creativity, it is having an eye on today’s society to understand it better than anyone else and create solutions that increase their well-being, comfort, or even happiness.
Far from being scientists locked up in their offices, innovators have to go out into the world in order to innovate. The first mistake an entrepreneur who wants to innovate makes is to focus on their own needs instead of paying attention to the needs of others. The second mistake is paying attention to the needs of a small group of people, generally loved ones, family & friends; which is almost the same as looking at your own needs. The successful innovative entrepreneur focuses on the macro, on society and the plurality of needs, and above all, on the contribution that their product / service will make in their lives.
Innovative people are very observant and attentive to details and how others behave: from their emotions and motivations, to their most basic needs. Empathy is a fundamental tool to understand how to devise solutions to improve the quality of life. This ability is achieved by observing and listening to the client, or future client, putting their needs above ours first.
Innovators are gurus
They say that the guru is that person who makes us see simple truths that we could not see for ourselves. Innovators do something similar, in general, when we see something innovative that improves our life we think: Why didn’t I think of it? The simpler and user-friendly a product is, the more innovative it is. One of the world’s leading innovators Elon Musk says, “If you need an instruction manual, it’s already broken.”
The innovative attitude is characterized by the simplicity in the search for solutions that is reflected in the final product or service. Innovation simplifies life, never complicates it. To innovate, the key is to stop thinking about “twisted” ideas and start looking for obvious solutions that until now seemed impossible to satisfy.
Humility is another of the characteristics of great innovators, it allows them to have an attitude of eternal learners where they always find the place to improve and learn something new. Who doubts nothing, knows nothing and does not allow themselves to grow. The flexibility, simplicity and humility of the innovative entrepreneur gives them the necessary openness to discover new opportunities, receive constructive opinions about their work and as a consequence grow a little more every day.
Innovators just do it
Many people have ideas, but there are few who bring those ideas to the plane of reality. What differentiates innovative entrepreneurs is that they make, prototype, and test their ideas in the marketplace. Doing, learning, and redoing is part of the innovation implementation process. The innovative attitude is a constant exploration of opportunities in thinking, and above all, in doing. The innovator makes his way by walking and builds his new reality at each step. Opportunities and inspiration arise from doing, and not from waiting for it to happen.
This article was originally written in Spanish by Daniela De Lucia. Translated for Latinas in Business by Victoria Arena.
About the author: Daniela De Lucia holds a Cum Laudae Degree in Public and Institutional Relations and Postgraduate Degree in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching from Austral University. She is a Certified Strategic Coach with Tony Robbins (Robbins Madanes Trained Coach), entrepreneur in personal and professional development, personal branding specialist, and communicator on Instagram with a community of more than 100k followers.