#3: The Entrepreneurial Mindset: 3 Invaluable Mindsets That Will Change The Way You Look At The World

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently a Software Engineer at Facebook and the Co-Founder & CTO at a startup named Vize. Previously, I have interned with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs. Learn about me at www.julianalvarez.me

In this solo episode, Julian explains why your mindset is the most valuable tool that you have as an entrepreneur and why It is one of the greatest determinants of your success in both your professional and personal life.

In this episode, we’ll discuss 3 invaluable mindsets

  1. Problems Are Opportunities Mindset
  2. Purpose-Driven Mindset
  3. Moonshot Mindset

Here is a breakdown of the things we’ll discuss:

  • Why your mindset is the greatest determinant of your success [1:49]
  • The Problems Are Opportunities Mindset [6:40]
  • How Jeff Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon [12:44]
  • The Purpose-Driven Mindset [15:29]
  • The Importance of having a Purpose-Driven Mindset [15:52]
  • How to discover what your Massively Transformative Purpose [26:42]
  • The Moonshot Mindset [28:26]
  • Why should you aim for 10X exponential improvements instead of 10% incremental improvements? [29:26]
  • Practical tips on how to apply 10x thinking, think creatively, and generate a ton of ideas [35:04]
Detailed Show Notes

Why is your mindset the greatest determinant of your success?

We all want to be successful in both our personal and professional life, regardless of what success means to us. But if you don’t have the right mindset, you’re not going to get to where you want to go because most barriers in life are psychological, not technical.

You might not believe me but let’s take a closer look at why your mindset is the defining factor in your success.

When you fail at something, you might think that the reason you failed is because you didn’t have the time, money, experience, technology, or people that you needed to succeed. But the truth is that all of these things are resources and although not having the resources you need may be the reason you failed, it is not the defining factor. Failure is never about the lack of resources, it is about a lack of resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is the defining factor in our success and our emotions are the greatest resources that we have at our disposal.

Your mindset is important because how your look at the world determines how you feel at any moment—it directly influences your emotions. And how you feel at any moment determines how you respond—it determines what decisions you end up making. And your life is ultimately the result of all of the decisions that you make in your life.

Therefore, our mindset is the source of where we currently are in life and it is the key predictor of our future success.

Let’s take a look at the three invaluable mindsets

1. Problems Are Opportunities Mindset

What is a Problems Are Opportunities Mindset?

A problems are opportunities mindset is one where you see opportunities where others see problems.

The grand majority of people see problems as something negative, they try to get rid of them all or they try to cover them up.

But the problem is not that we have problems. The problem is that we see problems as problems.

We will always have problems, they are a natural part of life. This means that if you see problems as something negative, you are going to needlessly suffer and create a massive amount of unnecessary stress in your life.

I know that problems aren’t always fun but the positive upside from the opportunities for growth and business that problems create are far more rewarding than how inconvenient or painful a problem can be.

Problems become gifts once you realize that they are opportunities in disguise.

Don’t let their appearance fool you. You learn and grow the most during the process of solving problems and overcoming challenges.

Problems are how we sculpt our souls. Problems create resistance and pushing against their resistance helps us exercise our growth.

As long as there are problems, there will be opportunities and there will always be problems which means there will always be opportunities.

Here are two examples of how you can reframe problems:

  1. I don’t have problems, I have puzzles
  2. I don’t have problems, I have opportunities

With a Problems Are Opportunities Mindset…

  1. You understand that the world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.
  2. You look at the world not just for what it is but for what it can be.
  3. Where others see scarcity, you see an abundance of opportunity.
  4. You start to make a list of the problems you learn about so that you can think about how you can solve them.

If you want to come up with a great idea, find a problem you are really passionate about and solve it

But ideas don’t just come from problems, they can also come from insights. Jeff Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon after stumbling across a staggering insight. Here is the story of how he explains coming up with the idea for Amazon

In the spring of 94 web usage was growing at 2300% a year. You have to keep in mind human beings aren’t good at understanding exponential growth; it’s just not something we see in our everyday life. But things don’t grow this fast outside of Petri dishes. It just doesn’t happen. When I saw this, I said, okay, what’s a business plan that might make sense in the context of that growth?

Jeff ended up picking books as the product he would start selling online because there were 3 million books at that time and with a huge catalog of books, he knew he could build something online that you just couldn’t build any other way.

Jeff started with a solution (the Internet) and found a problem that the internet could solve (a huge catalog of books).

2. Purpose-Driven Mindset

What is a Purpose-Driven Mindset?

A purpose-driven mindset is one where your decisions and your focus are guided by your core purpose or the purpose of an organization. Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasing yourself.

The Importance of Having a Purpose-Driven Mindset

  1. A Purpose-Driven Mindset is essential because we are purpose-driven beings. We need reasons that resonate with us in order to be motivated to do anything. We are unlikely to respond to suggestions, tips, or advice unless we are given reasons.
  2. A Powerful enough WHY is capable of bearing any HOW
  3. When serving others on a massive scale becomes your north star, you’ll have a powerful enough reason to take massive action, push past fear, and continue getting up after you have been repeatedly knocked down. We all want to be better and grow but it is hard to become better and to grow just for the sake of wanting to grow. You need something more powerful than a desire for growth, you need a reason to grow. You need a purpose that will fuel your growth. And when that purpose is in service of humanity, when that purpose extends far beyond yourself, it becomes so captivating that you have no choice but to grow and work to fulfill that purpose.

With A Purpose-Driven Mindset…

  1. You live a passion-driven life, and you use your Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) as the canvas upon which you plan and execute your future Moonshots (big ideas). You know that purpose, powered by emotion, is the fuel required to implement your Moonshots.
  2. You fully embrace your Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) and are proud to share it with the world. As a leader, you use your MTP to attract top talent, partners, and investors.
  3. As an entrepreneur, you increasingly focus your capabilities and resources on creating solutions that transform whole markets and industries.
  4. You understand that the most profound truths, our greatest motivators, and the most powerful drivers of human emotion are buried beneath the surface are require digging.
  5. You operate with intentionality and the most frequent question you ask yourself and others is WHY. Why do I do what I do? Why do I get up in the morning? Why do I enjoy doing this?
    • What is the most common question that kids ask? They repeatedly ask why, why, why because asking WHY is the most powerful tool that they have for understanding the world. What if you had that same insatiable curiosity for understanding yourself and others? What could you learn about yourself?

The objective of a Purpose-Driven Mindset (an MTP) is perhaps best summed up by this quote: “Find something you would die for, and live for it.”

A man who does not have something for which he is willing to die for isn’t fit to live —MLK

  • MLK literally died for something he so strongly believed in and his vision of the world changed humanity.

Commit yourself to a vision of the world that you’ll never practically achieve but you’ll die trying —Simon Sinek

So, are you living a life of purpose? What would change in your personal or work life if you had a Purpose-Driven Mindset?

One of the first steps to developing a Purpose-Driven Mindset is to create your MTP.

Here are the attributes of an effective MTP:

  1. It’s uniquely yours…
  2. It feels true for you (you are proud of it)…
  3. It’s driven by emotional energy (Wonder, Awe, Excitement, Pain…), that fuels your drive to pursue big dreams…
  4. You are willing to commit your life to it.

Here are some questions to help you explore your purpose…

  • If I gave you $1 billion to change the world, what would you do with it? Why?
  • What area has given you the greatest excitement and wonder? Why?
  • What is an injustice you’ve experienced that needs to be solved? Why do you want to solve it?
  • What do I want my legacy to be? Why?
  • Go back to when you were a kid, and think about what inspired you. What did you dream about? What did you want to do as a kid before the world told you “No”?

3. Moonshot Mindset

What is a Moonshot Mindset?

A Moonshot mindset is aiming for a 10x exponential improvement instead of a 10% incremental improvement.

Having a Moonshot Mindset means applying 10x thinking to all of your efforts and challenges.

The main question here is: How can you go 10x bigger, better, faster, or cheaper?

WITH A MOONSHOT MINDSET…

  1. You understand that “the day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” Your Moonshot Mindset gives you permission to tackle crazy ideas.
  2. You are willing to take the risks necessary to transform industries and society for the better. You recognize that those with a Moonshot Mindset are the innovators making the world a better place, moving humanity forward, and charting the future.
  3. You are willing to aim at billion-person challenges. You recognize that the world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.
  4. As a leader, you know that Moonshots focus and motivate your team and help you attract the best talent in the world. Bold ideas attract bold people.

Why should you aim for 10X exponential improvements instead of 10% incremental improvements? I’ll give you six reasons:

  1. When you try to do 10% better, you’re putting yourself in direct competition with everyone else in your industry. And it’s a competition that you’re likely to lose.
  2. If you come into a competitive market with a new solution that is 10%, 50% or even 2x better, your competitors’ users or customers are not going to be willing to jump ship. Your product needs to be 10x better in order for users to leave the comfort of your competitor’s product.
  3. When you shoot for 10X improvement and try to do something radically hard, you approach the problem you’re solving in a completely different way.
  4. 10x vs 10% incremental improvement is 100 times more worth it… and it’s never 100 times harder.
  5. If you don’t pursue 10x improvements, eventually a competitor will and you’ll go out of business
    • In our world, change is the only constant and the rate of change is increasing. This means that even if you are one of the best companies in your industry, you must either disrupt yourself, or someone else eventually will. Disrupt or be disrupted.
  6. Bold ideas attract bold people. Bold ideas are difficult but a bold idea is likely to attract the bold people you need to bring an idea to life.

Examples Of A Moonshot Mindset In Action

  • If I tell you the car has to run on 50mpg, fine, you can retool your car a little bit. But if I tell you it has to run on a gallon of gas for 500 miles, you have to start over.
  • When Kennedy said that we would put a man on the moon, we had no idea how we were going to do it or that it would even be possible but we decided we were going to do it anyway. Bold ideas attract bold people needed to bring the idea to life
  • Uber made a transportation solution 10x better than taxis, Airbnb made a travel experience 10x better, slack made a communication experience 10x better than email, and Spotify made a solution so good that it was better than free pirated music.

How To Do 10x Thinking?

  1. Find a problem you are really passionate about solving
    • Sources to find problems
      • Google the UN’s Global Issues
      • Google the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals
      • Google for problems in different countries
      • Interviews with guests on this podcast!
    • Questions you can ask to find your moonshot
      • If I was to give you a billion dollars and I told you to go make the biggest impact with this billion dollars, what would you do with it, where would you invest it, what problems would you solve with it?
      • What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What problem would you try to solve if you knew you could not fail?
      • What’s something you wish existed that doesn’t?
  2. Engage your creativity to think through how you can solve that problem
    • The mindset here is that creativity is your superpower. The mind is infinite in its ability to imagine. Because we live in a world with exponential technologies and incredibly fast computing power at low costs, we are able to solve problems we could never solve before. This means that the greatest limitation to your potential is the limitation of what the mind fails to imagine and believe is possible.Practical
    • Tips For How To Apply 10x Thinking, Be More Creative & Generate Tons of Ideas
      1. Creativity is a muscle, you either use it or lose it → If you don’t think you are a creative person, that’s probably because your creativity muscle is untrained since you never put it to use.
      2. Brainstorm with other people
        • Some of the best ideas happen as a result of more than one mind coming together. 1+1≠2.
        • One of the core pillars of generating good ideas is WHO is in the room.
      3. Suspend Judgement
        • If you are brainstorming ideas with others, separate the idea generation phase from the prioritization phase.
        • This means that you don’t say things like “We’ve already tried that, it’s too hard, we don’t have time…”. You don’t want constraints of time, money, and other resources to break the flow of creativity.
        • When you suspend judgment, you create a safe space for ideas to flow freely. Expressing your ideas to others is a vulnerable process because you are afraid it might not be a good idea or that others might shoot it down. Someone’s 1st idea might not be good but their 7th idea might be great and they will only get to the 7th idea if you suspend judgement.
      4. Don’t try to come up with a great idea, that is not the goal. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible and a by-product of that goal is that you will generate great ideas in the process.
      5. You don’t come up with a moonshot idea once and then you are done generating ideas. You have to make sure you are consistently generating new ideas. Execution is what brings an idea to life and you need ideas to help you execute better. For example, you will need ideas on what features to build, on how you are going to lead your team, on how you are going to structure the operations of your company, on how to design the product, and on how to market the product. Ideas are needed for every area of execution.
        • Make a habit out of consistently meeting up with your team so that you can brainstorm ideas on how to make your product incredible and to think through how you can solve your problems and challenges
      6. It is hard to look at your current product and try to think about how you can make it 10x better. A 10x improvement often requires an entirely different solution which is why you have to go back to the core problem and think about better ways to approach it. If you are fixated on the solution, you’ll fall into the trap of thinking about incremental improvements.

As an entrepreneur, all you have to do is not look at the world as it it but rather look at the world for what it can be because we can create any future we want if we can imagine it. Our job is not just to imagine it but to live in that world so vividly that people think you are hallucinating. Dream so big that people think you are absolutely crazy and if people don’t think you are crazy then dream even bigger.

What ideas would you come up with if you had a moonshot mindset? How would your business be different?

Our world is shaped by a few people with crazy ideas, fueled by their Massively Transformative Purpose.

Will you be one of them?

Sources

Resources


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