3 Ways of Thinking to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset


Peter J. Cahill, an Australian entrepreneur has identified a simple tool he calls the ABC Principle.  It includes learning three different ways of thinking and regardless of which one is most natural to you, stepping outside your comfort zone so that you can use which ever method works best in a given situation.

The ABCs are:

A. Abstract thinking

Einstein once said “What counts can’t always be counted, and what can be counted doesn’t always count.” That’s what abstract thinking is all about.  It’s not tangible and it may not fit into a spreadsheet, but the results that flow from it can.  Thinking skills.  Beliefs. Confidence.  Imagination.  Visionary skills.  Optimism.  Consciousness.  Mindset.  And that’s just for starters.

B. Business intellect thinking

Business intellect thinking encompasses all your measurable business knowledge and skills such as figures, data, strategies, analysis, systems and qualifications. Many business people feel most comfortable in this space.

Most large corporations are stuck in this type of thinking.  If an entrepreneur is sharp, they understand this type of thinking and find ways of beating big corporations at their own game by thinking around them using abstract and creative thinking.

C. Creative thinking

Creative thinking is where great ideas are born.  It’s not exclusive to arty types and designers, but is a natural part all of us.  You use Creative thinking every morning during the simple act of selecting your outfit for the day or when planning a healthy meal.

This is the type of thinking that fuels your entrepreneurial engine.

Finding your comfort zone

Regardless of whether you naturally favor abstract thinking, business intellectual thinking or creative thinking, each of us has a particular way of operating that we’re most comfortable with.

Moving out of that comfort zone and into the other two ways of thinking is what entrepreneurs do best. Corporate executives and big companies don’t tend to do it anywhere near as well as soloists, and some hardly do at all.

The entrepreneur zone

Abstract, business intellect and creative thinking are like three intersecting circles. The sweet spot in the middle where the three overlap can be elusive, but is well-worth striving for.

Cahill calls it the “entrepreneur zone,” and it’s the best place to be if you want to think and behave like a true entrepreneur.


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