Seeing the world through the lens of possibility

Below is the latest post from our executive director of the code school Jessica Mitsch’s blog, Trained for the Future on 

I’m an avid listener of podcasts, and one of my favorite is “How I Built This” on NPR. On the show, entrepreneurs are interviewed about the ideas and creations they’ve brought to life. Several entrepreneurs in the tech space have been interviewed, including the people behind Warby Parker and Airbnb, as well as Angie’s List and Instagram.

I’ve had the great privilege to work among and spend time with a great many entrepreneurs in my role at The Iron Yard. Just last week, I had a conversation with a coworker about what makes an entrepreneur great, and ultimately, it led me to reexamine how we define who is an entrepreneur.

The way I see it, the textbook definition of entrepreneur — “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise” — is far too narrow. I prefer to broaden the definition of entrepreneur to “a person who sees the world through the lens of what’s possible.”

What can we learn from the entrepreneurial mindset?

I’m constantly awestruck by the entrepreneurial community. It’s a bunch of people who look at a problem as something positive: an opportunity to build a solution. Entrepreneurs tend to match that solution-oriented mindset with instinctual persistence, and the combined ethos has led to the creation of every innovative business in our world today.

Taking a snapshot of the past 15 years alone, we’ve seen the rise of technology and companies that have completely changed the way we interact with each other. We communicate over smart devices that were born in the 2000s — the iPhone, for example, was first announced in 2007. We use social software like Facebook (founded in 2004), Twitter (founded in 2006) and WhatsApp (founded in 2009). Technology has even changed the way we get from point A to point B with mapping services on our smartphones and ride share companies like Waze (founded in 2008) and Lyft (founded in 2012). All of this has happened through entrepreneurship, and it’s happening at a quicker rate than ever before.

I think we can all learn a thing or two from the entrepreneurial mindset as we approach our daily jobs. How would our days change if we looked at each problem through the lens of what’s possible?

I sat down with Chris Heivly, the co-founder of MapQuest, to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey and how the rest of us can apply an entrepreneurial mindset to our daily lives:

Read the rest of Jessica’s article on InfoWorld here.

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