The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to the Hogan Entrepreneurs, a group of young men and women at Chaminade University. This semester, they had been assigned my book, Managing with Aloha, as part of their coursework. Who are the Hogan Entrepreneurs?

“The Hogan Entrepreneurial Program prepares highly motivated students for entrepreneurial careers in business, government, and non-profit organizations. This interdisciplinary preparation builds their capacity to innovate, their willingness to take risk, and their sensitivity to the social significance of their business activities.”

You can read more about the program here.

I love talking to young people who want to explore the world of business, because I believe youth and business are good for each other. This time my talk had been customized especially for them –I was ready to talk about how the MWA values align with the entrepreneurial mindset.

However after looking into the young faces waiting expectantly for me to begin, I decided to wing it. Perhaps I was being selfish, but I could not resist the opportunity to let them lead me to what they wanted to talk about, and I was glad I did. This was not to be my normal “presentation.” It became a solid two hours of Q&A because “inquiring minds want to know.”

However this was the curious thing: they had a lot of questions for me, but not on the one topic I expected to talk about: entrepreneurship. I finally brought it up myself, to then learn that barely a third of those in the room expected to one day go into business for themselves, and be the entrepreneur. So what were they doing in a class called the Hogan Entrepreneurs?

These bright young minds, preparing themselves to enter business, understand something most people already in the work world need to realize: Everyone today needs to approach their job with an “entrepreneurial mindset,” —even if they aren’t the one recognized in the business as the entrepreneur who had the big business idea and got the ball rolling.

Think about it. Even if you are working for someone else, you need to think like, and behave like, an entrepreneur to achieve the greatness you are capable of.

The young men and women in that classroom fully expect they will have to “pay some dues” before they are taken seriously. If you are the one lucky enough to see their potential and hire them, take them seriously now. You’ll enjoy witnessing their entrepreneurial mindset just as much as I did.


  1. says

    What a great opportunity to get with these young folks and come away with learning of your own. Now juxtapose that with Don Blohowiak at Leadership Now and his post a few days ago on how young professionals enter the workforce unprepared. Sounds like this group is going to make some organizations very happy to have tapped into them.

  2. says

    Absolutely Chris,
    My experiences with the generation coming into the workplace now have not at all been like those that Don describes, although I do not doubt that his own observations are accurate too: both situations do exist.
    The takeaway for us is this: we have an opportunity before us to let my Chaminade experience give us new hope versus being discouraged by other experiences similar to Don’s, AND we can seize our own responsibility to lead by our good example.
    I wrote about this once before, back in October: see Among young people; our hope, our challenge.
    Mahalo nui for your comment Chris, and for reminding me of your own post! –Rosa
    Dear readers,
    Chris wrote further on this a few days ago at his Alchemy of Soulful work, where he offers a link to Don’s article at Leadership Now: go to to read Chris’s post. I like the parallel Chris drew to parenting.

  3. says

    The Entrepreneurial Mindset: 8 Rules when you are “On-Again”

    One of the coolest things about having a blog is that you can backtrack from your referral logs to see how people found you, and learn what phrase they may have typed into a search box which ended up pointing