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The Role Model Mindset:

What To Look For In Your Business Inspiration

Anyone starting on a new enterprise needs to remember that no business is an island. Though it might work for a while, operating as a separate entity from your spare room is simply never going to help you achieve the success levels that your company deserves. Hence, you’ll want to bring others onboard and, as we’ll discover here, you may also want to let the lessons of a few role models into the fold.

Whether your old high school teacher or a big-time business mogul, keeping role models in mind throughout your business efforts can prove invaluable for strengthening your resolve, improving your projects, and generally keeping your eyes on the prize. 

The question is, who exactly should you choose for this task? There are plenty of guides out there pointing towards notable business figures, and each of these from Steve jobs right through to Anne Mulcahy can be incredible guides. Alternatively, you may prefer to select someone from your office, or cherry pick a big business figure whose journey reminds you of your own. The technicalities don’t matter, as long as you ensure that your role model has the following positive lessons to teach. 

Challenges under their belts


Given that a business role model is largely beneficial for seeing you through the tough times, it makes sense to select someone who has faced their fair share of challenges. The good news here is that business figures of all shapes and sizes typically face some kinds of setbacks along the way. Even big names like Larry Page have had to deal with an onslaught at some stage. 

Realising just how many business figures face difficulty along the way can, in itself, prove comforting. Further than that, settling on a role model and looking at their unique challenges can show you how the best minds overcome the worst of times. Then, if you ever find yourself facing similar setbacks, you’ll have the tools and reassurance behind you to rebuild good foundations just like those iconic figures once did. 

Industry recognition

You don’t need to select a big business name to create a reliable role model for yourself, but you do need to find someone who’s gained industry recognition in their sphere. After all, a role model is there to help you set your eye on the prize, and recognition is perhaps the best prize of all on the business front. 

Most notably, the best role models are those who have really made their marks. Individuals like Sterling Bank’s Anne Boden or Trimantium’s Phil Kingston are fantastic examples here for their achievements in starting entirely new enterprises in existing fields. Or, you may want to seek industry award-winners like Suzan Hopmanne, who have a trophy to prove why following in their footsteps is worth your while. 

Either way, taking the time to look at how these individuals have achieved such high levels of recognition is the single best way to do the same yourself. Think about their business ideas, their career histories, and their general outlooks. Then, consider how you can apply similar thinking to set your own efforts apart in those fundamental ways. 

Creative drives


In business, we often make the mistake of turning to the logical thinkers to take us further but creative role models are often the best. After all, there are undeniable creative elements in the running of a business, with marketing, product development and more requiring you to switch off from logic and switch on to something else altogether. 

In some ways, trailblazers like those mentioned above work well here, too, with their groundbreaking ideas earning them the industry recognition that we’ve already covered. But, you may want to go even further with this focus. Regardless of how well-known they are within the business world specifically, creative role-models in general provide a fantastic outlook with regards to the critical, innovative outlook that’s guaranteed to help you stand apart. 

Humble at heart

There’s a temptation to turn to the biggest names in business here, and this can be useful but, ultimately, big-time isn’t always best. After all, as well as setting yourself up for impossible goals, focusing on the biggest business names could see you falling into behaviours that will never serve a smaller enterprise. 

Rather, looking to humble entrepreneurs could prove a lot more beneficial. After all, staying humble even during success allows you to stay in touch with clients and acknowledge that you have more to learn. What better lesson could any role model possibly offer than that?



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