Blogs » Business » 7 Characteristics of a Great Mind!

7 Characteristics of a Great Mind!

  • 7 characteristics of a great mind


    I cannot fathom why it is that so little attention is

    given to developing the entrepreneurial mind

    within youngsters at school, college and university.

    After all, the entrepreneurial mind is responsible

    for almost everything that we enjoy and take

    for granted; from toilet roll to toothpaste. It

    disturbs me that we may be raising a whole

    generation who are lacking the three things that

    can really make them rich, namely; ideas,

    imagination and initiative!


    Through mis-education we have developed

    great workers, but not great minds! This is a shame

    because we live in the age of job insecurity and

    at the same time we are entering the age of

    entrepreneurial opportunity, where your number

    one asset is going to be the quality of your ideas.

    It has been said that great minds think alike. Quiet

    clearly they don’t all think about the same things,

    but they do all think in the same ways as follows:


    1. Great minds question assumptions

    Breakthroughs, inventions and discoveries

    in science, medicine and technology are

    usually the result of someone questioning

    or challenging the existing assumptions.

    The truth is that we would never know how

    far we could go if someone didn’t first go

    too far!


    2. Great minds are future focused – Small minds

    are often buried in the past while average

    minds are usually pre-occupied with the

    present, but extraordinary minds are always

    focused on the future. They imagine what

    could be then they make it their duty to find

    out how it can be. They are always moving

    towards a goal and working towards the

    progressive realisation of a dream.


    3. Great minds reject limitations – My friend,

    Dr Stan Harris says that, ‘barriers are not

    meant to hold you back; they are meant to

    be broken.’ As a hall of fame martial artist

    he knows that wood, ice and concrete

    can all be broken by human hands if the

    mind is in the right place. The right place for

    Dr Stan is beyond the barrier. The martial

    artist is never trying to break the barrier;

    instead they are aiming for something beyond

    the barrier and that is why they successfully

    breakthrough the barriers in their way.

    Great minds can imagine a life beyond the

    existing barriers. Instead of encouraging

    people to think within the boundaries of

    their socio-economic experience, we

    should nurture the imagination of a life

    beyond those boundaries.


    4. Great minds are solution oriented - You will

    never get a great mind to obsess and whine

    about a problem. Instead they will focus and

    concentrate on finding a solution. Solution

    orientation is the hallmark of a great mind.

    Solution orientation is the same as asking,

    seeking and knocking until the answer arrives.

    My favourite book says, ‘everyone who asks

    receives and whoever seeks will find and to

    him who knocks it shall be opened.’ This is the

    art of the entrepreneur; creating solutions for

    people at their point of need!


    5. Great minds ask extraordinary questions:

    Extraordinary questions typically begin with

    what if? Why not? How can we? These

    questions are designed to induce a state of

    creativity. For example, the creative scientist

    would say, ‘what if we put in more of this

    and less of that? A creative architect might

    ask, why not build around it? A creative

    entrepreneur may ask, how can we sell

    twice as much in half the time? These

    extraordinary questions awaken a state of

    extraordinary creativity, which then leads to

    extraordinary progress.


    6. Great minds place the burden of proof with

    the sceptics: Great minds believe that certain

    things are possible, even though they have

    no proof of this outside of their gut feeling.

    However a great mind does not feel obliged

    to prove their theory to everyone because

    they are more concerned with manifesting

    their intentions than they are with winning

    an argument. Great minds insist that the

    burden of proof lies with the sceptic. They

    must prove that it is not possible and while

    they are busy preparing their case, the great

    minds will simply get on with the job of making

    it happen!


    7. Great minds leverage from failure: Failure is

    ultimately an education that comes loaded

    with lessons about what not to do in the

    future. As such, it is life’s way of correcting

    and perfecting you. Without failure, you would

    be incapable of achieving success because

    the greatest lessons you will ever learn about

    your own success will come from your own

    failures. The most important things that you

    need to know about success will be taught

    to you in the school of hard knocks. The trick is

    to carry the learning with you into the future,

    while leaving the pain in the past!


    Limited thinking = A limited life!


    The objective in mis-education is always to limit your

    thinking. This is simply because freethinking people

    are dangerous, difficult to control and difficult to contain.

    They don’t make great workers because their

    personal standards are often too high, their tolerance

    for poor conditions is low and their goal is usually to

    quit the job as soon as possible. These people want

    more, expect more and demand more from life.

    Mis-education serves to strangle the genius, limit

    the thinking and stifle the creativity out of most

    people who go through the system. This is done in

    several ways:


    1. By limiting your options – The majority of people

    come out of the educational system as helpless job-dependents.

    They have no knowledge, skills or tools

    for making any money outside of an employer. They

    leave school, college and university and immediately

    join the race for jobs. Those who are unsuccessful

    begin claiming government benefits or they sit at

    home waiting for the phone call that never comes.


    Self-employment is seldom promoted as a viable

    and affordable alternative to employment, even

    though the majority of high earners are all self-employed.

    In this respect people have been grossly

    mis-informed. The alternative to employment is

    not un-employment (poverty, sitting at home,

    crime or begging for government help); it is self-employment!

    However, most people haven’t even

    begun to explore this possibility because they have

    been conditioned to concentrate on landing a

    good job. So much so that they have no clue how

    they would make any money without one.


    2. By feeding your fears – Much of our education system

    is based on the fear of unemployment. The suggestion

    is that if you fail in education, you will become

    unemployable or that you will at best enter the job

    market at the lowest levels. Unemployment is then

    cited as the root cause of poverty, crime, anti-social

    behaviour, broken families, drug abuse and a host of

    other dysfunctions.


    However, it is the lack of a viable alternative to

    employment that causes these problems and not

    the lack of employment itself. It is ultimately job-dependency

    that should be feared much more

    than being unable to find a job. The lack of jobs

    is a fact that we are all going to have to live with.

    But the lack of an alternative to a job is something

    we shouldn’t have to live with.


    What would happen if instead of fearing

    Unemployment; people feared becoming job

    dependent? The answer is that they would

    supplement the limited education of the schools

    with the unlimited success education of mentors.


    Thanks to mis-education, most people find out too

    late that life really offers much more. That is why,

    people should know from the very earliest stages

    that there is a sensible and sustainable alternative

    to employment – i.e. self-employment!


    They should also know:


    • That self-employment is more likely to deliver

    financial freedom than is a job.


    • That the richest people in the world (who

    started with little or nothing), did not do well

    at school and in some cases dropped out.


    • That the new economic age has made it

    more possible for more people to make more

    money, working for themselves from home,

    than they could working for somebody else.


    • That there are few if any barriers to entry for

    independent marketers and entrepreneurs.


    • That there is no shortage of opportunity, and

    that there are no limits on income for people

    who play the new game by the new rules.


    This sort of education does not produce great

    workers, because it nullifies the fear of unemployment.

    It does however, produce great thinkers by stimulating

    the entrepreneurial mind and by awakening the

    creative genius within.


    3. By rewarding compliance: Mis-education

    typically rewards the conformist and punishes the

    non-conformist. It celebrates those who work hard

    to achieve job security, whilst it merely tolerates the

    presence of those who prefer creative expressions

    like art or inventions. This system of punishment

    and reward effectively sends out a message to

    students that says; concentrate your mental energy

    on getting a good job because anything else is a

    waste of time! However, the sad experience of many

    is that concentrating on job security has been their

    biggest and most disappointing waste of time.


    This is why so many people are so disillusioned when

    they leave university with elite qualifications, but are

    forced to do jobs that are not remotely related to the

    subjects that they studied so hard for. Worse yet, there

    are many who cannot land a job at all, and are

    struggling to pay off a huge student debt. What

    went wrong here?


    These students were mis-lead into putting all their

    eggs into one basket. They banked all their hopes

    and dreams on landing a good job! No one told them

    that the chances of landing a good job are getting

    slimmer and slimmer everyday. No one told them

    that with all the will in the world, they may not land

    a good job. Worse yet, no one told them what to

    do if the job thing doesn’t work out. They were not

    prepared for the realities of life in the real world.

    Had someone told them these facts, they may

    have tapped into their innate entrepreneurial mind

    to create a series of options, contingencies and

    alternatives for success.


    What would happen if we rewarded creativity,

    initiative, enterprise and leadership in the same way

    that we reward academic achievements?

    Believe it or not, there are some cultures in the

    world that require nothing short of self-employment

    from children who make it through university. ‘You

    must own your own business,’ is the mantra they

    are exposed to on a daily basis. Even if they get a

    job, they do so as part of their education to gain

    practical experience before setting up their own

    business. For these people, business ownership is

    the point and the prize in education and a job is

    merely an extension of that education.