The Entrepreneurial Mindset


Gary Schoeniger is an author, educator and entrepreneur. He is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of Mindset. In this podcast, Gary shares his philosophy on Mindset and his research accumulated over the past 25 years. He highlights the differences related to the causal and effectual reasoning. Causal, the must-know-before-you-go approach, is a learned process whereas Effectual, must-go-before-you-know, is our natural thought process for exploration and learning.

Gary says, it is through formal education and society that the effectual reasoning is replaced and we are conditioned to a causal thought process. This in turn stifles the way in which we approach education, employment and entrepreneurship. Gary is careful to delineate and expand upon the definition of entrepreneurial thinking to be that of a detective that takes on an iterative process of discovery after learning about a problem to discover the solution.

Through Gary’s insight and sharing we learn about his Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative program that serves to guide corporations, governmental, nonprofit and educational organizations in adapting the mindset for a true entrepreneurial path. Also, he shares how to best foster environments in which people, students and employees can thrive and be engaged.

He emphasizes the deficit in engagement starting as early as elementary school and growing exponentially into adulthood and into the workplace. By embracing the HOPE theory individuals unlock their inhibitions and re-engage in learning. When educators embrace the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, they create an environment in which they step back from their “Stand and Deliver” role into one of mentors and facilitators. They enable students to identify problems that are important to them and discover the path to solution on their own by self-directed learning and collaboration with peers. These skills lead to lifelong learners that are engaged in life in general.

Gary also shares the details with his first meeting with his co-author, Clifton Taulbert of the book Who Owns the Ice House?, Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur. We get to hear of Taulbert’s humble start in life and the uncle that changed his path and opened his eyes to thinking beyond the pre-planned life he thought was intended. Through this impromptu meeting while listening to Taulbert, he had his own aha moment and realized the connection of the key traits in the entrepreneurship thought processes.

Gary shares a few traits that enable success, including optimism, persistence, resilience, reliability and the drive to form a network and support system. All of these traits whether inherent or learned are exhibited in entrepreneurs across the board regardless of socioeconomic background, endeavors, and resources.

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