Will tech layoffs spark a new generation of entrepreneurs?

Guest post by John Mullins, author of Break the Rules! The Six Counter–Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World.

It’s a worrying time for many in the tech industry and other sectors across the world. A recession is looming, and job losses have already become a common fixture in the news cycle. Microsoft, Meta, Deliveroo, and Yahoo are just some of the brands who have recently announced huge cuts to their workforce, causing some to refer to the current climate as the great tech reshuffle. 

Will tech layoffs spark a new generation of entrepreneurs?

With swathes of talented people finding themselves at a crossroads, such a moment could mark a turning point in the business landscape – and be the spark that alights a new wave of entrepreneurs and start-ups taking the world by storm.

Why? Challenging times and talk of a recession often cause traditional businesses to pull up the drawbridge. They stop taking risks, streamline operations and go through their budgets with a microscope to rein in any ‘unnecessary’ spending. But these are the conditions when entrepreneurs thrive, grabbing promising opportunities in a less competitive environment and picking up people and other resources that they couldn’t attract otherwise. How? By using their counter-conventional entrepreneurial mindsets to break the conventional rules:

“Yes, we can!”: When asked by a prospective customer whether they can do something promising that’s entirely new and unfamiliar and falls outside their current competencies, entrepreneurs say “Yes, we can!”. Then they figure out how! 
“Problem-first, not product-first, logic: Entrepreneurs know that if they solve genuine customer problems their businesses will thrive! 
Think narrow, not broad: Once success is established in a tiny market, entrepreneurs know learning happens to enable their businesses to grow from there. 
Ask for the cash, ride the float: By getting customers to pay in advance, and by paying their suppliers afterwards, entrepreneurs put that spare cash into growing their businesses.  
Beg, borrow, but don’t steal: “Borrowing” the resources an entrepreneur needs to start something new beats investing in those resources, hands-down.
Instead of asking permission, beg forgiveness later: When the legal or regulatory landscape is ambiguous or uncertain, entrepreneurs simply plow ahead.  

So, if you find yourself with the opportunity to restart your career and consider taking the plunge into an entrepreneurial journey, how can you set yourself up for success? I suggest that adopting and mastering one or more of these mindsets and making them your own can help you to overcome challenges, mitigate risk and respond to new opportunities like a pro. And, just possibly, change the world, or at least your small corner of it. Because why not now, and why not you? 

John Mullins is an Associate Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and author of new book, Break the Rules! The Six Counter–Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World (published by Wiley, £21.99).

In Break the Rules!: The Six Counter-Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World, celebrated London Business School entrepreneurship professor, keynote speaker, and best-selling author Dr. John Mullins delivers an eye-opening and insightful exploration of what sets successful entrepreneurs apart from other business people and from those who fail to reach their goals. You’ll discover a compelling argument that successful entrepreneurs exhibit one or more of the six break-the-rules mindsets revealed in this book.

Each of these six mindsets can be learned, practiced, and built upon?by anyone, in any business setting large or small, old or new?, to create thriving businesses that grow and prosper. Mullins draws on over two decades of research to show you how to do exactly that. You’ll also find:

Explanations of why the six break-the-rules mindsets fly in the face of conventional business and business school wisdom
Strategies for dealing with, skating around, or otherwise overcoming the daunting obstacles that stand in every innovator’s way
Ways to challenge assumptions and mitigate risk in order to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves along your entrepreneurial path
Steps you can take now to make one or more of these mindsets your own.

An essential new take on entrepreneurship and on what it takes to be or become more “entrepreneurial,” Break the Rules!sheds new light on an oft-discussed?but rarely understood?area of business.

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