Entrepreneurial Mindset – How does that relate to teachers? (1)

What exactly does it mean to have an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

According to Arash Asli (2018), “The entrepreneurial mindset is about a certain way of thinking — it is about the way in which you approach challenges and mistakes. It is about an inherent need to improve your skillset and to try and try again.” I would dare to add that the entrepreneurial mindset is also about taking responsibility for your choices – it is about the way in which you choose to face life and its events.

But how does that relate to teachers?

In order to make such connection, we should first revisit the concept of Beliefs and Growth vs Fixed Mindset, beautifully explained by Carol S. Dweck in her book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. Carol states that the opinion we have about ourselves deeply affects the way we lead our life. That’s how powerful our beliefs are, and teachers tend to hold very strong beliefs about almost everything, especially about themselves — yes, I know that every human being does that, but since teachers hold in their hands the future of many, it is of paramount importance that they become more aware of such beliefs and their influence.

How do you want to lead your life? What kind of relationships do you want to develop? What is your legacy to this world? How are you going to make it happen?

That’s when studying and understanding our own mindset is quite helpful. Teachers usually lecture their learners about developing the Growth Mindset, facing their challenges, stepping outside their comfort zone… But are we, teachers, capable of doing the same? We theoretically know that it is better to have a Growth Mindset, but do we truly have it when it comes to the way we see our own profession and the possibilities we have in our career?


From 0 to 10, how much do you believe in yourself? Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time? How do you intend to get there? All these questions can only be answered if we look at our present state – our future is built here and now, every day, with every choice we make (or don’t).


Going back to our initial questions, what exactly does it mean to have an Entrepreneurial Mindset? and But how does that relate to teachers?, I’d like to invite you to explore the idea of embracing challenges and taking full responsibility for your choices. The idea that Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it is one way to get teachers started on becoming more entrepreneurial and, therefore, being better able to take action, even when we are scared; be resourceful, making do with what we have (i.e. lack of resources won’t stop us); have this inner restlessness that drives us forward; see potential without fear of making mistakes; embrace change and challenge without getting stuck in the past; be resilient = fail, recover, move on quickly without wallowing; keep our ears wide open, and focus on what really matters. Hope it makes as much sense to you as it makes to me!



Asli, A. (2018) Forbes [online] Available at

www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/05/25/6-tips-for-growing-with-an-entrepreneurial-mindset/#45e0137a1343 [Accessed 15 Mar 2020]

Dweck, C. (2018) ‘Mindset – A Nova Psicologia do Sucesso’. RJ: Schwarcz S.A.

Gebhard, J. and Oprandy, R. (2005) ‘Language Teaching Awareness- A Guide to Exploring Beliefs and Practices’. USA: Cambridge University Press

Turner, M. (2015) Entrepreneur [online] Available at www.entrepreneur.com/article/243054 [Accessed 15 Mar 2020]

Lenora Haranaka

Lenora Haranaka is a teacher and teacher trainer based in Campinas-SP, Brazil. She has been an English language teacher since 1998 and currently works at Associação Cultura Inglesa São Paulo, where she has worked as a coach and mentor training novice and experienced teachers since 2014 and as an Assistant Manager since 2019. An ICELT and DELTA holder, she has presented in ABCI and Braz-Tesol conferences. Her academic interests are Continuous Professional Development, Teacher Training, Teaching Teens and YLS, Pronunciation, ELT Methodology and Leadership & Management in Education.

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