Module 3: Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

In this module, you will explore the entrepreneurial mindset and how it can benefit your self-leadership journey. By developing a mindset focused on growth, resilience, and adaptability, you can better navigate the challenges and opportunities in your personal and professional life. Use your Journal to reflect on your experiences and insights as you work through the activities in Module 3.


  • Understand the key traits of an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Identify areas where you can develop and strengthen your entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Reflect on your progress and growth in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

Write billboard ideas from 2 TED talks:

Step 1: Watch the Ted Talk of Amy Wilkinson, “The Secret of How to Think Like an Entrepreneur” - link here:

After watching this first video, identify the main points, the core message, and the supporting points. Write them down, to begin with.  

Once finished, close your eyes. Take a moment and imagine you are driving on a remote highway, in the middle of the mountains, in a foreign country. Millions of people use that highway every day, on their way to work. You found the video insightful, and you wish to share this knowledge with them. Think of a billboard message that you would put on the side of the road, for them to see. 

What billboard message would you write? Write it in your local language or in English. But make sure it fits a billboard sign! 

Step 2: Take a break before watching the second TED Talk, Bill Roche’s “The Power of an Entrepreneurial Mindset” - link here:  

Repeat the same as above and identify the main points, the core message, and the supporting points. Write them down as well.  

Now  think of a different message you would put on another billboard sign. Write these 2 messages on 2 pieces of paper or on your phone and have them always at hand. They might just end up being useful from time to time!       

Solve the classical candle problem: 

The candle problem, also known as Dunker’s candle problem (by Gestalt psychologist Karl Duncker), is a cognitive performance test measuring the influence of functional fixedness on a participant’s problem-solving abilities.  

The problem asks how can you fix and light a candle on a wall made of cork so that the wax from the candle doesn’t drip on the table below. To do so, you only have a candle, a box of matches, and a box of pushpins. 

Give it a moment and try to think how YOU would solve this. 

If you don’t find the answer, check the resolution below. But first, we explain what functional fixedness is. It refers to a cognitive bias that impacts an individual’s ability to be creative. It is commonly used to describe why an individual develops an inability to use an object in more ways than it is traditionally intended to be used and is a phenomenon found in problem-solving psychology. 

If we were to present the material you have as a candle, a box of matches, and a box with pushpins, how would your perception change? 

If you still haven't found the answer, check it out below:

Solution: The most efficient solution is to empty the box of pushpins, use the pushpins to nail the box to the wall, put the candle into the box, and light the candle with the match. The functional fixedness predicts that you will only see the box as a device to hold the pushpins and not immediately perceive it as a separate and functional component available to be used in solving the task. 

Use 6 Thinking Hats to get creative & innovative: 

This is a technique created by Edward de Bono, a Maltese physician, psychologist, and philosopher. It is used for problem-solving when needed to boost creativity. The idea is to take different perspectives while trying to answer questions to solve problems. 

The twist we added to it refers to assigning a famous character to each hat, so you can easily remember it, based on the specifics of that perspective. 

Step 0: First you must be faced with a problem that you don’t know how to solve, or you are unsure of its complexities. You get ready to explore and understand it, by challenging yourself to look at it from various angles. Write it down below. 

Step 1 | White Hat = Sherlock Holmes: You look only at facts, data, and information, to assess the problem and answer the questions you have. 

  • What is the objective? What is the context (who, what, when, where, why, how, how much)? 
  • What are the beliefs and opinions in play? 
  • What are the facts you know versus the interpretations you have? 
  • What information do you require? What information is missing and where can you find it? 
  • What questions need asking? 

Step 2 | Red Hat = Forrest Gump: It’s all about emotions, feelings, and intuition. Tap into that part to understand the problem. 

  • How do you feel about this? 
  • What is your initial reaction? 
  • What does your intuition tell you? 
  • What is your gut feeling? 
  • How might your feelings change over time? 

Step 3 | Black Hat = Hermione Granger from Harry Potter: You look at risks, weaknesses, and problems. 

  • What are the risks, the failure scenarios, or potential unintended consequences? 
  • Why won’t this work? What are the weaknesses? 
  • What are you forgetting that will bite you back? Where are there real dangers? 
  • What makes this more difficult than you might be assuming? 
  • What yellow hat opportunities can we deconstruct and show to be flawed? (Come back to this one after going through the yellow hat) 

Step 4 | Yellow Hat = Willie Wonka: Best known for its perspective of looking at benefits, opportunities, and options ahead. 

  • Why do you think this will be successful? How do you know this will be so beneficial? 
  • How does this make things better? What other benefits are there, not presented? 
  • What does success look like? 
  • What black hat concerns can you deconstruct and show to be flawed? 
  • What should the green hat expand upon to show how you can get there? 

Step 5 | Green Hat = Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Focused on new ideas, on exploring the world of possibilities, while employing endless creativity. 

  • If this were possible, how would you do it? Can you do this another way? 
  • What new ideas does this generate? What opportunity does this offer? 
  • What are the immediate steps after success? 
  • What odd (even implausible) scenario could you come up with based on this idea, just to generate more insights? 
  • What original white hat assumptions might you totally reverse just to see where it leads? 

Step 6 | Blue Hat = Gandalf of Lord of the Rings: Consider the greater strategic implications, involve a meta-thinking perspective, and take on a mentor role to look at the problem. 

  • What exactly are you trying to achieve? What have you achieved? 
  • How should you think about this matter? What are the relevant points to consider? 
  • How would you summarize it? 
  • What would God (any form of God) think about this? 
  • What is the Universe trying to teach you as a lesson here? 

Close the exercise by reflecting on your findings in regard to the problem at hand. 

  • What was revealed? 
  • What became possible? 
  • What can still be difficult? 
  • What do you want to do next? 

Embrace continuous learning with “Failure Autopsy”: 

Step 1 | Set the stage: If you want to work in a group, first you must set the stage, by explaining the shift in perspective, from failure to learning opportunity. If you are doing it by yourself, write this down as a mantra: “I want to learn something out of it”. 

Step 2 | Select & define a failure: Choose wisely, don’t go for the first or for the easiest to accept. Look at a personal or professional setback that really had an impact. It could be a project that didn't go as planned, a missed opportunity, or any situation where the desired outcome wasn't achieved. When moving to define it, describe the failure itself, including what you had hoped to achieve, what went wrong, and the impact it had. 

Step 3 | Analyze the failure: Do a root-cause analysis, looking at contributing factors. Identify key decisions made through the process, and understand the rationale behind them and how they impacted the outcome. Discuss also what worked well, and which were the benefits, despite the failure. 

Step 4 | Extract lessons: For this, you need to identify mistakes, errors, or missed steps with clear eyes. And extract key takeaways and insights from this. 

Step 5 | Reflect & apply growth mindset: See how the shift in perspective actually helped you look at the failure as a learning opportunity and how this contributed to your personal growth. Then try to think about how you can apply NOW this newfound knowledge to improve decision-making, prevent similar mistakes, or approach challenges differently. 

Step 6 | Share with a group: If you are working in a group, this is the best time to share, because it encourages collective learning. If you are doing it by yourself, we encourage you to share your insights with a partner, a friend, a family member, or someone close to you. Maybe they will learn something from it as well. 

Practice the “Alternate Universe” exercise: 

Step 1 | Select a failure: Begin by identifying a specific failure or challenging situation that you have experienced and are open to exploring. Ensure that the failure is something you are comfortable revisiting and analyzing. 

Step 2 | Set the context: Provide a brief overview of the failure, outlining the key decisions, actions, and circumstances that led to the outcome. This will help you to make sure you have a clear understanding of the situation. 

Step 3 | Imagine Alternate Universes: Imagine different choices, decisions, or actions you could have taken at critical points in the situation. Feel free to craft creative alternates, even if they seem unconventional. 

Step 4 | Visualize the outcomes: For each Alternate Universe, try to visualize the potential outcomes that could have resulted from those choices. Look at how each Alternate might have affected the eventual result. 

Step 5 | Process insights: Reflect on what you’ve learned about your decision-making process, the impact of different choices, and the factors that contributed to the failure. 

Step 6 | Identify takeaways: Conclude with lessons learned from reimagining the situation.

Additional step: You can also take it one step further and create an action plan based on the lessons learned, outlining specific strategies, behaviors, or approaches you wish to implement in future situations. 

Reflections on Module 3: 

  • What insights did you gain about the entrepreneurial mindset and its importance in self-leadership? 
  • What strategies have you found most effective in solving problems? 
  • How would your self-leadership and your overall success be impacted by making room for failure in your life? 

Additional resources: 



  • "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. Dweck 
  • "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth 

Closing Thoughts: 

Well done on completing Module 3 as well!  

By cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, you are setting yourself up for success in both your personal and professional life.  

Remember that developing an entrepreneurial mindset is an ongoing process, and it's essential to revisit and reevaluate your progress regularly.  

Continue your journey in Module 4, where you'll explore personal values and their role in shaping your business and self-leadership development.

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