Dr. Vivek Cheba on the Art of Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Many entrepreneurs have been left feeling deflated after the pandemic wreaked havoc on the global economy. Some have felt backed into a corner and forced to throw in the towel. Others persist and attempt to pivot. Yet Dr. Vivek Cheba believes the entrepreneurial spirit does not leave a person, no matter the challenges faced. Here […]

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Many entrepreneurs have been left feeling deflated after the pandemic wreaked havoc on the global economy. Some have felt backed into a corner and forced to throw in the towel. Others persist and attempt to pivot. Yet Dr. Vivek Cheba believes the entrepreneurial spirit does not leave a person, no matter the challenges faced.

Here we interview Calgary orthodontist Dr. Vivek Cheba on what the pandemic has meant to entrepreneurs and how they can build resilience despite the challenges.

Why do you think it is important to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on entrepreneurs?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Small businesses are a part of the foundation of the economy – both in the United States and Canada. Millions of people earn their livelihoods by working for entrepreneurs. Not only that but resilience can be learned simply by studying the entrepreneurial mindset, whether you are an entrepreneur yet or not. The lessons extend beyond small business.

What have you noticed during the last year and a half?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: The mindset of many entrepreneurs has ebbed and flowed with the waves of COVID-19. Those who closed shop as a result of the pandemic have the stirrings of dreams surfacing once again and those who have been steadfast in their dedication are eyeing other ways to improve and cushion themselves for another wave.

What is an important thing for entrepreneurs to remember as they face challenges created by the pandemic and otherwise?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Entrepreneurs need to know that while a certain venture may have failed due to extenuating circumstances, namely a global pandemic, they personally did not fail. Any successful person will note that a failure or failures helped lead them to success, they simply had to learn the lessons.

How do you build from that? How do you make yourself learn those lessons?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Don’t put your blinders on. Be willing to face everything that comes at you – the good, the bad, and the indifferent – with an open mind. Be willing to change, lead, and listen at the appropriate times.

I recently read an article in Entrepreneur that said people should never let their egos blind them to the lessons they need to learn. Learn from mistakes – and learn to move on.

What do you see happening in Canada in light of the pandemic? How will Canadian entrepreneurs help shape the future?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Will Canadian entrepreneurs pick themselves up from the bootstraps and find another way to succeed? Undoubtedly. That is the Canadian way. It is the entrepreneurial way. Many are already making their moves. Canadian entrepreneurs will lead the economic recovery. I have no doubt about that.

I know many business owners who have struggled from this pandemic. I’m seeing them persevere and I’m seeing shining examples of fortitude as they find their footing. That old saying that people become stronger through challenges? I believe that will be the case for entrepreneurs in Canada.

We have been speaking to the “entrepreneurial mindset” but how do you, personally, define it?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: I see it as a willingness to overcome and to see both the big picture and the details in order to identify opportunities. To me, it is determination despite setbacks and vision, even when the clouds of bad circumstances move in.

How can people cultivate that mindset in their personal and professional lives? Why is it important to do so?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Simply thinking about it – making a mental note every day to strive to be better than yesterday – will automatically put you ahead. Amazing things are accomplished with a little thought and some effort. It is easy to forget this when we are dealing with day-to-day stressors, however just the mindset to improve boosts job performance. The power of the human will is a force to be reckoned with.

So what are the common attributes of entrepreneurs? When you reflect on yourself, how are you different from your friends and family who are not entrepreneurs?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: I believe a common trait amongst entrepreneurs is that we are incredibly motivated. We really have to be – at the end of the day, families depend on us to provide economic stability. To do that successfully, we have to be successful; we have to be good business people. We sort of have to walk this line between the risk to drive growth and the need for a solid foundation on which to build from. Creative thinking is something that is absolutely necessary to provide the balance needed to succeed.

What do you try to remind yourself every day?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: One single solid idea does not pave the path to success. The mindset of the entrepreneur has much to do with whether or not a company will endure and thrive. Of the core concepts to focus upon, finding the silver lining ranks at the top.

Fostering cheerful resilience and also creating a positive work environment for employees will increase overall productivity and employee morale/retention.

What is your biggest takeaway from what you have seen with the pandemic?

Dr. Vivek Cheba: Those who can be creative, focus on the future, and learn tenacity through challenges will be the ones who rise to the top through this pandemic.

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