An EICAA partner's point of view

Entrepreneurial Mindset: How do you get inspired? – University of Hohenheim

For most people, inspiration is what keeps them going. Inspiration for life, for work, or for getting the best out of themselves. It can be extremely frustrating to lose inspiration or never find it – so what can we do to get inspired and stay inspired?

Inspiration starts with a positive attitude. Seeing the glass half-full makes life easier, but what if that is not possible? Bad things happen and that is completely normal, but getting out of the vicious circle of bad feelings and destructive thinking can be difficult. Entrepreneurship doesn’t need positive or happy people – rather individuals that see every hurdle as an opportunity. Literature suggests that inspiration enhances entrepreneurial capabilities and therefore positively influences their outcomes and reduces cognitive biases (Baron, 2008, 2014; Thrash & Elliot, 2003).

Every setback or problem can be the reason for inspiration. If something doesn’t work out – try again. Your problem might be someone else’s too. Inspiration is a motivational aspect for entrepreneurs. Your own problem should provide some sort of inspiration. Inspiration for learning or inspiration to actively change something. Your lived experience will maximize the impact of your solution – for you and your community (Papi-Thornton, 2016).

Talk to peers to find answers to unanswered questions and ask for their inspiration. Second opinions can always be useful, and a new perspective may bring a new form of inspiration. Share your ideas and also get in touch with others in the field. Their experience may help you, or at least inspire you.

For a fresh start, get outside and take a break. Life goes on, even without inspiration. Look at other things in nature and let your mind wander. Ideas will keep coming – creativity and inspiration take time to grow. Entrepreneurs often adopt the “inside view”, an internal, unique viewpoint that ignores external information (Wartiovaara et al. 2019). Be patient, listen to music, read a book, or change your routine. Habits may be good, but limit us to a certain way of doing things. Inspiration requires openness and often stepping out of your comfort zone.


The University of Hohenheim relies on exchange within a group to promote entrepreneurial mindset and inspiration.

The University of Hohenheim relies on exchange within a group to promote entrepreneurial mindset and inspiration.

Author: Louisa Mach, University of Hohenheim


Baron, R. A. (2008). The role of affect in the entrepreneurial process. Academy of Management Review, 33(2), 328–340.

Baron, R. A. (2014). Essentials of entrepreneurship: Evidence and practice. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Papi-Thornton, D. (2016). Tackling Heropreneurship – An “apprenticing with a problem” approach to move us from the social entrepreneur to social impact.