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33. Growing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

What makes the ‘entrepreneurial mindset’?

This week’s episode is an interview with Annabell Gast, from the Natwest entrepreneur accelerator programme.

Annabell currently coaches 37 entrepreneurs across industries and has coached 150 entrepreneurs in total over the two years she has been at Natwest. Fascinated with entrepreneurs and their mindset, how they solve problems and the energy they bring, Annabell helps them to gain clarity and achieve their goals faster.

Having grown up around the entrepreneurial and done research around entrepreneurs, including teaching around the subject at universities, this weeks episode is all around the entrepreneurial mindset and there’s no better person to talk to about the subject!

Annabell’s LinkedIn:

(1:00) Introductions: Annabell’s background with entrepreneurship, including her academic background

(3:36) Quickfire questions, ‘Describe yourself in three words’, ‘Favourite quotes’, ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Which 5 places have you lived?’ and ‘Favourite books’.

(6:10) The difference between an employee mindset and an entrepreneur mindset, how it can be challenged depending on the employees and the role of change in the entrepreneurial mindset

(8:18) What it takes to be an entrepreneur, how resilience plays into this due to more risk and less structure, also including the need to positively manage yourself and set boundaries

(10:17) Pro-hustle culture, late nights and the grind. ‘You’re in a marathon, not a sprint’. How always being at stretching point reduces balance and productivity, do you work smart or hard?

(12:38) Process of self-discovery and self-awareness, Annabell’s personal journey, setting goals, how awareness increases around entrepreneurial individuals. How her critical thinking and reflection increased and she acknowledges what is and isn’t good for her (such as a good night’s sleep)

(15:30) How working with others promotes accountability, giving the connection to check in with yourself and bring out the best version of yourself and address things you might not have by yourself.

(17:40) Acknowledging that the more you speak to people the more you can learn, and realise that you might not know that much, which makes it important. Sitting in the same room over and over has been proven to reduce productivity, so having external influences is important (the ‘water cooler’ talk).

(19:30) Relationships are what makes the world go around: ideas, favours. Don’t be afraid to ask, there are lots of networks and groups that want to help.

(20:30) Isolation is a dangerous side of entrepreneurship: risk of mental health issues. How it’s easy to get carried away in your thoughts when you’re on your own, so it can help to hear tough opinions from other people.

(23:25) Extroversion and introversion & how both still need balance between being around other people and having time to yourself, how we can be too fast to sometimes label ourselves, resulting in our experiences being skewed.

(24:30) Open-mindedness for entrepreneurs: fixed/growth mindset (Carol Dweck), how we’re rarely one or the other but would all benefit from moving more towards a growth mindset.

(30:10) How 90% of the entrepreneur journey is the process, which means people forget to live in-between.

(33:00) 5 ‘inner-critic’ archetypes: the perfectionist, the diminisher, the pusher, the imposter and the people-pleaser. How these archetypes can all be present and interact positively and negatively and Annabell’s personal experiences with imposter syndrome

(38:50) Self-acceptance, accepting where you are and recognising it. ‘The inner leadership team.’ Understanding who you are, self-awareness, be excited about finding out about yourself.

(45:30) ‘The ultimate entrepreneur’ – resilience, curiosity, open-minded, driven, innovative.

(52:50) Confidence: comfort zones, differences between men and women and how it links to male behaviours and letting your emotions take space

(1:00:00) How willing are entrepreneurs to rest? A spectrum, action action action versus the critical reflective thinking.

(1:04:00) Working on your mindset is a continuous thing and requires balance and consistent learning and optimising situations. How being curious and finding out more about yourself is beneficial.

(1:05:00) Closing advice and comments: strategies for reflection, importance of feedback and curiosity and keeping yourself inspired and motivated

Welcome to Dark Coffee, the podcast that starts engaging and approachable conversations around mental health.

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Dark Coffee aims to create a safe space to explore dark topics with curiosity, compassion and courage to empower people to build their mental strength, resilience and sense of connection.

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Suicide and Emotional Support Organisations – UK

Samaritans: Confidential suicide discussion and emotional support. Free helpline available round the clock. Text – 116123.  Call – 08457 909090  Email – Website –

Mind: Support and information for anyone suffering from a mental health issue. 0300 123 3393 Website –

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