06/04/2012 04:08 pm ET Updated Aug 04, 2012

How to Think Like an Entrepreneur

Series: Confessions of a Female Entrepreneur

Do you think entrepreneurship is born or can it be learned? If it can be learned, how can we train our minds to think like an entrepreneur? I recently read this great article written by Ann Brown and it made me think, perhaps not enough people share what fuels their entrepreneurial mind.

I've put together three tips here on how I think out of the box in hopes that it inspires creativity in you:

1. Think Against the Grain: Turn around what is expected and see what that looks like. When I studied film, I noticed that Quentin Tarantino's movies always sequenced scenes that did the exact opposite of what the audience expects -- and then played out the explanation in a way that made the opposite scene logical in relation to what was subsequently revealed. If it's expected that customers will be really hard to sign on to a new service, just assume they will want to sign up. Now figure out what would make them want to sign on and articulate those values in your initial pitch.

2. Think in Analogies: If your job is in retail, look at how successful companies in very different areas have handled the same job you have to do. Then consider doing it that way. So for instance, if you have a manufacturing firm in the chip business, and you need to make something that is very compartmentalized, look at how a closet company designs its offering. Or look at how an entertainment company organizes its structure. Or how the human mind organizes things. There are so many lessons we can learn from other verticals if we just expand our mind and create analogies to seemingly diverse areas of business.

3. Think by Improvement: Instead of doing things the way you always do, write down all the steps that you need to take to do what you need to do and then look at how you can do that in less steps. Try to compress. Try to get to where you need to go with reduced time -- fewer steps -- less money. Just think of this as a necessity, not an option. Your livelihood depends on it. You'd be amazed how creative you can be when you have to!

Thinking creatively is critical if you want to rise above the noise. Let's face it -- no one makes money in the stock market by doing what everyone else does. No one cures disease without trying new things. And no one gets ahead in the work place by doing exactly what's expected of them. If you want to be one of the few that stand out, you have to do things that make you stand out. How you do that starts with innovative thinking.

How do you create? Share your thoughts with our community and pay it forward.

Inspire. Illuminate. Innovate.