The Importance of Utilizing Your Entrepreneurial Mindset for Positive Change

By Nya, Intern & Riley’s Way Bronx Council Co-Chair, The Horace Mann School

Katlyn Grasso is not only moving mountains in the business world, but she is also passionate about women’s empowerment and activism. Ms. Grasso is the founder and CEO of GenHERation®. GenHERation® is an organization centered around leadership and the advancement of women. One amazing initiative that GenHERation® is involved with are virtual conferences focused on effective leadership. Through the Riley’s Way Kind Leadership Series, I was able to attend a workshop with Ms. Grasso. During the virtual workshop, it became clear that effective leaders and business women all possess confidence, are ambitious, and contain positive mindsets.

“Don’t ask for permission.” This is just one piece of advice that Ms. Grasso gave us female leaders. I found this quote to be incredibly profound: we live in a world where we are essentially taught that there is a direct correlation between following the rules and being successful. I fundamentally believe that there is power in not asking others for permission because if you ask the wrong person, they may reject your big ideas and fill you with self doubt. If you have the passion, drive, and determination to follow your dreams, DO IT!

While enduring a pandemic and our generation’s civil rights movement, I, along with many other young women, have a countless number of ideas to aid in the fight for more diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces for all. At times, we creative leaders may doubt ourselves and our capabilities. To combat this self-conscious feeling, Ms. Grasso reminded us of the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset. According to Ms. Grasso, entrepreneurs tend to lead with their “glass overflowing.” Believing in your own capabilities is essential to starting anything from scratch. Whether you want to create a website, draft a letter to your school administration, create a nonprofit, or start a club, believing that you possess all the tools you need to be successful is all you need! In Ms. Grasso’s words, “Never tell yourself no.”

After listening to Ms. Grasso’s inspiring words, I sat down and reflected on my own experiences and entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout my life experiences, I have come to realize that having a positive mindset is crucial. My days are so much brighter when I approach any given situation with my glass overflowing. Not only has approaching my days with positivity made each day more enjoyable, it also has allowed me to turn my ideas into realities! For example, my friends and I have always dreamed of partnering with our school administration in the hopes of furthering the narrative of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our institution. Many people were in support of our dream, but feared that our goal was too big and would be too time consuming. Despite the apprehension and few discouragers, my two friends and I decided to bring our initiative to the entire administrative council. The council agreed to implement every action-step my friends and I recommended into the institution. Had my friends and I not persisted despite the uncertainty, we would not have made so much progress in such little time!

Through Riley’s Way I have bettered my leadership skills and have been able turn some my ideas into realities. As the co-chair of the Bronx Council of Riley’s Way, I am able to connect with both faculty and girls from different backgrounds. I love being a Council member because our meetings are centered around kindness, empathy, and connection making. Riley’s Way has helped me learn about what kind leadership should both look and feel like. I have learned that kind leaders both foster and maintain positive relationships with the people in their lives; being kind to others will bring so many opportunities for growth and development into one’s life!

In my work with Riley’s Way, I am constantly reminded of the importance of the entrepreneurial mindset through project creation and development. As a member of the virtual Retreat planning and organizing committee, I have realized that being ambitious is perfectly okay! No dream or goal is too big, and you will never know the outcome unless you follow through.

Your story is important, your ideas should be shared, and your talents should be showcased. Put yourself out there and congratulate yourself on all of your accomplishments! This world is so much brighter when you possess the entrepreneurial mindset.