An Examination of the Impact of Emotions When Building an Entrepreneurial Mind-Set and Test Out the SIEP Conceptual Model in Managing Emotions in a Business Incubator in Malaysia


Valsala Krishnan
Faculty of Business, International University Malaya-Wales, Jalan Tun Ismail 50480, Kuala Lumpur
Sharmila Sethu
Faculty of Business, International University Malaya-Wales, Jalan Tun Ismail 50480, Kuala Lumpur


This study looked at the impact emotions had in the cognitive ability of the entrepreneur to apply the entrepreneurship lessons, as and when required. The findings show that emotions have a notable impact on the cognitive performance of the entrepreneur. Further findings reveal that physical senses, what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell, are strong triggers in activating emotions. When emotions are triggered, cognitive ability is disabled and an automatic knee-jerk reaction occurs from the individual’s subconscious programming, based on the individual’s perception and belief system that surrounds the incident or event. The study also indicates subconscious programing, i.e. believes and perceptions come from repeated past experiences, types of movies watched, songs listened to or books read. The findings also show that an entrepreneurial mindset can be taught and the required habit patterns developed. However, the learning scan only be applied when the cognitive ability is utilised. The ability to manage emotions determines whether the entrepreneur goes into an automatic reaction, where cognitive abilities are shut down and the entrepreneur acts out from their subconscious programming, or the cognitive ability kicks in, and the entrepreneur can access and apply the newly learned information, eventually creating new habit patterns, resulting in an entrepreneurial mindset. Further, this paper presents a methodical approach to manage emotions called SIEP, abbreviated for Spirit, Intellect, Emotions and Physical Senses; the conceptual model and its effectiveness in managing emotions, amongst entrepreneurs in a social business incubator, called ET Ideas in Malaysia.

February 9, 2024