Blog 468 Entrepreneurship 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 1

Wow – I want to be an entrepreneur!!  (And, I want to spell it correctly!!!)

Let’s start with a definition of entrepreneurship: “The capacity and willingness to develop organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses.”

“In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources, and capital can produce a profit. An entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and is an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.”  Taken from:

Frequently we view an entrepreneur as one who is willing to take the risks to take an idea and build it into a viable business.  

There are three concepts:  taking the risk, taking the idea, and building it.

Risk:  My son-in-law is working for a startup company.  Actually, his second start-up company. The first was traumatic, about four years before the company started to make a profit and then became very successful and was acquired by a much larger company (and he did quite well financially).   This second start-up has been two-and-one-half years, building a dynamic smart cloud computing storage solution. They have sold it to two companies as I write this. Will it become a success? Maybe. The founder is scrambling finding purchasers and finding additional funding to pay the eight employees.  The founder is on his third start-up with two successful companies that were sold off at a profit. Can this founder do it a third time? Maybe.

There is a significant risk.  My son-in-law quit a very successful large, well-known technology company.  He as an employee has risked a steady paycheck for a lesser paycheck but the potential for a bigger windfall.  The founder has invested some of his wealth from his previous successes in this new project – paying employees for two-and-one-half years with no sales for most of that time.  He could have put his profits from his previous successes into the stock market, but instead, he is taking the risk on another start-up.

Idea:  At the heart of entrepreneurship is an idea.  What might be a new and exciting field? What gaps or niches might exist that your idea could fill?  What current produces or processes frustrate you? How might your skills be transferred to a new field?  What technology disruptions might open a new field?

Think back – before the iPod, if you wanted to listen to music while jogging you could have had a cassette tape player or a portable CD player.  Before the internet, if you wanted to buy tickets to an event, you might have to call TicketMaster (or similar). Netflix destroyed Blockbuster with on-demand downloads of movies.  Buy almost anything online? Not true thirty years ago.

What ideas might you have?

Building it:  Great ideas need a lot of work to become realities.  Do you personally have the expertise to develop the concept?  Does it need programming skills? Does your idea need manufacturing?  Can you hire people to make your idea a reality? What will you pay them and how will you pay them?  Do you have wealth that you can use to fund your idea? If not, can you get funding from venture capitalists or banks or other sources?  Will you sell too much of your concept and lose control of your idea? Will you need to rent an office?

Building your concept into a viable, successful company may take several years.  Similar to the BHAG of putting a man on the moon in the 1960’s took several years and millions of dollars.  Sometimes you get close to success and run out of funds and out of steam. 90% of the way to a successful business is still not reaching your goal.

Things to think about:

Can you be an entrepreneur?

What risks are you willing to take?

What ideas do you have that could lead to a successful business?

What resources might you need to build your business?

How can you develop multiple ideas – how can you be a creative thinker to develop ideas?  Can you practice idea generation and work with mentors and others to create ‘the next great idea’

Quote:  “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.

And … a recent quote:  You cannot discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore.

Posted by Bruce White

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