Entrepreneurship:- Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.
No entrepreneur has ever all the resources to start whatever he wants.
Perfection is the enemy of done. Waiting to get things be all straight aligned is going to result in giving up.
Follow 80/20 rule. Put efforts into 20% of the stuff that results in 80% of the results.
Things that can affect..
- Moral Support
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled
- Pursuit: the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of an individual entrepreneur – passion, drive, resiliency, focus, a sense of urgency, discipline, and balance
- Opportunity: the type of venture – an innovative offering, new business model, better, cheaper, or more efficient offering, or targeting new customers
- Beyond resources controlled: the external constraints on the entrepreneur – manage risk to gain access to resources and leverage what you DO have.
Don’t let these hurdles stand in your way:
- Experience/Credibility: high school students are at an ideal age with just enough experience, but not so much that to be limited to the status quo. You can imagine and build the way the world COULD work.
- Knowledge of the Process: there is an integrated, comprehensive, and proven process called Disciplined Entrepreneurship that we will use to give you a solid foundation.
- Funding: this is a later stage, not an early one. Prove demand on your own first, since investors would require too much of your company when it is just in idea stage.
- Mindset: it’s practically impossible to have the entire perfect mindset at the beginning, but starting can help you grow and develop.
- Innovation/Idea: most ideas have been thought of before, and all will have competition. Success comes down to executing on your idea well and finding the right customers where you can solve their needs better.
- Team: you can do a lot on your own, plus find teammates to complement your skills and personality through several great forums.
- Time: starting a company does take time, and this just comes down to managing your time well. Focus on the things that matter most, and remember that perfect is the enemy of done.
Will you let these things stand in your way, or will you be one of the brave ones, an entrepreneur?
At The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, we’ve found that there’s a process to becoming a successful entrepreneur, requiring students first to be inspired, learn, then to fully engage and act, and have a support system. This involves four components:
Heart – it starts with heart – having the inspiration, passion, and mindset. Being an entrepreneur requires confidence, resiliency, work ethic, and adaptability. While it’s practically impossible to have the perfect mindset at the outset of starting a new venture, being in an environment that allows you to have idols can provide much needed inspiration and the reminder of how to engage with your passions.
Head – next is learning the knowledge. This includes how to identify opportunities, business skills, and how to sell and pitch. MIT has an integrated, comprehensive, and proven process to crank out successful companies called the Disciplined Entrepreneurship process. Some things cannot be learned just by doing, and this process breaks it down and makes it manageable.
Hands – once inspired and passionate, and equipped with the knowledge, the next piece is about getting out there and DOING STUFF. It’s not enough to write a fancy business plan, but important to realize the value of interviewing customers, developing a prototype, pounding the pavement to sell to customers, and pitching your company.
Home – finally, having the people around you to be able to pull it off. These people include co-founders, peers, mentors, instructors – all the people for feedback, potential customers, and moral support.
A school ecosystem can be especially valuable in providing all of these components – community, courses, inspiration, plus the resources to make it happen.
- Inspiration – think of role models who you want to emulate in different areas of your company. These can be entrepreneurs within the same industry, experts who have similar skills to the ones you want to have, or inspirational mentors and idols in your daily life.
- Passion – starting a company is difficult, so it’s important to work on something that you’ll be motivated to commit time and effort, especially through the inevitable ups and downs of a startup. This can mean being passionate about the industry, or being passionate about an underlying cause, solving problems, developing your skills or leadership, or any other range of things. You will have to tap into passion to get through inevitable challenges.
- Mindset – there is a balance of confidence with humility, adaptability with decisiveness, work ethic with time management. There’s no magical formula or roadmap to building these things in perfect harmony to be an entrepreneur, though recognize at the outset that there will need to be a balance, and that this often means getting outside input.
- Opportunity Identification – first time entrepreneurs often overestimate the value of the idea. It is important to have an idea you are excited to work on, since success will come down to executing well, and adapting to market needs. The ability to identify opportunities will be important, though, since there will be a need to focus on the top opportunities of customers, features to meet the needs of those customers, marketing channels, etc. Entrepreneurs start to see things in a new way – seeing how things can be done better and more efficiently. Harness this new power as you build it!
- Business Skills – think of it this way: you would want some coaching in how to swim before and while jumping into the deep end of a pool. There is a lot that can be learned just by trying, though without some instruction, you’re practically sure to sink. Combining the knowledge while applying it in the field can be powerful. Plus, MIT has an integrated, comprehensive, and proven process to crank out successful companies called the Disciplined Entrepreneurship process. The book breaks it down into 24 steps to starting a successful company, which are categorized into six themes. We’ll touch on the first three themes in this course, diving into some of the concepts of the steps, with a great next step past this course being to take the Disciplined Entrepreneurship online courses. More on this at the end of the course.
- Selling and Pitching – learning how to communicate effectively is another important piece of the puzzle. Many first time entrepreneurs assume that if they have a great product, people will be banging down the door to reach them. Regardless of how great the product is, though, entrepreneurs need to have an in depth knowledge of the customer, know how to reach them, and be effective at selling and pitching. We’ll cover this in the last section of this course.
Handsget out there and DO STUFF
- Interviewing Customers – it starts with getting feedback from potential customers to validate the need. Many first time entrepreneurs are afraid of sharing their idea for fear of it being stolen, though this fear is misplaced. These conversations will only make the idea better – think of it as getting free consultants for your company! And it would be extremely rare for anyone you speak with to have the skills, experience, opportunity, and drive to want to pursue the exact opportunity you might share. It’s a tiny, tiny risk worth taking!
- Prototyping – then, develop a simple prototype to prove the concept and customer behavior. Make sure that it is focusing just on the top customer needs and not over complicating things! This is especially where having the facilities of your school can be valuable.
- Selling and Pitching – get out there and pound the pavement. This can even start to happen before you have a fully functioning product or offering to sell – start drumming up interest and pre-sales!
Homehaving the community and people around you to be able to pull it off
- Co-founders – many first time entrepreneurs think they have to take it all on themselves and are intimidated by having gaps in their knowledge or skills, though these can often be filled through finding co-founders who share the same vision.
- Mentors – find experts within entrepreneurship and your industry who you can call on with questions, both for your company and as an entrepreneur. Schools will often have mentorship programs set up to help facilitate this.
- Instructors – leverage instructors of your classes, any TA’s, and other resources to further build your community of advisors for yourself and your company.
Ultimately, you want to have a network of people for feedback, potential customers, and moral support throughout the process. This takes time to develop, and requires some give and take to each relationship.