Join Whitney Johnson for an in-depth discussion in this video Are you an entrepreneur?, part of Entrepreneurship Foundations.
- So, how do you know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? You may be thinking entrepreneurs are young and geeky. Someone like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook. There are a lot of young men and women that start businesses. But did you know that the average age of an entrepreneur is 40? You may also be thinking you don't have enough money to start a business. This may be true. Certainly it's prudent to start small and do it on the side. But for many would-be entrepreneurs it's not a lack of money holding them back.
It's fear of the unknown, or fear of failure. The reality is, you won't know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur until you try. The first step is to start. You'll also need to hone your ability to persuade. Research suggests that to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to get buy-in for your ideas to help people to see the future you see. And, you need to be a person who sets goals, takes initiative and responsibility for their actions. It's that simple. As an entrepreneur, you can help the economy grow and create jobs, both for you and your community.
In fact, in the United States, entrepreneurial activity creates 40 percent of all new jobs annually. Becoming an entrepreneur will require you and your loved ones to work harder than you have ever worked. But, in building a business you will be filling one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul, which is to create. To be clear, this course is not a deep dive on any single topic. It provides an overview with high-level considerations, ranging from generating and vetting a business idea, crafting an initial business plan and financial model, to building a team, managing the stress of entrepreneurship, and funding your business.
As an entrepreneur, there will be times when you are scared and lonely. That's certainly been the case for me. Some days I felt a loss of identity, no longer being affiliated with a name brand company. There have also been days when I felt like I was on a thrill ride to zero cash flow. But what I've learned, as I've immersed myself in the theory of disruptive innovation over the past decade, is that to do something truly new, you need to play where no one else is playing. Sarah Ban Breathnach said, "The world needs "dreamers, and the world needs doers.
"But above all, the world needs dreamers who do." When you become an entrepreneur, you are a dreamer who does. You are daring to control your own destiny, to make a dent in the universe.
- Finding your idea/problem to solve
- Finding your first customer
- Writing a business plan
- Deciding on a legal structure
- Building a team of employees and advisors
- Marketing your business
- Building a website
- Minding cash
- Managing stress
- Funding growth
- Balancing entrepreneurship and life