What is an Entrepreneur? Lessons I share – reinforced by Barbara Roberts, Columbia Business School Fellow

The Path to Success

Well – it shouldn’t be that messy! Here’s some advice to help…

Barbara recently gave an inspiring talk on what entrepreneurship means to her, and advice on a range of topics, from getting started and setting goals, to obtaining startup capital and building a brand.

Some of my favorite points from the talk are below!

What is an entrepreneur?

  • Change junkie; dream fulfiller; system manipulator; everyday revolutionary
  • Needs passion and purpose to be successful
  • True entrepreneurs don’t start companies to be rich. There’s a myth about how easy it is to become wealthy.
  • Some people are born entrepreneurs – just have to do what they have to do. They are driven to do it.

How to get a business going

  • Not about the quality of an idea – it’s about passion and commitment to drive business.
  • Think big – a big purpose and big problem. But start small.
  • Start with something. It doesn’t have to be the best idea. The whole process is test, test, test.
  • Build processes. From the start, get everything you do in writing – it will be the start of teaching/process/HR manuals and company culture.

Mission and purpose in your business

  • Passion and purpose – what is the problem you’re solving? Why are you doing this?
  • Be sure you enjoy what you spend your life doing!

Setting goals – The Rule of 3

  • Human beings can only do 3 things at once. Pick 3 goals a year, and do 3 things each day to accomplish those goals.

Timing and success

  • What leads to an idea lasting and surviving? Timing is the most important factor in whether an idea works out.
  • Be aware of what’s happening in the world to make timing important.

Startup funding

  • Ask friends and family for money for your startup, not investors or people you don’t know.
  • Money should come from you, your team, vendors, clients and people you know.

5 pillars to build brands on

It’s critical to work on branding from Day 1.
The 5 pillars to build a brand on:

  1. People (e.g. Goldman Sachs)
  2. Product/service (Apple)
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Purpose (healthcare)
  5. Approach/process (Accenture)

10 ways to leave a business

  1. IPO
  2. Sell to 3rd party
  3. Sell to a financial buyer
  4. Sell to strategic buyer
  5. Transfer to cooperative partner
  6. Transfer to management or key employee (don’t pay capital gains)
  7. Transfer to family member
  8. Passive owner
  9. Liquidators
  10. Bankruptcy
Helpful? Please share!
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