I’d like to know what you are doing, why you are doing it and how it is making a difference. Tell me about your Entrepreneurial Journey
I’m also interested in how your journey intercepts or synchronizes with what I’m doing; as chances are there is a “spark” for inspirational and engaging conversation between us.
· I look forward to you being my lifelong mentor.
· Here are my new business ventures, please partner with me.
· Will you invest in my Startup.
Not so typical responses:
· “I see you are looking to solve this problem, design this or that… this is why I am…” A gold star for doing research and reading one or more of my profiles.
· “We seem to have a synergistic or complimentary path or journey… while you are doing that, I am doing this and therefore this is how we could work together to make a difference.”
What is the difference between the responses above?
The difference comes down to those who are “playing” at being an Entrepreneur and those who are “actually engaged” in an Entrepreneurial journey.
What actually is an Entrepreneur?
One of my favorite definitions is from 1983, and I quote HBS Professor Howard Stevenson, “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” More recently Stevenson told Eric Schurenberg for I N C “They (entrepreneurs) see an opportunity and don’t feel constrained from pursuing it because they lack resources, they’re used to making do without resources.”
You can design or innovate to the available resources, or you can find a way to make the resources available, which is mostly what Entrepreneurs do.
Three entrepreneurial journeys:
1.When I lived in Seattle, in the City proper, I played a game of musical chairs to accommodate my two cars in one mini-sized parking space ~ to solve this I rented another space in another building five blocks away. What a serious pain, when we only needed wheels once or twice a month… if only we could magically have had wheels when we actually needed them…. Right after that zipcar was born; I had nothing to do with the startup other than have the problem/pain for which the available zipcar resource was created.
2.There were two significant things I had noticed for sometime, but it took just the right entrepreneurial mindset to link them together, add the timing ingredient, and come up with a winner. As long as 30 years ago I noticed in Europe and in Sydney Nova Scotia locals opening their guest rooms for a fee (to make extra income) during busy holiday seasons or local events. I also noticed with the increasing high cost of both high-end and mainstream hotels many people were locked out of travel, unless they were camping enthusiasts. Solve both these in one Startup and you have airbnb. The homeowner with the empty guestroom has additional income and the traveller has an affordable place to stay; two widely spaced but readily available resources facilitated by a powerful online network.
3.Small business owners that I help have over the years complained about the difficulty of managing payment from customers; especially as we have morphed into a cashless society. Taking checks is risky and credit cards are expensive and time consuming to manage. Enter Square, a simple device & support infrastructure (run it on an iPad, iPhone or similar) which solves most of the hassle a small business has in implementing payment, especially where small transactions are the nature of their business! Having a simple payment infrastructure, which allows something as basic as the iPad to replace the expensive and cumbersome cash machines of the past, is a resource many small businesses are embracing today.
An entrepreneurial journey does not have to be as grand or large in scope as the three above, and many are not, but the entrepreneurial spin has to be there when I say “tell me about your Entrepreneurial Journey”