Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Simple Example of the Entrepreneurial Process: It Is a Mindset

Use what you already have to create something of value and strengthen your entrepreneurial mindset.
by Ann Abbott

I tell my "Spanish & Social Entrepreneurship" students that any kind of entrepreneurship (commercial, social, cultural, educational, intrapreneurship, etc.) is a process, not just a product. That process has three basic steps:

  1. Identify opportunities. Opportunities can often be found within problems; solve the problem, and that is your entrepreneurial opportunity.
  2. Gather resources.  Think beyond money. So many of the resources that you need are intangible and consist of human relationships, knowledge and skills.
  3. Create something of value. I didn't say "create something." It has to be something that others value enough to buy or use.
Here's a simple example.
  1. Identify opportunities. It was 5:00 pm on February 13, and I had completely forgotten that the next day was Valentine's Day. My four-year-old son needed Valentine's Day cards for all his classmates for his big classroom party the next day. That's a problem! (I think most working mothers can relate.) With no time to buy anything, I saw the opportunity to make unique, homemade cards with my son.
  2. Gather resources. In a cabinet, a pad of sales receipts that I once bought at WalMart thinking that my kids would like to play "store." Markers and crayons. A quick brainstorm for possible messages to write on the cards. The confidence to just go ahead and try it--who cares what the other mothers think!
  3. Create something of value. My "customer"--my son--was delighted with the cards and even said, "My friends are really going to like these." He enjoyed coloring in the hearts and counting the cards as we made more and more.
It may seem like a silly example, but I think it helps illustrate that entrepreneurship really is a mindset that anyone can develop, and the steps are very simple.

¡Feliz Día de los Enamorados!

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