Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur Workbook – Preview
By Launchx team
August 31, 2018
See a preview of our workbook on Amazon or read on below.
Starting the Journey
Before we jump into the brainstorming process, let’s explore what entrepreneurship is and how to overcome the hurdles many aspiring entrepreneurs see to starting a company.
Throughout this journey, we will also provide examples of a LaunchX company, Dropwise, to help see the practical applications of these activities.
First, what is entrepreneurship? If you are like most people, you may come up with a combination of the following list of words and descriptions:
- starting a company
- problem solving
- taking risks for profit
- identifying opportunities
- creating value
- helping others solve their needs
- making an idea happen
- discovering and solving needs
Taken from another perspective, what entrepreneurs have inspired you in the past? Whether Mark Zuckerberg, Arianna Huffington, Elon Musk, or a recent Shark Tank entrepreneur comes to mind, these people have certain things in common. Describe who these people are and what they’ve done. This starts to get us to an even more well-rounded definition of entrepreneurship.
Describe successful entrepreneurs:
Here’s one framework to help you categorize the descriptions of these successful entrepreneurs:
|The pursuit...||...of opportunity...||..beyond resources controlled|
|the actions of an individual entrepreneur||the type of venture an entrepreneur starts, in a particular market or industry||the external constraints on the entrepreneur|
|- a singular, relentless focus - a sense of urgency - passion - positive attitude - discipline - balance - time management||- innovative offering - new business model - better, cheaper, or more efficient offering - targeting new customers||- resource constraints that require the entrepreneur to manage risk to gain access to resources|
Overcoming Your Hurdles
Have you started a company yet? If so, what challenges are you experiencing? If you haven’t gotten started yet, why not?
Take a moment to reflect on your own entrepreneurial obstacles. Then, record 1-3 challenges in the space below:
According to our research, young people who are interested in entrepreneurship report similar hurdles to starting a company.
Debunking the Myths about Entrepreneurship
In this section, we will discuss some common myths to becoming an entrepreneur, and why these claims are false.
- “You need to have more experience.”
Many aspiring entrepreneurs believe they need experience in coding, building, finance, marketing, and in the specific industry of the potential startup. While some foundational skills can be helpful, they are not a prerequisite. Many entrepreneurs are successful exactly because they do NOT have experience in the field of their business—enabling them to think creatively about the potential of an industry, instead of doing things how they’ve been done in the past.
You can also find teammates who have a similar drive and whose skills complement your own. This will be covered more in the “teaming” section of the workbook.
- “You need to have an idea.”
Ideas are overrated. While you do need a core problem to solve, the idea of how to solve it inevitably changes throughout the process. This means that the starting idea doesn’t matter! Furthermore, most ideas have been thought of before. Success comes down to executing on your idea well and understanding the real needs of your customer.
Lucky for you, there are proven frameworks that entrepreneurs can follow to come up with potential ideas and build viable companies. This workbook will walk through the process of starting a company by leveraging best practices from top universities and experienced entrepreneurs.
- “You need funding.”
Much can be done without getting an investment. In fact, most startups just require a small amount of money to get started, usually from the founders’ savings. If you haven’t yet proven that your product can actually make money, investors would require a large amount of equity—meaning they would want to own a large portion of your company. If you can test and prove your idea works before seeking investment, you’ll be in a more powerful position.
- “You need to be [adventurous/ creative/ confident/ smart].”
Many aspiring entrepreneurs worry that they don’t have the propensity for risk and failure, creativity, confidence, or other traits that they believe make the perfect entrepreneur. The truth is, there is no perfect entrepreneur. These qualities are not purely inherent traits of individuals but can be built through experience—the only requirement is an open mind and willingness to learn.
- “You should wait until the timing is right.”
Starting a company does take time, but most successful entrepreneurs continue with their other jobs and school until they’ve tested the idea for a while. Testing an idea while in school can provide the perfect combination of a safety net and an environment of support and resources.
The key to balancing a startup and other commitments is simply to prioritize. Gather data and be prepared to make tough decisions of where to focus your time, 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?
Are you ready to start the journey? Go through this checklist to find out:
- I know this will be really hard and I still want to do it.
- I recognize that entrepreneurship is a team sport—I cannot do this alone.
- I will leave my comfort zone every day to grow and be successful.
- I will seek and I will listen to the advice of others. Still, I recognize that my team (and only us) are accountable for our results.
- I accept that this will be a long process with humbling failures that I must learn from and not take personally.
- I realize that the path to success is not an equation, but an iterative process with no “right” answers.
- I understand that the goal is to become resilient—growing stronger over time as I face these challenges.
- I am not doing this for the money. I am doing this to challenge myself and make an impact.
- I believe in creating something real and will commit myself 100% to the process.
If you don’t answer “yes” to all of these statements, take a moment to think carefully about why you did not answer positively. Think about ways you may be able to address this item, and what is holding you back.
To keep reading, purchase your copy of the LaunchX workbook on Amazon here.Get Your Copy of the Workbook