How To Find Your Inner Entrepreneur
If you’re bursting with ideas, always have your eye on the big picture and find a bit of business risk invigorating, a career in entrepreneurship may be in your future.
According to Vada Grantham, business owner, entrepreneur and professor of entrepreneurship at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), entrepreneurs also have some distinct personality traits. “Entrepreneurs typically want to be in control of their own future. They have a certain passion and vision that relies on intellect to solve problems.”
Whether you’re fresh out of high school with entrepreneurialism in mind, or if your workplace experiences have inspired you to venture into your own business enterprises, there are courses that can help you develop your entrepreneurial spirit and skillset. Here are three ways to bring your inner entrepreneur to light:
NUMBER 1: KNOW THAT ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS CAN BE TAUGHT.
Even if you don’t have innate entrepreneurial aspirations, they can be taught, just like any other business skill. In fact, the tools and skills that entrepreneurial programs teach are so business-critical that U.S. News and World Report ranks the best entrepreneurial programs among their other annual rankings for best colleges. However, entrepreneurship should be taught differently than small business ownership.
NUMBER 2: FIND A COLLEGE THAT EMPHASIZES MODERN TECHNIQUES.
According to DMACC lecturer Wade Steenhoek, many business programs once taught that the keys to entrepreneurial success were a well-crafted business plan, a solid pro forma and a reasonable ability to execute that plan.
“They thought that if you followed that formula, you were on the path to certain riches,” he said. Steenhoek followed that plan with his first company—only to watch it fail.
Today, Steenhoek and other successful entrepreneurs follow the Business Model Canvas, a contemporary plan created by Alexander Osterwalder. Older business plan formulas treated startups as small versions of large companies, which was an incorrect assumption. The Business Model Canvas tailors business models for startup cultures, allowing each startup to categorize their core idea into nine boxes. The method ultimately helps startups form a more modern business model.
The Business Model Canvas is organized in a very deliberate manner where the right side of the canvas centers on the customer and includes boxes for the value proposition, customer segments, distribution channels, customer relations and revenue streams. The right side focuses on operational necessities, such as key resources, key partners, key activities and related costs.
Steenhoek tells his students that while the Business Model Canvas is extremely important research, it shouldn’t completely replace the business plan. “There is no correlation between writing a business plan and having a successful venture,” said Steenhoek. “You still need to know if anyone will pay you for your idea.”
NUMBER 3: SEEK EXPERIENCE.
Good entrepreneurial courses will expose students to on-the-job experience, teaching them how to transform an idea into reality and determine if it will work. They should also have professors who are experienced entrepreneurs themselves and understand the real-life peaks and pitfalls commonly associated with such a career. Job shadowing, finding a trusted mentor and utilizing a professional network will also help you understand the true day-to-day operations of an entrepreneur.