Start with what you’ve got.

What do you have at hand?

Make something with that.

Make a drawing, make a list, and make a prototype.

Natural Entrepreneurial Thinking does not require a venture capitalist for you to get started. Continue reading

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The “Magnificent Seven”

All of the distinctions between Classic Employee Tendencies and The Elements of Natural Entrepreneurial Thinking (listed in my last post) apply to these seven ways to exercise your entrepreneurial muscles:

  • Intrapreneur: A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation. Intrapreneurs understand that entrepreneurship is truly a mindset, not a title or job description.  (See Appendix 4 for more about using entrepreneurial thinking while on the job.)
  • Freelance/ Self-Employment / Independent Contractor: A person who works for him or her self (1099) with no employees.  Many work from home or travel to work at their clients’ offices. Some work out of a small independent office space, and others share resources in a co-working environment.
  • Multiple Income Streams: A person with 3-5 sources of income, usually in some form of sales. Each Stream generates at least one fifth of personal income. Some common income streams include rental properties, tightly managed stock portfolios, royalties, and sales commissions (both direct sales and affiliate sales).
  • Social Entrepreneur: A person who recognizes a social problem, and creates a solution using entrepreneurial principles. The micro-lending trend started with social entrepreneurs who wanted to help small businesses grow. Out-of-hospital birthing centers are run by social entrepreneurs offering a family-centered alternative for healthy women and their families.
  • Franchise: A franchisee is a person who purchases a license to sell or rent another company’s products and to use its name. Buying a franchise usually includes an application process, training, and rules to follow. The best franchisee contributes to this kind of partnership with experience in the industry, a focus on helping systems become more profitable, or an affinity for the customer that supports better marketing and sales. Franchisees often collaborate and work cooperatively to support the entire brand.
  • Buying a Business / Acquisition: A person who buys an existing business. Usually there is an intention to make the company more profitable or take it in a new direction. The best acquisition is one that creates as many winners as possible. The worst acquisition results in presiding over a group who feels like you beat them.
  • Traditional Start-up: A person who starts a business that requires capital investment for inventory, equipment, property, and/or building. This might be a main street store front, or a manufacturing facility, or a business-to-business service corps.

I collaborated with Jeanne Larson, MBA, and founder of The Incubator, where students explore seven options for what she calls the Preneur Spirit. We called these options the “Magnificent Seven” after the heroes in the classic 1960 film by the same name. The “Magnificent Seven” are heroic roles that ethical entrepreneurs can play in their communities.