Am I smart enough?

This is a question I hear a lot from potential business owners, especially those who haven’t come to business via family or academic study.

In reality, the best business owners are those who have a mixture of academic and experiential skillsets. In other words, a mixture of smarts and on-the-job experience. Put these together with the personality traits we identified earlier and you could be more ready than you think you are. 

Let’s look at 3 routes to start up. 

On this slide, you’ll find the 3 most common ways your skills, education, and experience intertwine to get you to start-up. 

I’ve called the first the “Academic” route, because it tends to be the one that prioritises academic based training first. It’s the one most of those Silicon Valley entrepreneurs tend to follow. 

However, if you look closely, even this route doesn’t discount the benefit of work experience in Step 3. Work experience doesn’t just help us to refine our skillset and get to know how to do practical things like have direct customer interaction, but it also gives us the opportunities to uncover some of those personality traits we spoke about earlier. It also helps us uncover our weaknesses before we dive headfirst into a business start-up. 

The second option is the “Work Experience.” This is route people who inherit family businesses tend to take plus those for who further full time education after high school isn’t an option, though it is common for people following this route to supplement their knowledge with part time training courses or further education as it is required for them to make the best of their business.  

The final option shown here is the “Side Hustle”. This option stops us launching a new business all out, but allows us to test our idea out on the side while we continue our education or work experience. Eventually, the business may become our full income. Many younger entrepreneurs start this way, putting their skills to use as soon as they learn them; as well as those of us who want to develop a hobby into an income source, think Etsy sellers, YouTubers, handmade crafters and other makers. 

And of course, there are other routes, too: 

  • Obtaining a franchise
  • Inheriting a family business
  • Going into a partnership or purchasing an existing business
  • Turning a hobby into a business organically
  • Inventing a product 

In a moment we’ll look at the steps we should take in preparing our start up to ensure we do it right first time, but before we move on let’s draw together all we’ve learned about ourselves so far by creating our entrepreneurial resume. In this document you’ll have a chance to compile existing skills and experience you can bring to your business from day 1. I think you’ll be surprised just how much you have to offer! 

I encourage you to put some time into this exercise, come back to it later if you like. 

Here’s the download: 

Entrepreneurial Resume Worksheet

Next up, we’re taking a quick look at the steps that make up the business planning process from a high-level. So, that when you’re ready, you can build your business right from day 1. 

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