By Ross Powell
As tricky as entrepreneurship is to spell, it appears even more difficult to actualize to most of us. Let’s discuss a few reasons why having an entrepreneurial mindset is important for full spectrum preparation, a key obstacle that prevents us from having such an outlook, and specific tools that we can utilize no matter what our passions and abilities are.
Let’s first examine the connections between the mindset of an entrepreneur and the mindset of a preparedness expert. Both have a keen interest in how future events will play out and how to properly position themselves to deal with long term trends. Both must have the confidence and maturity necessary to make substantive decisions under significant time pressure. Both need to be creative, resourceful, innovative, and confident. Both understand the importance of planning ahead and taking calculated risks. Those who want to be prepared for the variety of potential scenarios that we could encounter must have an entrepreneurial mindset geared towards maintaining a self-sustaining lifestyle. We could continue on by detailing dozens of similarities – most of which describe a general tendency to be actively participating in how the future will unfold rather than passively accepting roles or outcomes that have been defined for us – but let’s move on to studying a fundamental, common obstacle.
Listen to a recent interview with the authors of “The Startup Equation”:
We all, to one degree or another, share the common human trait of risk aversion. When given the choice between receiving $500 outright or flipping a coin and getting $0 for heads and $1,000 for tails, most of us would choose the sure thing rather than the double or nothing option even though the two are statistically identical in terms of expected value. However, when we are honest with ourselves we must acknowledge that any decision that we make involves uncertainty and risk to some extent. Our cultural backdrop informs us generally that the path of least risk is to secure a job at a corporation, work as an employee with job security, build up retirement savings, and rely on social security. The primary obstacle that must be overcome is this risk aversion paradigm. Long gone are the days when this approach had minimal risk. This path of maintaining an employee mentality is now riskier than ever because it is inflexible, fragile, and static. We must break out of this mold and overcome the obstacle of risk aversion.
Starting a business can seem daunting. Perhaps you don’t feel like you have an idea that will shock the world with its innovative genius. Even if you do, maybe you don’t feel like you have the time and opportunity to execute it. Let’s start with a few practical steps that you can take today:
1. Prepare a budget and identify how much you need to make to stay afloat
2. Identify your skill set and the areas where you are passionate and can add value
3. Reach out to your network to see if anyone can make use of the abilities you have
Keep in mind that this can be the setup for beginning your own business, but it can also be a way to transition out of a current job or even a stopgap measure while you get your own business up and running. Even if all you have is time and attention to detail, that is more than enough. If your family, friends, or neighbors have unused items or clutter that can be sold, you can offer your services to sell it for them in exchange for a percentage. The point here is that there are so many ways to add value that you don’t need to do anything heroic in order to generate an income stream. Sort out what you’re good at and apply those skills. Once the entrepreneurial attitude is present, different options can open up all over the place.
Another important factor to consider in starting your own business is financing. How much money will you need to operate and scale your business once the proof of concept has been demonstrated? This will depend greatly on the type of business you are starting. In any case, you don’t necessarily have to go to traditional financing sources in order to get capital. Friends and family, grants, and even angel investors can provide ample opportunities for financing if you are passionate and dedicated to what you are pursuing.
There are many different resources for learning more about entrepreneurship and how to become self-sufficient, but you have to be careful to avoid the all too common ‘get rich quick’ materials. Simply put: be discerning. An awesome place to expand your skill set and perspective on the process of becoming an entrepreneur is at http://www.startupequation.com/.
Authors Steven Fisher and Ja-Naé Duane, a husband and wife duo, authored the book The Startup Equation and have spent decades investigating and applying the principles of entrepreneurship and the process of innovation. Here is some more biographical information about these two notable experts:
Ja-Naé Duane Biography
For over 20 years, Ja-Naé Duane focused on one mission: make life better for as many people as possible. With that goal in mind she founded or co-founded five different organizations, including Wild Women Entrepreneurs, The Leaders, the National Artistic Effort, and the Massachusetts Artist Leaders Coalition.
This award-winning innovator currently leads the Revolution Institute while also teaching at Emerson College and Northeastern University. At Clark University, she holds the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
The author of “How to Start Your Business with $100” and “The Startup Equation” Ja-Naé excels at advising startups because she understands from personal experience what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Over the years, her work has caught the attention of The Associated Press, NPR, Classical Singer Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Business Week. In 2007, she was nominated as one of New England’s Most Innovative Leaders of 2007.
Steven Fisher Biography
Steven Fisher loves the future. So much so, he’s spent the last 20 years as an award-winning designer and strategist helping companies, governments, and his own startups leverage the best innovations to compete and win. Steve delivers a valuable mix of venture creation, experience design, and innovation strategy. His slogan, “Unleash Your Innovation Rebel”, serves as the foundation for his work around the world. He is a strong believer in self-reliance and a self-sustaining lifestyle. He believes that everyone should follow their passion to achieve success and happiness. Steve is currently the co-founder of The Revolution Factory, a global network that enables innovation ecosystems in corporations, startups and universities.
Steve is also Managing Director and Lead Futurist with The Revolution Institute, a global advisory firm that focuses on long term strategic forecasting and planning to explore revolutionary ideas and develop programs that impact our world. He is also an advisor and angel investor in a number of startups including Singularity University. For fun, Steve is a hot yoga instructor, beer maker and a filmmaker who is best known for co-creating and producing “Browncoats: Redemption,” a Joss Whedon Firefly/Serenity tribute. He is also a fast eater and a slow runner.
About Ross Powell, Survival401K.com
Ross Powell is the Founder of Survival 401k, LLC. Ross was raised in San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas and is a veteran Naval Officer.
Ross worked in banking and finance for almost 30 years including some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the country. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings of financial institutions helps him direct clients into our Solo 401k product to take control of their retirement funds and escape the pitfalls many see in modern retirement portfolios. His knowledge and access to alternative investments outside of Wall Street has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs find predictable results by helping them segment their retirement plans into wealth preservation, growth and liquidity. An avid fan of being prepared for the unexpected, Ross also guides his clients in preparing their lives and portfolios for the changing world to make Wise Decisions in Perilous Times.
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