• Jeffrey Nytch

The Entrepreneurial Process (Part 1): Five Questions and an Imperative

I've had several requests to reprint a little series I wrote last Fall on the entrepreneurial process. These little tidbits (I call them my weekly homilies) appeared in my weekly e-newsletter at CU, the "Entrepreneurial Upbeat." They're meant to be short & approachable ways to hook students into thinking proactively about their careers. Here's the first in my series. Enjoy!

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I’m going to start a new series over the next few weeks on the entrepreneurial process. For some of you this will be familiar ground, but I think it’s always worth revisiting and looking at through different lenses. And I’ve broken down the process into six components, which was harder than it sounds to develop and refine: as we’ve talked about many times before, entrepreneurship means different things to different people, and it can be applied in so many different ways that sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what the core foundational principles are. Here’s my take on that, in the form of five questions plus an imperative. It's not designed to give the "answers," but rather give you a framework to ask the right questions -- in a quest to find your own answers, the ones that maximize your talents, express your passions, and make you want to jump out of bed in the morning. We’ll spend the coming weeks looking at each of these in turn:

Five Questions...

1. What do I/we [i.e, you or your group/organization/venture] have to offer?

2. What unmet need is there in the marketplace that I can address?

3. What is a creative solution to meet that need?

4. Is my solution financially and logistically feasible?

5. How shall I implement my solution?

And an imperative:

6. Deliver with an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Sometimes when I speak with folks about applying entrepreneurial principles to the arts they cling to the assumption that arts entrepreneurship is somehow different from other kinds of entrepreneurship. But that’s not the case. The goals may be different, the contexts in which the principles are applied are different, but at its root the process is the same: entrepreneurship gives us a process by which to find creative solutions to challenges in the marketplace. Perhaps the challenge is how to create a better medical instrument or penetrate a new market in biotechnology. Or maybe the challenge is to launch your own teaching studio, work within your community to save the orchestra you’re a part of, or figure out how to creatively fund the music program at your local high school. The specific goals are not the issue, because no matter what the goals are the entrepreneurial process can shed new light on how to achieve them. And that’s a pretty powerful tool for wherever you’re bound.

How do you start? We’ll start next time with assessing your resources. Stay tuned!

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