Introduction to Entrepreneurship

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Cloud Computing -- Opportunity or Liability?
From the Boston Consulting Group's latest "Perspectives"...The Conventional View: Cloud computing offers companies sizable potential advantages, chief among them being lower costs and greater flexibility. But the risks of “the cloud,” including the potential compromise of sensitive business...
 
 
M-Commerce: Mobile Commerce at a Tipping Point
From the Boston Consulting Group's latest "Perspectives"...The Conventional View: Mobile commerce will be the “next big thing” to transform retailing, but it’s a slow evolution—something that’s been talked about for years and still has a long way to go before it leads to a massive shift...
 
 
Social Media: The Stereotype Shattered
From the Boston Consulting Group's latest "Perspectives"...The Conventional View: Social media have moved into the mainstream, but many in the business world still typecast the typical user as young, Western, and more than likely completely self-absorbed.My View: It’s a new year and a good...
 
 
Mobile: The Latest Technology Disruption
Mobile internet computing is going to disrupt desktop internet computing in the same way that......desktop internet computing disrupted personal computing in the same way that......personal computing disrupted mini computing in the same way that......mini computing disrupted mainframe...
 
 
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The Truth about Jobs
Obama talks about creating “jobs”. Politicians love to promise more “jobs”.  Pundits worry about mergers destroying “jobs”.  Workers don’t want “jobs” to move overseas.  And on and on, ad nauseum.  But only entrepreneurs and growing companies can...
 
 
$3 Million Prize for the Best Analytics
From a story in the Wall Street Journal:Amid a larger effort to use medical data to improve health care, one company is trying something new: offering $3 million in prize money for the algorithm that can best predict when people are likely to be sent to the hospital.The algorithm contest,...
 
 
Startup Failure Rates (Very Sobering)
Interesting data from Harvard Business School...Most companies fail. It's an unsettling fact for bright-eyed entrepreneurs, but old news to start-up veterans. But here's the good news: Experienced entrepreneurs know that running a company that eventually fails can actually help a career, but...
 
 
Proprietary Systems, Walled Gardens, and App Stores?
Tune in this Saturday for our "How to Think Like an Entrepreneur" webinar series to hear our read on the future of Information Technology, where we think it is headed, and what that means in terms of opportunities for entrepreneurs.  There will be a "live" Q&A at the end....
 
 
Here's an Idea and Money for You - What Are You Waiting For?
Many would-be entrepreneurs simply lack the idea.  They might have boundless energy and enthusiasm and they might have prepared themselves well, but they just haven't had that "eureka moment" of having landed on a great opportunity.  And potentially they also lack the financial resources...
 
 
Scary Numbers That Should Give You a Jolt
I attended a Harvard Club luncheon yesterday with Dallas mayor, Tom Leppert.  He is not a typical big town mayor: he is a super-sharp and very successful business executive (and Harvard MBA) that wanted to take a turn at tackling thorny issues as a public service to his city and...
 
 
The American Dream With a Dose of Reality
I first saw this right after I graduated from business school and loved it then as it sort of flew in the face of the convention MBA wisdom.  It was circulating around email in the old text-based email days and I remember forwarding it to a few friends.  I just came across it again and...
 
 
Guest Blog Post: A Theology of Risk
Jim was at the point of decision.  He had been challenged in his thinking about the need to orient his life toward his family, toward his children.  He had grown suspect of the system in which he had been trained, which now had him locked into an eight to five schedule.  His desire...
 
 
Guest Blog Post: Key Mistakes From a Young Entrepreneur Prior to Launch
A little over 8 months ago I launched an internet company with a close friend that provides lead generation for property management companies. Prior to this I spent 6 months mentoring under a serial entrepreneur, 3 months analyzing opportunities and then a little under a year preparing to launch...
 
 
Now Available: Downloadable Versions of Additional Workbooks for the Venture Academy
Due to popular request from purchasers of the Venture Academy DVD Training Series and prior attendees of the Venture Academy, we now have available downloadable PDF versions of all six workbooks: Book: Venture Academy Workbook #1 - A Vision for Christian Entrepreneurship...
 
 
Preparing to Be an Entrepreneur - Example Roadmaps
As a student of entrepreneurs, I love to hear their story of how they launched, and as a teacher of entrepreneurship, I love to turn that into a roadmap of sorts (see a detailed example below). Let's start with a brief sketch of how Reid Hoffman (pictured above), founder and Chairman of...
 
 
New Podcast on Which Opportunities to Focus on in a Downturn
One of the most frequent questions I get is related to the topic of the kind of opportunities to pursue given the state of the economy.  Whether you have been laid off or whether you are merely exploring how to gain more independence over your ability to produce an income in an uncertain...
 
 
Five Myths About How to Create Jobs
As we've talked about before with our posts on the state of the economy (Government Intervention with Free Market Mechanisms and Government Intervention with Free Market Mechanisms - Part 2), Why the Economy is Going to Get a Lot Worse Before it Gets Better, An Analysis of the...
 
 
Good Entrepreneurs are Good Leaders
A friend of mine is having a ceremony tomorrow for his 13 year-old son, encouraging him -- now that he is thirteen -- to begin to think and act as a man.  He sent out an email inviting some of his friend to send in an encouraging word for his son that he can then cut and paste...
 
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Research on What Makes an Entrepreneur Tick
This is an interesting research report on entrepreneurship in America.  Although it leaves God out of the equation, there are some insightful nuggets in this scholarly research report based upon detailed surveys of 549 company founders in a variety of industries, including aerospace and...
 
 
The Real Cost of Social Media (Hint: It Is Not Free)
I've only dipped my toe in the Social Media waters (New Venture Lab and a related LinkedIn group) and I have actually been fairly resistant to expanding any of my own personal efforts on social media (I do not Tweet on Twitter, I do not have a Facebook page, I do not have a MySpace page,...
 
 
Are You an Inventor or an Entrepreneur?
I like this topic because there is a very real distinction between the two roles of inventor and entrepreneur.  We've had a few Q&As on this topic including Taking an Invention to Market but I liked the perspective of this author regarding the entrepreneurial viewpoint and its...
 
 
The Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now
Every entrepreneur likes to catch a wave and ride the crest as long as possible.  As I am fond of saying "a rising tide lifts all boats."  Given that, when you are looking for ideas for a business, look for favorable macro trends - one of our 50 concepts in our Venture Analysis...
 
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The Problem with Employees - Part 2
I'm sure you've all experienced this from time to time: when the owner is absent, the employees will do almost anything but serve a customer.  Well, it happened to me just today and it served as a fresh reminder of some of the typical problems with employees.  It also turned into a good...
 
 
How Consumers Drive American Innovation
America is uniquely entrepreneurial compared to most world economies and even in a downturn -- or even especially during a downturn -- we see the creativity and entrepreneurial efforts running high in the U.S.  I know that within my daily work I am presented right now with an enormous number...
 
 
The Impact of Increased Savings
As explained before in this post Why the Economy Is Going To Get A Lot Worse Before It Gets Better back in January, a nation's economy can only grow via three mechanisms of capital formation: Increased savings, which provides growth capital (we’ve had too little of this in our economy)...
 
 
Creative Entrepreneurship in a Downturn - Part 2
In this ongoing series of blog posts (see Part 1 here), we are examining creative ways of taking advantage of the opportunities that the current downturn presents rather than simply despairing about our current economy.  So how should we think about creating opportunities in a downturn? ...
 
 
A Seven Year-Old's View of Entrepreneurship
The Big Pig, by seven year-old Eleni, the daughter of one of our Venture Academy students: Part 1 - The big pig works at a Mexican restaurant.  The boss is mad at him because the big pig ate all of the chips.  Now there are no chips for the customers.  The boss said "you are...
 
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A Father's Perspective on the Venture Academy
I just want to say one more time how grateful I am for the opportunity to attend Venture Academy this past week.  It was a blessing beyond words.  Jonathon and I had a wonderful time...my family and I so appreciate your willingness to give of yourself to help train and teach men all...
 
 
Creative Entrepreneurship in a Downturn - Part 1
The crucible of a downturn always gives rise to an increase in entrepreneurial endeavor as we are forced into being more creative in dealing with fewer job opportunities and fewer available resources.  In the following interview, Harvard Business School (HBS) senior lecturer and McKinsey &...
 
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Transitioning from Being Laid-Off to Being an Entrepreneur
Sometimes all a would-be entrepreneur needs is a little push and sometimes that push -- by the providence of God -- comes in the form of being laid off. Heavy lay-offs always lead to a spate of new startups, as many of those newly-released workers roll up their sleeves and attempt to start...
 
 

Q&A

Is Post-Secondary Education Necessary?
I am a father of five children ranging from 3 years old to 20 and I would like your opinion on a matter. My wife and I prayed and asked the Lord to show us what would be the best follow-on once our two eldest being boys finish school as we were not sure whether or not college was a good choice for...
 
 
Estimating Market Penetration of a New Service
Regarding business model: How do you estimate market penetration on a "new/different" service that people do not currently use?  Is that changing behavior? ...
 
 
How to Transition Your Business Model
If you have existing customer base used to one business model, is it smart to change or start new brand? ...
 
 
Maintaining Enthusiasm
How do you maintain enthusiasm/creativity/vision when you are tired, or discouraged? ...
 
 
Questions on Preparation for Entrepreneurship from a 12 Year-Old
My name is Daniel and I would like to learn from you by asking you a few questions.  What do you think of bonds and mutual funds?  Are they a worthwhile investment?  My brother and I have a lawn business and I was wondering if you had a business when you were my age.  I was...
 
 
Starting a Low-Cost Business with My Children
I would like to know how to begin a small business that I can do with my children, ages, 3 6 and 7.  My son is very interested in owning a company.  Is there something we could do with little or no start up fees? ...
 
 
Ordering the Harvard Business School Cases for the Venture Academy
How do I order the Harvard Business School case studies that are taught in the Venture Academy DVD Training Series?  Also, how much do the cases cost?  ...
 
 
Opportunities for Entrepreneurs to Focus On During a Downturn
Given the current economy and political environment of today, if you were going to focus on a particular type of business, market or segment what would it be?  What would be your top 3 choices? ...
 
 
MBA with Sales Experience Seeks Advice on Building His Entrepreneurial Skills
I am a father of two girls and was introduced to you through a magazine article 6 months ago, just as I was finishing my MBA.  You've been a blessing!  My question is: Now that I'm in management consulting, where should I focus my skill/knowledge development which will best complement...
 
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Semi-Conductor Process Engineer Seeks Advice
I found your site after having seen DVDs of a couple presentations that Wade Myers did at the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp in 2006.  The perspective presented there was a new one for me after working for several decades in the conventional worker economy.  I'm a thirty year veteran of...
 
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Age Group for the Venture Academy
I'm in my early 50's. Will the academy be oriented to a younger age group? It would be difficult to attend this year, but what I have read is of interest to me....
 
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How to Get Started with an Idea
I am a father of a homeschooling family with 8 children and I am currently unemployed, but I have been wanting to go into business for myself with the intentions of including my family.  I have a couple of ideas for a business and was wondering what are the steps were to getting...
 
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Planning the Launch of an Online Collaboration Software Company
We are considering a software venture that would create an online collaborative content creation and editing tool.  There are two main pieces - the content creation/editing tool, and the collaboration tool, which would enable more seamless work by numerous parties on this content, and which...
 
 
Joint Venture with an Unbeliever
I was approached by a client and asked to develop a software tool to help meet the needs of a particular customer set for their service business.   I saw the possibility for something much bigger than their intended use for the tool and asked them if they would be willing to explore the...
 
 
Family Physician Seeks to Reorder Life
We were in Denver for the CHEC conference recently and enjoyed your talks at the "mini-bootcamp".  I've had 19 years of experience as a family physician, with the last 11 in private practice. At this point in my life, I'm interested in doing something different and would love to work from home...
 
 
What Makes an Entrepreneur
I read your post about the skills and experiences necessary to be an entrepreneur, but what about the "softer" stuff like my personality?  Any thoughts on what makes an entrepreneur?...
 
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Basic Business Coaching
I have no business acumen and no mind for business.  I feel like I need a business coach.  Not ongoing, but maybe an hour or two of consulting to review my current plan/thoughts and make some suggestions.  Any ideas on where to turn for help?...
 
 
Car Washes as a Business Model
I’m thinking about trying to raise $500K to build a car wash.  What do you think about car washes?  Is that a good business to go into?...
 
 
Preparing an Accountant for Entrepreneurship
I have just received an accounting degree and would like to gain work experiences that would ideally position me for deal making and entrepreneurship.  Some have suggested that I should go to work for one of the big four accounting firms to gain that “pedigree” prior to moving into...
 
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Acquiring Entrepreneurial Skills
What would you suggest is the best way to acquire necessary skills as an entrepreneur?...
 
 
Businessman vs. Entreprenreur
What distinguishes an entrepreneur from a mainstream businessman?...
 
 
Most Important Qualities
What are the most important qualities for a Christian entrepreneur?...
 
 
Most Critical Skill
What would you say the most critical foundational skill is required to run a small business?...
 
 
Lifestyle Change
Should I change my lifestyle to get out of debt?...
 
 
Developing an Entrepreneurial Vision for Our Children
I am not an entrepreneur, so I struggle with how to create a entrepreneurial family vision for my children.  What would you recommend? ...
 
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What To Do With Young Children
Is there anything I should be doing with my young children to prepare them to be entrepreneurs?...
 
 
Lawyer Looking to Become An Entrepreneur
I've had 13 years of attorney experience as a litigator with a large brand-name law firm and then as a corporate lawyer, where I just got laid off.  At this point in my life, I'm interested in doing something different and would love to work from home to have more time...
 
 
CPA Interested in Coming Home
I am a CPA with 10+ years of experience and I work for a CPA firm as a tax and audit specialist.  I feel God prompting me to build a home-based business so I can spend more time shepherding my family.  What suggestions do you have for how I can go about doing that?...
 
 
Launching a New Venture
Should I launch into my new entrepreneurial idea right away even if it involves dropping a steady source of income?  Or what transitional steps should I consider?...
 
 
Apprenticeships for Married Men
The NVL apprenticeships appear to be geared towards young unmarried men, would you ever consider offering an apprenticeship to a married man? ...
 
 

Quotes

Which One Are You?
Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what happened.- Anonymous ...
 
 
Richard Branson on Failure
If you don’t survive, just remember that most businesses fail and the best lessons are usually learned from failure. You must not get too dispirited. Just get back up and try again.- Richard Branson, global entrepreneur and CEO of the Virgin brand of companies...
 
 
The Imprisonment of Fear
If you put fleas in a shallow container, they will rapidly jump out. But if you put a lid on the container for a short time, the fleas will hit the lid, learn to jump only so high, and give up the quest for freedom. After the lid is removed, the fleas will remain imprisoned by their own...
 
 
No One is a Self-Made Man
There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success. - George Matthew Adams, writer...
 
 
Jobless Ex-Managers Turn to Entrepreneurship
With the U.S. job market still stagnant, many out-of-work ex-managers and execs have quit the labor pool to start their own businesses, says outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The percentage of unemployed workers starting companies rose to 8.6% in 2009, a four-year high, with the...
 
 
Entrepreneurs' Gloom Contradicts Wall Street Optimism
In the past year, more than one-third of the entrepreneurs surveyed have shed jobs while only five percent of entrepreneurs have added employees. A majority of entrepreneurs believe that the stimulus package has hurt entrepreneurial activity, and entrepreneurs want government to pursue a...
 
 
Research Dispels Myth About Entrepreneurs
The commonly held belief that entrepreneurs are young college students working out of their dorms is simply wrong.  Rather, on average, they tend to be highly experienced, well-educated workers who have families. They have come to a stage in their lives when they are simply tired of working...
 
 
Small is the New Big
Big companies used to win out over small ones because of their experience, impressive client lists, and seeming permanence. We trusted big business because it was big, but the economic crisis has changed that. Small companies are now winning the confidence and the business of recession customers....
 
 
Your Backyard's Potential ROI
7 million more American households plan to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, or berries in 2009 than in 2008 — that's a 19% increase.  Last year, American amateur gardeners spent $2.5 billion on seeds, plants, fertilizer, tools, and other supplies to grow their own food. The National...
 
 
Proverbs 11:28
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. (KJV)...
 
 
Thomas Edison on Innovation
To have a great idea, have a lot of them.To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.The value of an idea lies in the using of it.Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot...
 
 
2 Chronicles 16:9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. (KJV) ...
 
 
Proverbs 28:22
He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. (KJV) ...
 
 
2 Corinthian 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (KJV) ...
 
 
Teddy Roosevelt on Daring Mighty Things
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.- Teddy Roosevelt, America's 26th President ...
 
 
Proverbs 23:12
Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. (KJV)...
 
 
Proverbs 23:4-5
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (KJV)...
 
 
Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)...
 
 
Proverbs 13:22a
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children. (KJV)...
 
 
Jeffry Timmons on Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneurial process is not just about new companies, capital, and jobs. It's also about fostering an ingenious human spirit and improving humankind. - Jeffry Timmons, professor of business at Harvard University and Babson University...
 
 
Psalm 144:12-15
That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be...
 
 
Proverbs 12:27
The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. (KJV)...
 
 
Teddy Roosevelt on Christian Business
The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us. - Teddy Roosevelt, America's 26th President ...
 
 
Proverbs 28:20
A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. (KJV)...
 
 
Don Hart on Working With Children
Just don’t sell them short.  Our children are capable of so much more than we realize if we will be diligent and train them.  Remember John Quincy Adams was an ambassador at the age of fourteen because he walked with his father.  He shadowed his father, watched what his father...
 
 
Collosians 3:17
"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." - Prov 9:9 (NKJV) ...
 
 
Peter Drucker on Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or a different service. It is capable of being presented as a...
 
 
Michael Gerber on Entrepreneurship
The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication. - Michael Gerber, American businessman, consultant, author and trainer...
 
 
Victor Kiam on Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They...
 
 
John Naisbitt on Entrepreneurship
We are shifting from a managerial society to an entrepreneurial society. - John Naisbitt, American trend analyst, futurist and author...
 
 
Joseph Schumpeter on Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial profit is the expression of the value of what the entrepreneur contributes to production. - Joseph Schumpeter, Austrian-American economist...
 
 
Robert Schwartz on Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and an actualizer. He can visualize something, and when visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen. - Robert Schwartz, American businessman...
 
 


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Additional resources offered by New Venture Lab:

Family Works: Inspiring Profiles of Family Business - Volume One

Family Works: Inspirting Profiles of Family Business - Volume Two

Venture Academy Online - subscription-based HD video of our Christian entrepreneurship training course

 

Startup Financial Model Website

The Startup Financial Model a detailed, multi-sheet, completely integrated, easy-to-configure Excel-based business plan model for those who are planning or running a startup or small business and want an excellent financial model to enhance their business plan and capital-raising efforts. This companion site of ours includes step-by-step video instructions and customers choose what price they pay.