This morning in Akron, I had the pleasure to hear a presentation by Larry Farrell the Guru of Entrepreneurship. He has a long list of accolades but the one that caught my attention is that he has one of the top 10 bestselling books in China this year: Getting Entrepreneurial.
His talk really hit home for me. As someone who started a service business in 1998 after 17 years of a very steady corporate paycheck, I felt like he “knew” me.
Larry offered many insights. My favorite: he suggests entrepreneurs make something or provide a service that is needed. Basically — do your marketing homework!!
You also need to make sure you’re in a position where if your business takes a hit, your whole life won’t be affected by it. You need to ensure that you have money saved as backup, you have been using the best credit card to build credit so your score is high, all these things that you need to think about. It’s a harsh reality that about 50% of small businesses don’t make it past five years so you want to give yourself every chance of becoming an entrepreneur.
The key to a really successful new business is one that focuses on services or products that the world really NEEDS and WANTS. Not just what you can make, not one that is easy to manage, (although those are necessary too) — but a business that launches products & introduces services to solve a problem. Obviously the business itself needs to be run effectively using something like Profits OKR software to keep a track of your goals and the progress you’re making towards them, but if you don’t have a good product you won’t get off the ground.
It’s all about focusing on the market. It is also vital that you learn to budget too. Some businesses simply ignore the obvious benefits of using a comparison site like Utility Bidder in order to avoid paying excessively for their utilities. This ignorance will never bode well for a hopeful entrepreneur.
It’s kind of a “duh” moment, isn’t it? But you’d be so surprised at how little attention is given to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in the schools — elementary, high school, university level, even MBA programs. It’s only been the last 5 or 10 years the subject has even been on the radar screen. That’s something that Junior Achievement is working to change.
Currently, you have to wait until college age before you can begin learning what it takes to become an entrepreneur, for example on the Prairie View GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN BUSINESS. But Larry works closely with Junior Achievement and is in the midst of developing a new high school circurriculum. Currently Junior Achievement trains millions and millions of children and young people in three core principles needed for future success: 1) financial literacy 2) workforce readiness 3) entrepreneurship.
Interesting facts that he shared about the need for entrepreurship training:
- Young people today will have 9 different jobs during their career before they are 40.
- Of the top companies, 84% don’t last 100 years.
- Every 50 years, 70% of the Fortune 500 companies turnover on the list.
- Having 25-50 employees is an optimum size. (Not too bureaucratic!)
- It’s not “that hard” to be global. Even small start-ups should consider it!
- It’s not about management: planning, leading, organizing, controlling. Successful companies must think like entrepreneurs — focus your passion on your idea, get really good at it and make sure the market wants it.
Even the large corporations are looking for entrepreneurship minded individuals, even more so than the traditional managerial minded individuals.
So, what are you doing to become more entrepreneurial? What are you doing to help the young people of today to be more entrepreneurial in their future careers?
Of interest to the new product entrepreneur: The link below goes to my company’s webpage. You can get an hour of extremely helpful information on audio CD about how to create a successful new product launch:
If you decide to buy it, put the words “I’m an Entrepreneur” in the special shipping instructions of PayPal and I’ll send you a 25% rebate.