Aspiring entrepreneurs are driven. They have big dreams, a crazy work ethic and unrelenting passion. But, there is one thing that most of them lack. Entrepreneurial knowledge. Most realize this immediately. All will realize it, eventually.
How Entrepreneur Wisdom Beats School Knowledge
To obtain this entrepreneurial knowledge, many pursue MBAs, take various technical classes, read countless books and follow numerous mentors and “gurus.”
There is absolutely zero doubt that they learn tangible, helpful skills and personal habits. But, are these the things that are holding them back? Is a lack of accounting knowledge the one final thing that is keeping them from successfully launching their startup? Or, is it their improved time management skills that’s going to make the difference in founding their company? No.Most aspiring entrepreneurs seek entrepreneurial knowledge and insights from the wrong sources and people. Click To Tweet
It’s not their fault.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is a massive void in the US educational system, the business coaching industry and relevant business literature.
I know there are hundreds of MBA programs offered by literally hundreds of universities. Life and business coaches are blowing up LinkedIn. And, bookstores are full of shelves with business books! Just hear me out.
The overwhelming (and I do mean “overwhelming!”) majority of MBA professors have never launched a successful startup.
Practical Entrepreneurship Skills versus MBA Business Knowledge
Learning practical and actionable entrepreneurship from most MBA professors is like receiving parenting advice from people without kids! Although an MBA will give you valuable business skills, will it teach you how to make your first dollar as an entrepreneur? No.
Even MBA programs that offer an “entrepreneurship focus” will leave you lacking. Why?
In a large auditorium class of 100 MBA students with aspirations to become entrepreneurs, there will be 100 distinct business ideas, markets and personal circumstances. Therefore, the entrepreneurship material covered in class will be an “inch deep and a mile wide.”
Mile Deep and Inch Wide Knowledge
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need the exact opposite. You need knowledge that is “mile deep and an inch wide.” And, the “inch wide” must perfectly cover YOUR specific, unique business situation. Unfortunately, most aspiring entrepreneurs realize this after they’re stuck with massive student loans.It seems like every third person on LinkedIn is either a Life or Business Coach. Click To Tweet
Each promising to help you achieve your goals. But, how?
Most of these self-proclaimed business coaches have launched exactly ONE company…their coaching business.
If they truly had the ability to coach you to attain riches as an entrepreneur, then wouldn’t they do it for themselves, first?
I’m personally skeptical of any business coach that’s not financially independent because I’d want to see their proven success first. I’m reminded of the old saying, “those who can’t do, teach.”
Bookstores lack the support that real aspiring entrepreneurs need, as well.
The traditional type of business book author climbs the corporate ladder to lead large, publicly traded enterprises. These CEO authors are experts at mergers & acquisitions, restructuring debt and bolstering their stock price. The second type of CEO author is even more famous. They create “black swan” innovations and spend their way to success with tens of millions of investor dollars. Most of these CEOs become billionaires from flashy IPOs or acquisitions without ever making a single dollar in profit. Monetizing their companies comes later.
- These celebrity CEOs fill the shelves at your local bookstores with well-written and worthwhile books.
- However, the content is mostly philosophical or motivational, providing very limited “actionable” insights regarding how to launch a successful business.
- Investing in quality, setting ambitious goals, and effectively managing your time are helpful life and business lessons.
- Unfortunately, “believing in your dreams” and other motivational poster “tag lines” don’t explain how to sell your company’s services or products.
- Regrettably, most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t know a single chief executive from the category of entrepreneurs that they aspire to be.
These CEOs are proven at leading startups from just a dream to tens of millions of dollars in revenue on shoestring budgets. Despite being virtually unknown, they represent the majority of business owners. They’re the ones living and fighting in the trenches. They know where the landmines are.
They have the hard-learned lessons written in blood and bankruptcy!
Unfortunately, very few of these unknown CEOs teach at business schools, coach aspiring entrepreneurs or publish books. This simple fact is a primary source of frustration for aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking directly relevant information regarding how to successfully launch a “real” startup.
Invest in a Mentor Who is Where You Want to Be
The advice that I give aspiring entrepreneurs is to make the investment to find the type of mentor and successful entrepreneur that they aspire to be.
One-on-one mentoring from a successful, proven entrepreneur about
- YOUR company,
- YOUR challenges,
- YOUR opportunities and
- YOUR personal circumstances will tremendously improve the odds of YOUR entrepreneurial success.
You will be learning from somebody who has been in the same foxhole as you.
Having said this, I am a BIG supporter of education and reading. If you’re not learning, then you’re dying. Pursue an MBA to learn specific business administration skills, and read business and self-help books to be inspired and improve personal habits. If you don’t expect to learn how to become an entrepreneur from these sources of information, then you won’t become frustrated.
Appreciate them for what they can provide you.
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About Randy Wimmer
Do you want to take charge of your career by becoming an entrepreneur but have family and financial obligations that prevent you from quitting your “day job?”
If so, then launching a GovCon startup that enables you to bid on millions of dollars in Small Business Set Aside government contracts from home may be the solution. It was for me. I wrote the winning proposal for a $15M contract from my kitchen table after my kids went to bed. With guaranteed contract revenue, I hired employees without ever going a penny in debt. After winning over $170M in contracts, I sold my company and committed to helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. I launched Government Contracting Academy to mentor, coach and train aspiring entrepreneurs achieve financial success in the Federal Government contracting market.