Yesterday I participated in my first #StartupChats as a Startup Canada Advisor asking the question “Is Entrepreneurship for Me?” hosted by @kywoods_ @Startup_Canada @MastercardCAnws. Below are my responses compiled together:
Why should you be an entrepreneur if you are made for one?
Right now is the best time to seize the opportunity and start a company. When I did my first startup during the first dot com boom + bust (1999/2000), it cost $100,000+ for an e-commerce website. Now with Shopify for as low as $29/month you can sell online. Today it costs 20 per cent of what it would cost five years ago to get a product to market. Crowdfunding has democratized access to capital, lowering barriers for anyone to start a business and innovate. Through social networks, you’ll be able to over 2 billion people. All these factors lead to what I call the “democratization” of becoming an entrepreneur.
What are the signs that one is fit to become an entrepreneur?
- Risk Tolerance: The ability to take calculated risks & live with the potential fallout
- Adaptability: Entrepreneurs must be able to pivot & adjust to change
- Reliability & Results Orientation: In other words: When you say you’ll do something, you do it
What are some crucial skills that one should look to develop when they are considering to start up?
How you tell the story determines who will listen. What makes a vision believable is the storyteller who paints a picture of what is possible and people don’t want to back a business, crowdfunding campaign, product, etc. that’s not going to work. Make the story visual, compelling, worth hearing. Your audience will listen. Better yet, they’ll engage. You’ll win converts that make the story their own!
What is the main passion that drove you to become an entrepreneur in the first place?
I tell my students that some of the best business ideas start from a problem you’re experiencing personally that you’re passionate about and developing a solution to address that issue.
It’s important to be passionate about your business. Lori Greiner put it best that “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”.
Is entrepreneurship something that one can learn, or naturally grow into?
Absolutely! Entrepreneurship is a topic one can learn and in fact at the
@UCalgary @HunterHubYYC in #YYC has integrated #EntrepreneurialThinking across the campus http://explore.ucalgary.ca/themes/entrepreneurial-thinking
Can an introverted person become an entrepreneur? How can they break barriers and let their ideas show themselves?
Epictetus famously said “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” consequently introverted people can be better communicators.
That being said: Startle people. Break out of your comfort zone and do something unexpected.
What are some supports and resources available if one is thinking about entrepreneurship as the next career step?
#YYC are fortunate to have support from all three levels of government with organizations such as the @NRC_CNRC @BDC_Capital @ABInnovates @ABEnterpriseCor @AB_EDT @InnovateCalgary @yyctechnologies @startupcalgary @calgaryeconomic to name a few.
Alberta is well known for it’s “entrepreneurial spirit”, but the difference maker is the “can do” attitude of our business community. Generally speaking, I find Albertans are very approachable, friendly and genuinely willing to help bring an idea to fruition.
What are some responsibilities and commitments that come with becoming an entrepreneur?
You value time.
Entrepreneurs must understand that their time is the most valuable asset they own. It’s the one thing that people will try to take from the week in and week out and the one thing they must protect as much as they can.
What are some aspects of entrepreneurship that haven’t been spotlighted to the most?
Stop thinking about your business idea as a project. Start thinking about it as a house you will live in for a long time. To a founder, their company is their baby. No one wants to hear that their baby is ugly.
What are some axioms or principles that guided your entrepreneurial journey?
If you run after money or pursue money for the sake of money, it’s like chasing your shadow and you’ll keep going around in a circle unable to touch it or capture it. Instead, aim for the sun; the sun being the proverbial passion. If you pursue your passion, the sun will shine on you casting a shadow and consequently, the money will follow.
What are your final tips for people weighing entrepreneurship as the next career step?
Everyone can come up with an idea, but success comes down to great execution.
About Kris Hans
Strategist, Market Grade
Instructor at University of Calgary & Mount Royal University making #YYC better through #creativity #entrepreurship #SocEnt & #Innovation