How to think like an entrepreneur

If entrepreneurship is the process by which value is created where less (or none) existed before, then the entrepreneur is the person who initiates and leads this value-creation process.

Here's how it works:

When new value is created, the customer receives some portion of this value. It could be faster speeds. More storage. An improved or refined UI/UX. You get the point.

At the same time, the entrepreneur typically captures a small piece of this newly created value. This is called profit.

This profit allows the operation to support itself while it continues to grow (so it can continue to provide more value to more people).

The entrepreneur as extractor

What this boils down to is this:

Entrepreneurship is an extraction process.

For instance, the extraction of physical commodities like oil and natural gas, or the cultivation and extraction of food, water, and shelter. These things, once extracted, can then be distributed to people who need or want them.

Most people think of these sorts of activities when they contemplate entrepreneurship because these are obvious areas where entrepreneurs can make a positive impact.

However, if you stop here, you miss the full scope and power of the "entrepreneurial approach."

The extraction process also applies to non-tangibles, such as information. Because systems and processes are critical for growth, the success of any venture depends on the person who can extract and implement the best ideas.

Everyone is (or can be) an Entrepreneur

Here's why this is important:

It means you don't have to be a founder or CEO to be an entrepreneur. Thinking otherwise is a short-sighted, and self-defeating worldview (which is as true for the employee as it is for the employer).

Everyone, from the newest higher to the 20 year veteran, can think and act like an entrepreneur for his company, team, or project. These are the type of people you might call linchpins.

Cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset, then, is a critical task for all organizations, big and small.

And that's exactly why GE invited me to their premiere leadership event of the year to help teach their most promising executives and managers how to cultivate entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset in their employees.

We did this by assembling a panel of proven entrepreneurs who have succeeded across a wide range of domains and industries. I then extracted their best insights on business, marketing, creativity, and leadership during a live panel interview.

The full training is below.

The Entrepreneur Mindset Panel: How to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in leaders, managers, and employees

Entrepreneur Mindset Panelist #1. Megan Reamer, co-founder of Jackson's Honest

Megan Reamer is the co-founder and CEO of Jackson's Honest, a healthy foods company. Jackson's Honest makes potato chips, tortilla chips and grain free puffs all cooked in organic coconut oil.

Megan and her husband Scott started Jackson's Honest as a way to share their son Jackson's story and the delicious snack foods they made for him.

They've since had their products featured on the the shelves of Whole Foods all around the country and have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe.

Entrepreneur Mindset Panelist #2. Patrick Vlaskovits, 2x NYT bestselling author and founder of Superpowered Inc.

Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur and 2 time New York Times bestselling author. His writing has been featured in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal, and he speaks at technology conferences worldwide.

Patrick is founder and CEO of Superpowered Inc, a TechStars funded startup that is the leading interactive audio development platform for desktop, mobile, IoT and embedded devices.

Entrepreneur Mindset Panelist #3. Bret Boyd, CEO of Knoema, and author of "Catalyst: Leadership and Strategy in a Changing World."

Bret Boyd is the CEO of Knoema, a software platform for data access and discovery. At Knoema, Bret and his team build tools to help public and private-sector organizations make better decisions with data.

Bret began his career as an infantry officer in the US Army. Bret has published numerous articles on technology, strategy, and change management and is the coauthor of "Catalyst: Leadership and Strategy in a Changing World."

What we cover in this training:

  • How to differentiate a new product in the marketplace (How Megan entered a marketplace that is hyper crowded, where the competition is composed of multi-million and billion dollar companies, and yet was able to get her product on the shelves of grocery stores around the country)
  • Brett Boyd's book "Catalyst" which talks about the nature of business cycles and how these are compressing across time, and what that means for businesses and leadership within organizations and startups (specifically how Brett implemented this both as an employee and founder)
  • How to perceive and evaluate pockets of opportunity, and where in the value chain to focus your efforts (how Patrick built a mobile audio startup in a hyper-competitive industry)
  • Partnerships (no organization, no department, can thrive on it's own; it requires strategic partnerships…how Brett applies this inside Knoema, Megan with Jackson's Honest, and Patrick with Superpowered
  • How to approach the creation and roll-out of new products (How do you conduct market research? What would keep you from rolling out a new product? Any examples of products you killed before you launched?)
  • Positioning a business for growth (how should you organize your business to profit from this growth?)
  • How to think and act like an entrepreneur as a member of an organization (How do you instill that thinking in your team? How must you organize your team, or rewards, etc. to achieve entrepreneurial action?)
  • Finding, hiring, and retaining top talent (how to find and hire rockstars who can drive a business and organization forward?)
  • Dealing with employees who are under performing (how do you properly measure performance so you know if someone is genuinely not pulling their weight?)
  • Plus a lot more audience Q and A covered at the 42:20 minute mark

/// Additional Info ///

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