I was very excited to find out that the school that my daughter attends is hosting an “Entrepreneurship competition.” While it is essentially a business plan competition, the students will get judged on their ideas and business plan.
However, the young entrepreneurs will earn extra points if their business is already operational by the time the judging starts.
Recently, I was asked to speak to these budding entrepreneurs. Here are the highlights of the advice I gave to the young entrepreneurs:
- It is good to righteously pursue both Impact and Profit.
- Obsession is the ultimate skill for an entrepreneur
- Think about things you love to do…can you make any money doing these things?
- Think about ways to make things better or cheaper…can you make money doing this?
- What do people want? Can you make money giving people what they want? (The two examples I gave were food and the iPhone. People know they want food, but how do you know they will want something they’ve never seen or heard of before?)
- Be prepared for hardship. It doesn’t happen 100% of the time, but approximately 99% of the time, entrepreneurs struggle mightily. Be prepared to endure tough times and get used to disappointment.
- Develop a business plan and follow it. Tweak it only when necessary.
- Most of us need (and want) business partners…are they the right fit for you? That is, are they going to work as hard as (or harder than) you? Try to manage expectations from the beginning.
I concluded the talk by asking the entrepreneurs 4 questions:
- Is it possible to make a difference in others’ lives AND make a profit at the same time?
- Are you going to pursue passion or opportunity?
- Can you build a business by giving people what they want?
- Are you following a righteous path?
For Impact and Profit!