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When you think of yourself as a successful entrepreneur, what types of images or feelings do you experience? Maybe you can imagine yourself creating something that equally balances art, function, and ingenuity. This section is deed to help you develop your entrepreneurial vision. Establishing your vision is the first of several steps toward making your venture a reality. Many would-be entrepreneurs aspire to launch the next great business or organization that will change the world.
Some know exactly what they want to create, whereas others figure it out as they go along. Although there is no secret to success, you do need to have some idea about what you envision for your entrepreneurial future. What do you see in your future?
How do you want to contribute to the world? Every successful entrepreneur that you encounter or read about likely started with an image or idea related to something he or she felt passionate about creating. This occurs even when the person has no idea how or if what they desire to accomplish or create will become a reality. Vision speaks to what the entrepreneur wants the business to look like in the future—perhaps five or ten years out. Unfortunately, many potential entrepreneurs have dreams and ideas but never develop a concrete vision.
A vision statement is the picture you have for what the venture will become in the future: what it will grow into. Be aware, though, that oftentimes, the identified vision at the start of the venture changes into something different. In later chapters, we discuss how this change requires open-mindedness and a willingness to adapt. The mission statement is a formal declaration about what the venture will do, what value it will provide to the end customer, and how it will accomplish this action. In describing your mission, carefully think about the value proposition that you provide.
This relates back to the perspective of problem solving. Not only do you need to solve the problem, but you also must provide value. Both concepts of a future vision and the mission of the venture should be formalized into statements. In spite of your best efforts, you may have trouble putting your entrepreneurial vision on paper. This is normal, especially in the early stages of the process. You may want to start with an outline and fill in the details later. Or set aside a short time each day that you can spend on this task so you train your mind to think about the vision you are setting for yourself.
If you experience a mental block, try changing your environment—go outside, try a different time of day, or go to a setting that has similarities to the business you are interested in creating. You might also consider talking with someone who has experience in the industry to give you suggestions. Or better yet, find a mentor in your chosen area of interest and keep this person apprised of your progress. Having someone to bounce ideas off is a great asset to have when imagining the possibilities of the future.
Mentorships can provide you with numerous benefits Figure 1. Notice that in this second article, the author focuses on sales, operations, business development, and entrepreneurial experience as the most ificant areas that need expertise for startups. Next, describe the areas that you would want help from a mentor for learning and developing your business idea. Then, list a few possible avenues where you could find a mentor who fits your needs. Considering the information in these articles, how would this information help you develop your statements and describe your value proposition?
An entrepreneurial vision considers what you want your venture to become, what this venture will look like, what the driving forces are, and what values and culture should surround it. Each individual entrepreneur has a unique picture of what the venture will become. For example, Kevin F. Adler wanted to help homeless people. He created Miracle Messagesa volunteer-based nonprofit organization with a goal of helping homeless people reconnect with loved ones.
The vision Openminded musician entreprenuer seeking nice woman this organization includes building a vast network of volunteers and partnerships to stop homelessness and bring people together. This vision Openminded musician entreprenuer seeking nice woman about creating community, helping each other, and strengthening communities. Go to the website www. As you read about this organization, consider what this organization could become in the future, with an extensive network that supports connecting volunteers to homeless people, then to loved ones, and to other organizations that support the physical relocations and resources to address the original reasons why the person became homeless.
How can this organization become a global business? Consider families dislocated through wars, famine, and other disasters who want to find their loved ones. The infrastructure developed with Miracle Messages could be replicated for other populations besides homeless people in the United States. In an entrepreneurial venture, when the vision has a shorter timeline, such as five years, it could focus on a local problem or situation, and over time evolve into a vision that is broader and includes more diverse markets or populations.
Your vision should inspire the people involved in your startup to support your venture. Use your imagination to create this picture of your venture with a focus on the future of the venture. This information helps guide the vision for the venture and define how it is uniquely different from any other business.
Ideally, the vision should be insightful, bold, inspirational, and believable, and it should be developed into a formal vision statement. The vision statement should also be clearly stated and discussed with the startup team. Although you might not have a startup team, a mentor, or a support group developed yet, to create an entrepreneurial venture, you will need support.
Your support network understands that working without pay is often the normal situation at the beginning, with the potential for financial rewards coming when the venture is harvested or sold. For some entrepreneurs, knowing the vision includes the sale of the venture to another group or corporation is difficult to accept. However, that is the point at which the venture can grow to become ever more viable. A small business owner starts or buys into a business idea that already exists, whereas an entrepreneur is someone who seeks to create something new through either new products, services, methodologies, or combinations of ideas that create a new venture or organization.
The lead entrepreneur should share the vision statement with employees and investors, as these groups are formalized, communicating what this vision means personally and to the success of the venture. Even if your vision statement changes based on new information and decisions, creating an initial vision statement is a valuable step and will help guide your decisions. What do you want your life to look like ten to twenty years from now? Consider these questions:. You could describe a typical workday and weekend day in your life as part of answering these questions.
Create a vision statement that describes the answers to these questions. There are many definitions of and ways to express creativity you will learn more about creativity in Creativity, Innovation, and Invention. Artists typically show their creative side in their art, musicians show their creativity through music, and writers express their creativity in writing.
Others express technical creativity through cell phone innovations or new car technology. It is up to you to determine how you will express your creativity in your venture and in your professional life. In most cases, when people follow their passions, their creativity flows from that passion.
One approach to discovering your vision for your future is to begin with the end in mind. What picture of your desired future do you have in mind? How could this vision fit with the ideas you have of creating a successful venture? These two pictures should coexist. We will discuss work-life balance later in the chapter to help you identify what creates success as you describe your vision. Another approach to developing your vision is to use a creative thinking process. This type of thinking allows people to come up with ideas that they might not have had without adopting a creative mindset.
The creative thinking process covered in more depth in Creativity, Innovation, and Invention has four steps: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification Figure 1. In the preparation stage, gather information and collect ideas. As part of the process of tapping into creative ideas, you can apply divergent thinking by generating as many ideas as possible, even when those ideas do not seem logical.
Create a list of conflicting ideas, or ideas that are diverse and disparate. Preparation is the first step of the creative thinking process. The next action is to walk away from thinking about the activity: incubation. We are programming our minds to realize that the work done in preparation is an important topic for consideration. When we walk away from consciously thinking about the activity or problem, we allow our unconscious minds to continue to think about the activity, even though our conscious minds are busy doing other things.
This incubation period is essential for advancing creativity. In the incubation stage, you might go for a walk, take a nap, or just continue with your daily activities. At some point, you may have a sudden inspiration or illumination —an aha! In this step, the answer often pops into our conscious minds, and we recognize how to proceed. The last step is verificationcrafting our vision statement or message, or responding to the exercise in creative thinking. You can apply this creative thinking process to many different business situations.
Once we further develop and crystallize our ideas the Business Model Canvas discussed in Launch for Growth to Success is a good tool for this activitywe provide an opening for a creative and viable solution as we continue to think about the issue. De thinking, brainstorming, and mind mapping are tools that you will learn about later in the course.
Although these tools may be familiar, there are specific methodologies that can optimize their success in entrepreneurial situations. Brainstorming requires that participants generate ideas around the desired topic without judgment. Be sure to write down your thoughts so that you can return to them later. Brainstorming is different from divergent thinking, which does not require ideas to be associated with the identified topic.
For example, in brainstorming on the topic of helping the homeless population, we might come up with ideas such as finding Openminded musician entreprenuer seeking nice woman food and housing, or providing free medical care. Using divergent thinking, we would arrive at more diverse ideas, such as filming homeless people then ing the videos to a social media website to connect family members with the homeless person.
These tools could incorporate divergent thinking in the idea-generation step, but typically, unless people are taught how to use divergent thinking, the ideas generated are more structured and constrained, and more logical. As much as we want to encourage divergent ideas, we also want to discourage any judgment around our ideas. Once we start judging our ideas, we restrict our creativity and end up with less than ideal solutions.
Approach this process with some playfulness and relaxation. Mind mapping is another popular technique for creative thinking. Here, you create an illustration on paper or a chalk board. Write down the words that come to mind then link those words together with lines in a diagram that shows how each word relates to the others. The idea is that one word can lead to another. You can discover associations that might not have been evident before you created the mind map.
You can conduct research on entrepreneurial ideas by creating surveys and asking people questions about their experiences related to your idea. You could ask people about their experiences eating while commuting to work or ask questions about nutritional concerns or diets. Or you could find secondary data on when people eat, eating while commuting, popular diets, or other related topics. Or you could find case studies that focus on a few in-depth similar areas of interest or perform your own case studies by selecting a few peers to track their eating habits.
Or you could create a prototype of your product and ask people to tell you about their experience using your product. Practice your creativity skills by changing your routine. Because our brains block out many routine activities, such as our commute to work, or other repetitious habits, we often fail to notice our surroundings.Openminded musician entreprenuer seeking nice woman
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