There has never been a better time to turn your hand to being an entrepreneur. Starting a side-hustle, or an all-in attempt, by yourself or with some like minded peers. Whatever it is, just start it.
Whether a boot-strapped attempt, using crowdfunding, a parental loan, or seeking venture capital there are a plethora of ways to get your own thing up and running. But what do you do when it comes time to execute or move beyond what was a lightbulb moment during a discussion over several good bottles of red? How do you get the idea off the whiteboard?
In an era when knowledge has become a valuable commodity, it is heartening when those who are involved and experienced in the field will share their knowledge and be open for questioning. Last night, the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) put Dr Sean Wise in front of a crowd of knowledge hungry budding entrepreneurs for what seemed like the quickest hour and a half ever experienced. It may have seemed quick, but everyone left much the better for being present and hearing some #WiseWords.
Dr Sean Wise
Dr Sean Wise is a professor of entrepreneurship at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, in Toronto, Canada. Sean specialises in helping emerging and high-growth potential organisations accelerate their business and turn a profit. He has started multiple businesses since the age of 13, took his first company public at 31, consulted on Canada’s version of the tv show Dragon’s Den and has his own show on the Oprah network. If you read his research papers or articles it becomes obvious that he knows what he is talking about through both experience and academic undertakings.
Some of the lessons from the session
The evening’s discussion centred around going from wanting to be an entrepreneur to taking the steps to being an entrepreneur. Essentially Sean explained that the path is known, and it’s called experiential learning. Learn by doing and by choosing to be an entrepreneur. Learn by taking the idea and engaging with it, that’s what will create value. You will only fail when you stop learning.
Although venture capital is not thrown around like it was during the dot.com era, it is accessible and many options are available. While no one will fund an idea only, if you start, if you develop your novel idea, if you prototype, if you trial and refine you have something that may attract capital if you go looking for it.
From an outlay perspective the cost of start-ups has gone down due to all of us being able to build upon pre-existing infrastructures. The tools and platforms that are now available to get it up and running are incredible. From e-commerce plugins and solutions through to 3D printing services, you can take care of virtually anything your business needs. Most of this can be done on your smartphone or on a browser. You are not hamstrung by your location, and many innovative teams are now global.
There are over 3.4 billion people online worldwide. If you can define your customer for the service or product you have realised is currently missing from the world, there will likely be a market.
Start-up success isn’t due to one big thing. It’s the result of putting a lot of little things together, and doing it together.
From speaking with those who are successful in the entrepreneurial and start-up space generally, whether they are in the tech field or another, there is a common theme. Don’t wait. If you haven’t started yet, why not? The excuses for not giving it a shot are ultimately untenable.
The live feed from last night’s session is available here and other information is available on the SSE website and is highly recommended for all those who seek to benefit both themselves and society with their entrepreneurial spirit.
We would once again like to thank the SSE for putting on another terrific event. The SSE is a collaboration between all 11 NSW universities and TAFE NSW whose aim is to drive next generation entrepreneurship. Check them out.