In my early days as an entrepreneur, friends and family kept telling me I needed to “study under” someone before I could run my own successful business. Their message, observe and learn what to do before actually doing it –“Don’t venture out until you have understood all the risks.”
Take the opposite approach. Swimming in oceans is much more natural for an entrepreneur than perfecting laps at the family pool. We get bored easily, we learn by doing.
So is entrepreneurship different from other professions like doctors or lawyers? Doctors and lawyers need formal training to earn the right to practice medicine or law in real-world scenarios. This is a good thing so that doctors don’t accidentally kill people or lawyers don’t bring doom to their clients.
Entrepreneurship requires no formal training for the real world. All that is needed is a product or service and the desire to sell it. There really is no map. Just the instinct to problem-solve that energizes your life.
This is the first and best step toward learning how to run a business: call yourself an entrepreneur, think of yourself as an entrepreneur and dive headfirst into the practice of entrepreneurship. Most likely, you won’t be drawn to the formal training offered in MBA programs.
Push yourself to take risks. I am not saying that doctors and lawyers aren’t risk takers. After all, these are high stakes professions. The difference is that the entrepreneur is compelled to take risks in uncharted waters. The entrepreneur enters into the unknown, the uncertain and works the problem without a navigator.
Yes, doctors and lawyers enter into unknown territory as well. The difference is there are standard practices in the medical, law and other fields that give practitioners go-to answers for the problems they face. Their training and apprenticeships provide them with the knowledge necessary to prescribe medicine or execute surgeries. This formal training doesn’t exist in the entrepreneurial world.
There are no go-to answers in business. Every business is different, each solution unique to the particular situation. Problems arise that no amount of training will prepare you for. When assembling a sales team, notes from college only provide you with ideas and theories. True learning comes from trying to hire the right people. You find out in the moment what works and what doesn’t and then you begin to figure out the cues and the red flags. You learn your best self from the process.
The best training, hands down, is on the job training. Start the company right away. This forces you to fix and think through the problems in a different way because there is more at stake. Remember, risk taking and refusing to play it safe is at the heart of all entrepreneurship.
Training to be entrepreneur means boots on the ground. You learn by doing and then re-accessing, and then trying something different. The creative mind does not stand still but is always in motion and pushing into new territory. There is a fierceness in the entrepreneur- an unwavering attention that seizes the moment and won’t release you until you have re-created or re-imagined solutions.
The creative mind does not stand still but is always in motion and pushing into new territory.
So don’t train to be an entrepreneur like you train to become a doctor or lawyer.
This is not the doctor’s or lawyer’s wheelhouse built on body systems or an inventory of arguments. This is the creative unknown waiting for your next idea.
Until next time,