I returned to Temasek Polytechnic yesterday to look at the final year projects of the students from the Business Information Technology Course. 9 years ago, I was one of those students. It was great to see young and fresh faces, eager to show their projects and it was nice to see that they had a vision of where they could take their projects.
It was the support of the lecturers and the people around me that got me through some of the tougher times in my past businesses. Even though you have to be strong internally to take on the entrepreneurial journey, the people around you can make a difference, especially if they are supportive in what you do.
This week we looked at:
Tuesday – Team Entrepreneurship
We saw the importance of the need to build a right team for your business. There is a need to have a good mix of visionaries to lead and plan the business, and executors to get all the work going, to keep the business running and growing.
Working partnerships are like marriages, you have to stick with each other through thick and thin, braving all the storms together. There is a need to complement each others skills and to compromise with each other to reach your goals.
In a startup, there will be a lack of funds and resources, so everyone will have to chip in, in any way they can. People will have to wear multiple hats and take on more than they signed up for. So if you do hire people, make sure they understand the needs of the company and are willing to take on that additional responsibility.
Wednesday – What is Calculated Risk?
Entrepreneurs are risk takers, but they do not take risks blindly. They work to cut down as much risk as possible. By starting small and taking smaller risks, you can afford to build your business up with less risk.
A business is risky when you know less about it. Study the business better, look at it from all diffferent angles, the more knowledge you have, the better the chances of you clearing any obstacles along the way.
Thursday – Creativity vs Innovation
People do not celebrate ideas, they celebrate innovations. Everybody has great and creative ideas, but not everyone does the work to materialize them into great innovations.
Innovation is about taking a creative idea and materializing it into an actual product or service for the real users. It is about solving problems and making peoples’ lives better.
You do not have to start from scratch, you could take an existing idea and tweak it to make it something better.
Surround yourself with people who will be there for you, who you can talk to openly about your problems and those who will be absolutely and bluntly truthful to you. Honest feedback and critique will help you build a better business and it will make you a better entrepreneur.
Have a great weekend.