Entrepreneurship Fantasy Land

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What exactly is an entrepreneurship major?

When I was in college, I recall no such curriculum but I see and hear about it all of the time now. Admittedly, I would have chosen that had it been available and offered but I’m glad that it wasn’t an option. I’m sure that some of the lessons are valuable and likely could be of benefit to up and coming visionaries but how do you teach someone to have figurative balls? Better yet, how do you properly prepare a graduate in entrepreneurship to begin to understand exactly what they’re getting themselves into in our current climate? …not by taking accredited entrepreneurship finals, I assure you.

Building a business or joining a startup is a decision that many like myself have made based on the sheer dissatisfaction of working in an overly corporate and bureaucratic environment. Further, the inability to get things done efficiently and expeditiously is what drives most entrepreneurs towards the inevitable startup risk. Of course there can be reward but choosing to live on the razor’s edge is not for everyone. That’s a realization that comes from experience, not academics.

Even if you think you have the next big idea, you need to understand exactly what you’re not before you choose to be an entrepreneur. Making decisions the other way around without actually experiencing the corporate world is foolish. As an entrepreneur, you often need to sell to the corporate world, borrow money from the corporate world, interact with the corporate world and play by the corporate world’s rules if you seek the holy grail of potential acquisition or IPO. Learn how they operate.

Major in something tangible that interests you and then go to work in that field. Learn something about law, something about accounting, something technical and definitely something about sales and marketing. Get the proper experience, make connections, build your personal brand and become an expert in something that isn’t an adjective. Eventually become entrepreneurial in your chosen field. Endure the cubicle jungle, march past the cadaver grey walls, attend the unnecessary meetings for the sake of meetings but make mental notes of everything that you are not. In the process, build a network of like-minded individuals. Take that experience and only then apply it to your entrepreneurial endeavors.

This is what I consider a true entrepreneurship major. Your final exam is the actual plunge into the startup world. Good luck…you’ll need it.

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4 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship Fantasy Land

  1. This is a really interesting perspective that I’ve never heard described so succinctly. I like it, but I’m biased because I’ve had the “pleasure” of working in the corporate world first. I’d be curious how somebody that hasn’t (especially young) would respond to this advice.

  2. I enjoyed reading your perspective. As a self-funded entrepreneur I can offer readers three small bit of advice from experience.
    1) It is not what you know that makes or breaks the financial success of your enterprise – it is knowing what you don’t.
    2) Keep your senses razor sharp, especially your vision – it can get “lost” at times.
    3) Don’t be afraid to start small and find pleasure in building a business.

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