Sunday, May 20, 2007

The New Entrepreneurship

I have periodically considered what it would take to have my own business. I recently came across Mastering the New Entrepreneurship by Penelope Trunk, which presents some provocative thoughts on starting one's own business. She writes: "Here’s a list of the old and new ways of thinking when it comes to starting your own business:

Old: Entrepreneurs are born with a specific set of character traits.
New: Entrepreneurship is learned. There is no, single way to be an entrepreneur.

Old: Raise money and spend a lot of it on advertising.
New: Raise no money and spend no money on advertising.

Old: Women will get power in corporate America and change it.
New: Women are getting what they want by leaving corporate America to start their own businesses.

Old: The self-employed are happy because they are doing what they love.
New: The self-employed are happy because they have control over their work and they have a flexible lifestyle.

Old: Climb the corporate ladder, learn the ropes, then start a company.
New: Start a company to get out of climbing the corporate ladder.

Old: Entrepreneurship is all or nothing.
New: You can test the waters by starting a company while you have a corporate job.

Old: Starting a business is risky.
New: Staying in corporate life is risky. Most businesses succeed, most jobs end.

Old: Do a lot of planning and make sure it’s going to work before you start.
New: Forget the big plan. Just try it. If it doesn’t work, you can just try again."

This article, as would be expected, created lots of comments both for and against her points. Many experienced entrepreneurs commented that the new ways didn't reflect reality based on their experience with start ups.

Not being an entrepreneur, it is very difficult for me to give other than speculative comments. My belief is that there is an AND. Being an entrepreneur is still hard work, AND the new world is highly enabling some areas - e.g. lower cost of entry due to the Internet.

For example, I would not be writing this blog if I needed to build the infrastructure and do programing. However, with an infrastructure developed (and free to use), I can focus on the important part of blogging, the content. On the other hand, there is significant competition. According to Business Week there are 15.3 million blogs that are current, i.e. updated in the last 90 days.

Net, the new entrepreneurship may be lower risk due to lower costs of entry, but the competition is also greater, due to lower costs of entry.

For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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