e-Boost Chicago returns April 8, 2017!

e-Boost Chicago returns April 8, 2017!

e-boost Chicago is an event for entrepreneurial Hope College and Trinity Christian College students, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment.

Visit Google Headquarters, 320 N Morgan St #600, Chicago, IL 60607, Chicago, IL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2xO4p0ApXw

Tour 1871, the “hub of Chicago’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem,” theMART, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, Chicago, IL

Reconvene at Chicago Semester, 11 E Adams, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL

Good Company

Future Founders 2016 U.Pitch Semifinalists

  • Keyante Aytch, 3Dime Designs, DePaul University (IL)
  • Michael Black, ParkingBee, Pennsylvania State University (PA)
  • Linwood Butler, MT Music Transporter, University of Tampa (FL)
  • Claire Coder, AuntFlow, Ohio State University (OH)
  • Vinesh Kannan, Omnipointment, Illinois Institute of Technology (IL)
  • Arjun Kapoor, Scala Computing, Inc., University of Chicago (IL)
  • Tom Kruse, Win-Kel Peer-to-Peer Storage, Indiana University (IN)
  • Jason Lees, GoSpot, Northwood University (MI)
  • Jekolia Matuszewicz, UhTa Ancient Brews, Colorado College (CO)
  • Eddy Mejia, ShoeBoxOne, University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • Dulbadrakh (Daniel) Natsagdorj, Urban Delivery, University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • Gabe Owens, WiNot, Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
  • Matthew Rooda, SwineTech, Inc., University of Iowa (IA)
  • Pranay Singh, Averia Health, University of Chicago (IL)
  • Parisa Soraya, Find Your Ditto, University of Michigan (MI)
  • Riley Tart, MidTrade, Auburn University (AL)
  • Jordan VandeKamp, ApptProvider, Trinity Christian College (IL)
  • Ben Weiss, Zcruit, Northwestern University (IL)

What Happens at e-boost?*

Visit a destination (incubator**);

get ready to launch

 

Encircle early stage start-ups***:

  • vision
  • milestones
  • constraints: what’s holding you back?
  • strategy
  • executable plan

Share ideas and ask for feedback

 

Learn from and laugh with others

 

Share life lessons

  • Success = pivots
  • Success = focus away from self

 

See old friends and make new ones!

 

*Thanks to Hope College and Trinity Christian College students and alums for attending!

**Thanks to Omar Sweiss (1871) and Ethan Adams (Future Founders) for the tour!

***Thanks to Mackenzi Huyser and Kendra Wright of Chicago Semester for hosting e-boost Chicago!

e-boost Chicago, Oct 7-8!

 

 

 

Announcing e-boost Chicago!

The purpose of e-boost Chicago is to strengthen, build, and harness the power of our e-tribe to give our student entrepreneurs a boost.

What’s in it for student entrepreneurs? An opportunity to be inspired and consulted by experienced entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial students, and a chance to grow their network of advisory relationships.

What’s in it for entrepreneurial students? An opportunity to experience a taste of entrepreneurship.

What’s in it for Trinity alums and friends of CECE? An opportunity to make a difference — to help empower the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and leading entrepreneurs!

Session Schedule (Choose to Attend Some or All Activities)

  • 11:00 AM –  Stop at 1871 and Future Founders (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212, Chicago, IL 60654) for a quick pre-e-boost Chicago event tour!
  • 12:30 PM — Meet at Chicago Semester (11 E Adams St # 1200, Chicago, IL 60603) for a quick lunch.

 

  • 1:00 PM — Welcome
  • 1:15 PM — e-circles: Student entrepreneurs pitch their startups, foreverUIKG, and Glacier Peak, to participants. Participants then form teams around student startups to: Assess the Situation, Brainstorm Goals and Strategies to Achieve Next Phase/Step (Boost!); Develop Implementation Plans (ASI);  What is Strategy?  Vision (where do you wish to be in 3-5 years), Milestones, Constraints (What’ holding you back?), Strategy (How will we overcome those constraints?), Execution Plan

 

  • 2:30 PM — Break (snacks)
  • 2:45 PM — Share Plan Highlights and Debrief
  • 3:00 PM — e-(Open) Mic — share your idea and ask questions of the audience
  • 4:15 PM — Break (snacks)
  • 4:30 PM — e-panel: Matt Gira, Co-Founder, Fathom Underwater Drone; Ryan Hesslau, foreverU; Scott Brandonisio, Co-Founder,  RingCam.

 

  • 5:30 PM – Break (light dinner)
  • 6:00 PM — e-speaker: Craig Steensma, Founder of Eshots (6:45 PM — Q&A)

 

 

 

Register by Wednesday, Oct 5, at https://www.facebook.com/events/320958918254856/. Thank you!

 

11 Metaphors for Entrepreneurs

A metaphor compares one thing to another for rhetorical effect.  I hope the following metaphors will make the journey of entrepreneurship easier to understand.

  1. Flow.  Do what absorbs you.  Consider Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s concept of “flow:” find that activity in which you are a fully immersed, feeling energized, and experiencing joy.
  2. Birds of a Feather.  Who you are, what you know, and who you know are the means of your entrepreneurial endeavor.  According to Saras Sarasvathy, the founders of Starbucks did not study market trends but their own need for quality coffee; Facebook began as a sophomoric (pun intended) social comparison tool among friends.
  3. Bird in the Hand.  Expert entrepreneurs follow an inductive approach.  Surprisingly, they don’t begin with a “situation analysis;” rather, according to Saras Sarasvathy, they begin with who they know and what they know.  Ring Cam began as a group of college students with an idea to solve a problem they understood.
  4. Jockey.  In Good to Great, Jim Collins writes it’s first Who, then What.  Idea pitch and business plan competitions, even Shark Tank have it wrong.  The quality of the people matter more than the quality of the idea.  He wasn’t alone in giving this advice. In 1957 Arthur Rock was instrumental in the creation of Fairchild Semiconductor.  In 1961 he created the first venture capital firm, and was an early investor in Intel, Apple Computer, and Teledyne.  In 2003 he gave a $25 million gift to Harvard Business School for a center for entrepreneurship. One of Arthur Rock’s maxims was that it was more important and better to invest in people than ideas.
  5. Soul.  The entrepreneurial journey is a mountain to climb.  To stay in for the long-run you need to feed your soul.  In other words, you work is bigger than you and realizing that, ironically, is not overwhelming but motivating and freeing.  Which of the world’s needs are you meeting?  What is that “still, small voice” suggesting you do?  How are you engaged in transforming culture for God’s Kingdom?  Is this a calling?
  6. Pain.  One of the tests of a calling is whether it costs you something.
  7. Patch-Work Quilt Maker.  Expert entrepreneurs are quilt-makers, according to Saras Sarasvathy.  They create their work with others, who also contribute their ideas.  Creating businesses is a tight-knit communal project.  To use another metaphor, they are business fabricators. In contrast, puzzle-makers are opportunity arbitrageurs.
  8. Building.  The most difficult thing for many people is to stop planning and to start doing.  Specifically, according to Steve Blank, one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is talking with potential customers, suppliers, channel members, investors, etc.  The expert entrepreneurs studied by Saras Sarasvathy immediately created partnerships with customers who even helped finance their business project.
  9. Lemonade.  Expert entrepreneurs leverage contingencies.   Ivory soap and 3M sticky notes were mistakes.  Amway’s founders failed when they attempted to operate hamburger stand, air charter service, and sailing businesses.
  10. Marriage.  It is impossible for two people to do enough due diligence before marriage.  Success in marriage is less about planning and more about adaptation.   Nothing is more valuable than learning and communication.  The phrase for learning and communication in business is rapid iteration.  Failure is not “not an option,” it is a reality.  You are going to make mistakes.  We don’t set out to make mistakes, but we welcome them for learning purposes.
  11. B Student.  Expert entrepreneurs thrive on EI (emotional intelligence).  The Wright Brothers may have been geniuses, but what made them so is that they never quit trying.  Want to get inspired?  Read David McCullough’s biography.

A Seminal Lean Start-Up Process Book

Running Lean

By Ash Maurya

“What separates successful startups from unsuccessful ones is not necessarily the fact that successful startups began with a better initial plan (or Plan A), but rather that they find a plan that works before running out of resources.  Running Lean is a systematic process for iterating from Plan A to a plan that works, before running out of resources (p. xxi).

Why are startups hard?  [They are] built on several incremental innovations (and failures), “the classic product-centric approach front-loads some customer involvement during the requirements-gathering phase but leaves most of the customer validation until after the software is released,” and, “even though customers hold all the answers, you simply cannot ask them what they want….given the right context, customers can clearly articulate their problems, but it’s your job to come up with the solution” (p. xxii).

Customer Development is a term coined by Steve Blank and is used to describe the parallel process of building a continuous feedback loop with customer throughout the product development cycle….The key takeaway from Customer Development can be best summed up as Get out of the building” (p. xxiii).

“[Bootstrapping] is funding with customer resources” (p. xxiii)

Three core meta-principles: Document your Plan A [BUILD], Systematically Test your Plan [MEASURE] and Identify the Riskiest Parts of your Plan [LEARN] [NOTE change in sequence vs. book.]

Meta-Principles

Meta-Principle 1: Document Your Plan A

Reasonable smart people can rationalize anything, but entrepreneurs are especially gifted at this [Steve Job’s REALITY DISTORTION].Most entrepreneurs start with a strong initial vision and a Plan A for realizing that vision.  Unfortunately, most Plan A’s don’t work (p. 4).

“The first step is writing down your vision and then sharing it with at least one person” (p. 4).

  • Business Model Canvas

Your job isn’t just building the best solution, but owning the entire business model and making all the pieces fit (p. 7).

Lean Canvas helps deconstruct your business model into nine distinct subparts that are then systematically tested, in order of highest to lowest risk” (p. 7).

Meta-Principle 2: Systematically Test Your Plan  [Note change in sequence vs. book.]

“Startups are a risk business, and our real job as entrepreneurs is to systematically de-risk our startups over time” (p. 7).

The biggest risk for most startups is building something nobody wants” (p. 8).

  • Stage 1: Problem/Solution Fit: Do I have a problem worth solving?
    • [Do I understand the problem?  Is it severe enough to motivate action?]
    • Is the solution something customers want?  Will they pay for it [market desirability]
    • Can the problem be solved [technical feasibility]
    • [Can I make money? [business validity]
    • [Is this solution scalable?]
  • Stage 2: Product/Market Fit: [Have I built something that will work that people will  want badly enough they will pre-order at a price I can live with?]
  • Stage 3: Scale: How do I accelerate growth?

“Before product/market fit, the focus of the startup centers on learning and pivots.  After product/market fit, the focus shifts toward growth and optimizations….Pivots are about finding a plan that works, while optimizations are about accelerating that plan (p. 9).

“[The] ideal time to raise your big round of funding is after product/market fit, because at that time, both you and your investors have aligned goals: to scale the business” (p. 10).

“Selling to investors without any level of validation is a form of waste” (p. 11).

Meta-Principle 3: Identify the Riskiest Parts of Your Plan

“With your Plan A documented and your starting risks prioritized, you are now ready to systematically test your plan” (p. 11).  Experiment: Build-Measure-Learn.

  • DOCUMENT YOUR PLAN A
    • Create Your Lean Canvas
    • Brainstorm possible customers
      • Distinguish between customers and users [customers pay]” (p. 24)
      • “Split broad customer segments into smaller ones…You can’t effectively build, design, and position a product for everyone” (p. 24).
      • Sketch a Lean Canvas for each customer segment…I recommend starting with the top two or three customer segments you feel you  understand the best or find most promising” (p. 25)
    • Problem and Customer Segments
      • List the top one to three problems…Another way to think about problems is in terms of the jobs customers need done” (p. 27).
      • List existing alternatives…how you think your early adopters address these problems today….Do nothing could also be a viable alternative” (p. 27).
      • Identify other user roles…[customer, user, decision-maker, influencer]
      • “Hone in on possible early adopters…. Your objective is to define an early adopter, not a mainstream customer (p. 28).
    • Unique Value Proposition
      • “Why you are worth buying and getting attention” (p. 29
      • “Be different, but make sure your difference matter” (p. 29).
      • “Target early adopters” and “focus on finished story benefits” (p. 30).
      • [Answer WHY, HOW, WHAT — the “Golden Circle”]
      • “Create a high concept pitch” [10-second pitch using “like”]
    • Solution
      • “[Don’t] fully define your solution yet” (p. 32)
    • Channels
      • “Failing to find a significant path to customers is among the top reasons why startups fail” (p. 33)
    • Revenue Streams and Cost Structure
      • “Your MVP should address not only the top problems customers have identified as being important to them, but also the problems that are worth solving” (p. 37)
      • “I believe that if you intend to charge for a product, you should charge from day one” (p. 37)
      • “It’s hard to accurately calculate [operational costs] too far into the future.  Instead focus on the  present:
        • What will it  cost you to interview 30 to 50 customers?
        • What will it cost you to build and  launch your MVP?
        • What will your ongoing burn rate look like in  terms of both fixed and variable costs?
    • Key Metrics
      • Acquisition: “Acquisition describes the point when you turn an unaware visitor  into  an interested prospect” (p.  40) {Leads}
      • Activation: “Activation describes the point when the interested [prospect] has his first gratifying user experience” (p. 40) {Prospects}.
      • Retention: “Retention measures ‘repeated use’ and/or engagement with your product” (p. 41) {Customers}
      • Revenue
      • Referral
    • Unfair Advantage
      • “A real unfair advantage is something that cannot be easily copied or bought” (p. 43).
  • SYSTEMATICALLY TEST YOUR PLAN
    • Get Ready to Interview Customers
      • “Build a frame around learning, not pitching….Before you can pitch the “right” solution, you have  to understand the “right” customer problem.  In the learning frame, the roles are reversed: you set the context, but then you let the customers do most of the talking” (p. 73).
      • ‘“Stick to a script” (p. 74).
      • Cast a wider net initially” (p. 74).
      • Prefer face-to-face interviews” (p. 74).
      • Start with people you know” (p. 74).
      • Take someone along with you” (p. 75).
      • “Pick a neutral location” (p. 75).
      • Document results immediately after the interview” (p. 75).
      • Prepare yourself to interview 30 to 60 people” (p. 76).
    • The Problem Interview: “Your first objective is measuring how customers react to your top problems” (p. 81)  [Can also supplement by using social media to post problems and gauge reaction.]
      • Welcome (Set the Stage)
      • Collect Demographics (Test Customer Segment)
      • Tell a Story (Set Problem Context)
      • Problem Ranking (Test Problem)
      • Explore Customer’s Worldview (Test Problem [and how customers address the problem today]
      • Wrap Up [Hook and Ask]
      • Document Results
    • Debrief of Problem Interview:  “You are done when you have interviewed at least 10 people and you…
      • Can identify the demographics of an early adopter
      • Have a must-have problem
      • Can describe how customers solve the problem today” (Running Lean, p. 91)
    • The Solution Interview: “The main objective here is to use a ‘demo’ to help customers visualize your solution and validate that it will solve their problem….You want to build enough of the solution (or a proxy, like screenshots, a prototype, etc) that you can put in front of customers for the purpose of measuring their reaction and further defining the requirements for  your minimum viable product (MVP) ” (pp. 95, 96).  “Use old prospects” and “Mix in some new prospects” (p. 103).
      • Welcome (Set the Stage)
      • Collect Demographics (Test Customer Segment)
      • Tell a Story (Set Problem Context)
      • Demo (Test Solution)
      • Test Pricing (Revenue Streams)
      • Wrap Up [Hook and Ask]
      • Document Results
    • Debrief the Solution Interview
      • Share results of solution interviews, treat feedback as data, and reflect on what you will do
      • “You are done when you are confident that you…
        • Can identify the demographics of an early adopter
        • Have a must-have problem
        • Can define the minimum features needed to solve this problem
        • Have a price the customer is willing to pay
        • Can build a business around it (using a back-of-the-envelope calculation)” (Running Lean, p. 108).
    • The MVP Interview: “Your objective is to sign them up to use your [product] and, in the process, test out your messaging, pricing, and activation flow” (p. 127).
      • Welcome (Set the Stage)
      • Show Landing Page [or Prototype] (Test MVP)
      • Show Pricing Page (Test Pricing)
      • Signup [Pre-order] and Activation (Test Solution)
      • Wrap Up (Keep Feedback Loop Open)
      • Document Results

How To Stay Relevant Without Selling Your Soul

By Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn is an expert in transforming leadership.  Here are my favorite quotes from Deep Change.

Preface

Deep Change assumes that one person can change the larger system or organization in which he or she exists (p. xii).

When we have successful experienced a deep change, it inspires us to encourage others to undergo a similar experience….Having experienced deep change in ourselves, we are able to bring deep change to the systems around us (p. xiii).

Our capacity to face uncertainty and function in times of stress and anxiety is linked with our self-confidence, and our level of self-confidence is linked with our sense of increasing integrity.  We are all affected by technical competence or political acumen, but we are more deeply influenced by moral power (xiv).

Chapter 1: Walking Naked In The Land Of Uncertainty

The process of formalization initially makes the organization more efficient or effective.  As time goes on, however, these routine patterns move the organization toward decay and stagnation.  The organization loses alignment with the changing, external reality.  As a result, customers go elsewhere for their products and services, and the organization loses critical resources.  When internal and external alignment is lost, the organization faces a choice: either adapt or take the road to slow death.  Usually the organization can be renewed, energized, or made effective only if some leader is willing to take some big risks by stepping outside the well-defined boundaries.  When this happens, the organization is lured, pushed, or pulled into unknown territory (p. 5).

We can change the world only by changing ourselves (p. 9).

Traditional learning is learning linked with the past–it is learning something that someone else already knows.  “Traveling naked into the land of uncertainty” allows for another kind of learning, a learning that helps us forget what we know and discover what we need (p. 12).

Chapter 2: Confronting The Deep Change Or Slow Death Dilemma

A victim is a person who suffers a loss because of the actions of others.  A victim tends to believe that salvation comes only from the actions of others.  They have little choice but to whine and wait until something good happens.  Living with someone who chooses to play the victim role is draining; working in an organization where many people have chosen the victim role is absolutely depressing.  Like a disease, the condition tends to spread….When someone makes the initial decision to avoid confronting a difficult situation, a negative process is triggered….Often, without fully realizing it, the person has taken on the victim’s role (p. 21).

We actually seem to prefer slow death.  Slow death is the devil we know, so we prefer it to the devil we do not know (p. 24).

Life is a process of deaths and rebirths (p. 25).

Chapter 3: The Fear Of Change

One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change.  Personal change is a reflection of our inner  growth and empowerment.  Empowered leaders are the only ones who can induce real change.  They can forcefully communicate beyond a level beyond telling.  By having the courage to change themselves, they model the behavior they are asking of others (p. 35).

One of the last things we want to consider is our own selfishness and immaturity.  We resist reflecting on our own fear of change (p. 36).

Chapter 4: The Heroic Journey

The amount of energy we feel has much to do with the alignment between oneself and our surrounding environment.  We can be aligned with our environment in such a way that we feel either strong and empowered or weak and powerless (p. 41).

The hero’s journey is a story of individual transformation, a change of identity.  In embarking on the journey, we must leave the world of certainty.  We must courageously journey to a strange place where there are lots of risks and much is at stake, a place where there are new problems that require us to think in new ways (p. 45).

Chapter 5: Finding Vitality

When an impossible objective is given to people in a large hierarchy and when it is accompanied by immense pressure to produce, the people in the organization will also experience growing pressure to engage in unethical behavior.  An invisible form of corruption at the top, the exercise of authority without concern or demand without support, results in a very visible form of corruption at the bottom (p. 52).

Denial occurs when we are presented with painful information about ourselves, information that suggests that we need to make deep change.  Denial is one of several clear paths toward slow death.  When we practice denial, we work on the wrong solutions or on no solutions at all (p. 52).

We need to watch carefully for signs that we have crossed the invisible line [the line between increasing returns and decreasing returns on our efforts].  When this occurs, we need think about breaking the logic of task pursuit and charting a course toward deep change and renewed vitality (p. 55).

Chapter 6: Breaking The Logic Of Task Pursuit

A hermit, who lived far out in the forest, would cut enough wood each summer to heat his cabin through the winter.  One fall day, he heard on his shortwave radio that an early winter storm was heading for his area.  Because he had not yet cut enough wood, he rushed to his wood pile.  Examining his dull and rusty saw, he realized that it needed sharpening.  He paused for a moment, looked at his watch, looked at the height of his uncut wood pile, and shook his head.  Instead of sharpening his saw, he began to cut.  As he worked, he noted that the saw was getting increasingly dull and that he was working harder and harder.  he told himself repeatedly that he needed to stop and sharpen the saw, but he continued to cut anyway.  At the end of the day, as the snow began to fall, he sat exhausted next to a sizable pile of uncut wood.  This man was not ignorant.  He knew his saw desperately needed sharpening.  He also knew that the more he cut, the duller the blade would become.  Yet he could not bring himself to stop and sharpen the saw.  This man [made himself the — edit by svveen] victim of the logic of task pursuit (p. 59).

Chapter 7: A New Perspective

We have to reinvent ourselves so that we can meaningfully connect with our current world.  This is not such a radical thought; it’s actually an ongoing process  (p. 66).

One way to realign the self is to retell the most important stories in our life….When we repeat one of these stories, we do not tell it exactly.  We recount it from the perspective of our current problem.  It is presented in a unique way that allows us to reconnect our past foundation with our present and future structures.  In fact, what we are really doing is realigning our past to include our present and future (p. 67).

Chapter 8: Confronting The Integrity Gap

The heart of effectiveness, Torbert argues, is building integrity through the constant observation of one’s lack of integrity (p. 76).

Ultimately, deep change, whether at the personal or the organizational level, is a spiritual process.  Loss of alignment occurs when, for whatever reason, we begin to pursue the wrong end.  This process begins innocently enough.  In pursuing some justifiable end, we make a trade-off of some kind.  We know it is wrong, but we rationalize our choice.  We use the end to justify the means.  As time passes, something inside us starts to whither.  We are forced to live at the cognitive level, the rational, goal-seeking level.  We lose our vitality and begin to work from sheer discipline.  Our energy is not naturally replenished, and we experience no joy in what we do.  We are experiencing slow death (p. 78).

Chapter 9: Build The Bridge As You Walk Across It

Organizational and personal growth seldom follows a linear plan….When we have a vision, it does not mean that we have a plan.  We may know where we want to be, but we will seldom know the actual steps we must take to get there.  We must trust in ourselves to learn the way, to build the bridge as we walk on it.  Deep change is an extensive learning process.  When we pursue our vision, we must believe that we have enough courage and confidence in ourselves to reach our goal.  We must leap into the chasm of uncertainty and strive bravely ahead  (p. 84).

Chapter 22: The Power Of One

There comes a time when we all question whether something is right.  At such times, we have to listen and follow our inner voice, even when it means tackling the system and enlisting some unconventional procedures and techniques.  One person can make a difference.  However, deep change comes at a great cost.  Enacting change means taking some risks.  When we take the necessary risks, we become self-empowered.  We begin to better align our internal self with our external world.  As our internal power base grows, we become confident and make genuine progress toward our goal.  We become energized and slowly begin to recognize that we can make a difference.  We begin to understand that one person really can change the system (p. 218, 219).

Want To Become A Millionaire?

Education of Millionaires

By Michael Ellsberg

What?

“[E]ven though you may learn wonderful things in college, your success and happiness in life will have little to do with what you study there or the letters behind your name once you graduate.  It has to do with:

  • your drive,
  • your initiative,
  • your persistence,
  • your ability to make a contribution to other people’s lives,
  • your ability to come up with good ideas and pitch them to others effectively,
  • your charisma,
  • your ability to navigate gracefully through social and business networks (what some researchers call ‘practical intelligence’),
  • and a total, unwavering belief in your own eventual triumph, throughout all the ups and downs, no matter what the naysayers tell you” (p. 11).

Why does your success in life have little to do with what you study?

“[J]ob security is dead….You’re going to have many different jobs, employers, and even careers in your life.  So where you get your first, entry-level one–the single thing that a BA credential really helps with–becomes less and less relevant.  Building a portfolio of real-world results and impacts you’ve created, over time, becomes more and more relevant.

“[T]he internet, cell phones, and virtually free long-distance calling have created new opportunities for flexible, self-created, independent careers; this trend has been helped along by the gathering storms of millions of hungry, highly educated young men and women in India, China, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and elsewhere, happy to do the work that entry-level Organizational Men would have done in years past, for a fraction of the cost” (p. 14).

“For knowledge workers in the developed world, the tools of the trade have become so ridiculously cheap that the ‘means of production’ have once again become affordable to individual workers” (p. 16).

“Education is still necessary to learn how to do the great work that gets you paid.  But these days, almost all of the education that ends up actually earning you money ends up being self-education in practical intelligence and skills, acquired outside of the bounds of traditional educational institutions” (p. 17).

Success Skills Needed

  • Putting meaning and work together.
  • Building networks and relationships, finding mentors and teachers.
  • Marketing
  • Selling
  • Investing (Bootstrapping)
  • Building your brand
  • Having an entrepreneurial mindset (pp. 19-20).

To elaborate…

Putting Meaning and Work Together

I don’t think Michael Ellsberg really answers the question here, although he does tell us how to begin to experiment and take risks.

Building Networks and Relationships, Finding Mentors and Teachers

The secret, believe or not, is giving (p. 73).

Marketing

“Good marketing…speaks to the prospect about their deepest emotional realities, their innermost desires, and about helping them achieve what they want in those realms” (p. 115).

Selling

“Sales is simply persuasive face-to-face communication.  It’s relevant anytime you are talking with someone and you want a specific outcome to arise out of the conversation” (p. 129).

“[E]ffective sales isn’t about spewing off a slick pitch.  It’s about asking a lot of questions.  The right questions.  And then listening” (p. 136).

Bootstrapping

“Bootstrapping is a concept central to the themes in this book.  In the world of business, it’s a strategy that involves getting to the point of profitability as quickly as possible–even if the profits are small–and then continually reinvesting profits to fuel growth” (p. 158).

“Make small, incremental investments in your human capital and earning power.  Buy some books….Take workshops and online training programs to learn different success skills.  Invest in your network of connections and mentors by going to high-quality conferences, workshops, expos, trade shows, meetups, and retreats related to your field….Find a high-quality business or career coach….a snowball effect” (pp. 160-161).

Branding

“Your brand is what people think of you when they hear your name” (p. 179).

Entrepreneurial Mind-Set

“We don’t get to choose what happens to us.  But we get to choose what it means.  And in that choice is a tremendous power….become the active ingredient in your own life” (p. 196).

“It all boils down to one thing.  [The self-educated millionaires featured in the book have] chosen to do whatever it takes teao create the lives they want, including exercising the effort and initiative to figure out what ‘whatever it takes’ is” (p. 200).

Ironically, “[Money is] like breathing; we don’t live to breath.”  (Max DePree, as quoted in On Moral Business, p. 912).   See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/bill-gates/9812672/Bill-Gates-interview-I-have-no-use-for-money.-This-is-Gods-work.html.

Life is about becoming holy — called to joy, even in business.

Believe it or not, this is what students learn in Trinity’s Business Department and Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Empowerment.

Soul Entrepreneurship

By Richard J. Goossen and R. Paul Stevens (2013):

“Note the significant dimensions of Christian spirituality.

  • First, it starts with the initiative of a loving God who is seeking a relationship with his creatures.
  • Second, spirituality then is not our attempt to ascend to God by spiritual practices or to discover our own internal divinity, but takes the form of ‘recognition and response.’
  • Third, the result of this responsiveness to seeking God is not that we become angels or religious persons, but more fully human….
  • Fourth, spirituality then is not a once-for-all event but a continuous process that is concrete but never finished.
  • Fifth, the practical outworking of this spirituality is that we align ourselves with God’s intention for his creation, which is the kingdom or pervasive and life-bringing rule of God on earth.  Creating wealth and bringing well-being to people is part of this….
  • Finally, this spirituality is not cultivating extraordinary experiences but rather the infiltration of ordinary life with kingdom justice and holiness” (pp. 64, 65).

“Life, for biblical persons, is total and cannot be segmented into two parts: a disposable and normally evil shell (the body), and an indestructible spirit core (the soul).  Thus the familiar psalm ‘Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name’ (Psalm 103:1) may be simply and helpfully translated “Praise the Lord, with my whole life!’” (pp. 65, 66).

“Most significant of all, the New Testament hope is not for the immortality of the soul–an essentially Greek concept that involves disparaging the body as a useless encumbrance to the life of the spirit.  Instead, the great hope in Christ after death is the resurrection of the body–full personal and expressive life in a new heaven and a new earth” (p. 66).

“When we receive Christ, we get saved, not just our souls in the Greek sense.  This is a two-stage process.  First, our souls, our inner and longing persons, are substantially saved by being inundated by God’s Spirit, thus giving us new bodily and personal life on earth.  Second, after our death and when Christ comes again, we are given a new and perfect embodiment  through the resurrection of our entire selves, bodies included” (p. 67).

Soul Entrepreneurship

  • “First, it means you go to work as a whole person — not just mind or body, but all that inner yearning and expressiveness that links us with God….
  • Second, as soul persons with capacity to relate to God, we are given ideas, visions and perspectives that can be implemented through entrepreneurial activity.  These may be in the area of church life but also in family life and enterprises in the world….
  • Third, our actual experiences of envisioning, inventing and implementing as entrepreneurs are an arena of spiritual growth….
  • Fourth, being a soul person (and a whole person) means being relationally alive through love.  We are most godlike in relationships….
  • Finally, Christian spirituality and its recognition of a soul dimension to human life and work means that personal growth is not a human achievement (through disciplines and practices) but a response to the Spirit’s initiative….Christian spirituality is…God’s empowering presence calling human beings into dynamic relation and expressiveness” (pp. 68, 69).

The Workplace is the Primary Place for Spiritual Formation

“The marketplace is a location for spiritual formation in three ways.

  • First, it is the place where we get revealed as persons.  Our inside is revealed by what we do outside, bu the way we work, by our relationships with people, by the realities of how we go about doing day to day enterprise….
  • Second, the seven deadly sins, seven soul-sapping struggles that include pride, greed, lust, anger, envy, sloth, and gluttony, are revealed not in quiet times and prayer retreats but in the thick of life, in business meetings, as we struggle over this month’s sales, when we have to deal with an awkward customer or employee….
  • But there is a third reason….The work we do, if it is good work, is some part of God’s own work in creating, sustaining, transforming or consummating (bringing things to a good conclusion).  We are actually partners with God in our daily work” (pp. 70, 71).

Our E-Club Foundation

Last night at the E-Club event the Future Founders Foundation (http://futurefounders.com/about/) gave its FFScholars awards for participation in entrepreneurial efforts during the 2015/2016 school year. TCC was the initial partner with FFF in offering this program.Award winners from Trinity included: Anthony Dykstra, Platinum; Dyvon Melling, Platinum; Ryan Hesslau, Gold; Tanner VanMaanen, Gold; Tyler Schneider, Gold; Jordan VanderKamp, Silver; Casey Huisenga, Silver; Azariah Pargulski, Blue; Craig Vandergalien, Blue; Keegan VanMaanen, White; Zack Austell, White; Cynthia Gliwa, White; Sarah Kooiman, White; Jared Mulder, White; Katlen Siwinski, White.  In addition, Tony Dykstra was given the Outstanding Leadership Award.

Congrats!

And thanks to Kyle Harkema and Rick Hamilton for coaching and connecting Future Founders to Trinity.

A great foundation!