Living in a world with unimaginable adversity and invisible threats, we prepare for the worst so we can limit any damage and preserve resources for a quick recovery. Authors Iaquinto and Spinelli designed Never Bet the Farm as a guide book to help entrepreneurs prepare for setbacks by providing a framework to help reduce risks and simplify decision making. It's about the role of risk, say these authors, which is to motivate the complex expertise of the entrepreneur into thoughtful action.
Developing the Right Frame of Mind
The correct frame of mind involves confidence in one's ideas, the courage to take the plunge and the willingness to work hard. It also includes notions touted by other coaches: Entrepreneurship is a career and luck is part of the equation. In fact, there are seven key principles involved with developing the proper frame of mind:
- Principle 1: Entrepreneurship is a career.
- Principle 2: Successful entrepreneurs are just like you.
- Principle 3: There are no secrets to success.
- Principle 4: Luck is part of the equation.
- Principle 5: Never reach for a gallon when you only need a quart.
- Principle 6: It shouldn't only be about money.
- Principle 7: Embrace fear.
Making the Right Decisions
There are principles that help to simplify decision-making and increase the chances that a venture will succeed, while also positioning the entrepreneur for a second chance, should you need to try again:
- Principle 8: Never bet the farm.
- Principle 9: Don't spend a dollar when a dime will do.
- Principle 10: Always tap a bridge before crossing.
- Principle 11: Only fools fly without a net.
- Principle 12: Connect but protect.
- Principle 13: Buddy up.
- Principle 14: Learn to play the gray.
- Principle 15: Plan a timely exit.
An Entrepreneur's Guidebook
In addition to the right frame of mind, entrepreneurs must make the right decisions on which opportunity is best for them. In essence, this means avoiding risks, managing risks and reducing inherent risks by understanding that incremental advances are less risky than revolutionary ones.
Entrepreneurs must also build a strong network, do their homework and find a good partner. There is a multiplier effect on networking with a partner, the authors state, and with two people involved, each of you can utilize your own network for the good of the venture.
To do any or all of these things, Iaquinto and Spinelli suggest that among other resources, universities and colleges around the world exist that maintain a center or program devoted to entrepreneurship. Although the vast majority of these centers are affiliated with a business school, some are attached to a law or engineering school such as the University of Pennsylvania Law School's Small Business Clinic.
Many of these centers offer entrepreneurs free or low-cost consulting in addition to workshops, business plan contests, incubators, newsletters, online magazines, online libraries, books, articles, periodicals or even social events. And nearly all of these centers maintain links to other organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Kauffman Foundation and the local chambers of commerce. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries