Recently I was asked a very good question by @jaltucher. After reading my “three and a half steps” he wandered if there was a fourth one that really wrapped up my arguments…
I found it a great question, and after giving it some thought I decided that I needed a little bit more than 140 characters to explain myself. So here it is…
As @jaltucher notes, when I wrote the post I had the feeling that there was something missing to reach the “peace of mind” needed to really feel sure that you were thinking like an entrepreneur and not only “acting” like one.
In fact at that time, that was a doubt I had, was I only “acting” or was I “behaving” like a true entrepreneur? After some months of serious dedication on becoming an entrepreneur I can finally give my closing paragraph. The fourth step is “understanding and applying scalability”
The fourth step is closely related to the third one which focus on telling your idea to other people in order to trick your mind into finding a profitable solution. (Summarizing, my argument is that the subconscious need for social approval is what pushes us into “making sense”. Understanding “making sense” as its most rudimentary form in our mercantilist society which is profitability or, in other words, “making a living” )
Something similar happens with scalability, and is the corner-stone to understanding your main role as an entrepreneur which is not only that one of a visionary and the maker of grand ideas, but more importantly it has got to be the one of a manager or the one that make things happen and pulls other people towards a common goal.
Everybody like “visionaries” and dreamers, but rarely do they take them seriously. I have only felt that I was truly making sense (too me and to other people) when i was able to determine not only the big dream but how step by step I would reach it.
I recently read a presentation by @alexeymk of what was needed in order to find a CTO for your startup. One of the advice was the following: “The two main traits that a technical profile looks for when thinking about joining a startup is competence and traction” And that is the key to everything. For searching for CTO’s and for the rest of stuff in general.
When you are acting like an entrepreneur you usually finish your argument of how big your startup is going to be by focusing in the “big dream” or world domination, but that is not what moves other people too see you as an entrepreneur. And if you are sincere with yourself neither it does to you.
What makes you a true entrepreneur is to understand the problem up to a point where you can determine the steps all the way down to what would your goals be tomorrow and how would your business scale up to your final dream. (By the way, this approach, many times will also help you develop even further your idea.)
This is what sets apart the “dreamers of free ideas”, that abound as part-time-jobs in big corporations, and a true entrepreneur. It all boils down to dedicating the time needed to little by little understand what are the steps needed to carefully scale-up and gain traction along your way into becoming “the next Google”. That is what people need to hear. That shows competence and at least a clear understanding of what traction is and its relevance.
So that would be my fourth and final recommendation in order to start behaving like an entrepreneur. Once you have got your big problem-solving-idea (and profitable), locate the main weakness and scale down into solving it. Do that as many times as needed until you have a clear picture of what you should be doing in order to start building and gaining traction until reaching the big dream. Then tell your story (and I mean it when I say “story”)… and watch how the excitement builds up little by little when the idea starts to become more and more approachable. That is when you are truly behaving like an entrepreneur.