Entrepreneurship

14 Entrepreneurial disciplines

You will have discovered by now that this entire site is dedicated to the entrepreneur and the fourteen entrepreneurial disciplines he must exercise.

In our careers, you and I have seen the word “entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurial” bandied around indulgently.

First, there is the employee who styles himself entrepreneur. You see this on resumes and LinkedIn profiles: “An entrepreneurial sales guru” or “Business executive with the entrepreneurial touch.” Sometimes you see "my career in business" or "I entered business life." When confronted with this, you wonder what half-thwarted urge is at play. Does he have a perpetually unfulfilled itch to be a business owner? Is it a glamorous word to spice up a profile and give self-worth? Is he simply unaware of the meaning of entrepreneurship?

Second, there are the new business owners who might describe themselves as an entrepreneur. In 95% of these cases, these new entrants are former employees who have outsourced their job to themselves in a quick step from employee to freelancer, maybe a couple of assistants in tow.

The first person uses the word entrepreneur like a vanity title. The second person says a freelancer is an entrepreneur.

Both are wrong.

Entrepreneurship is much more substantive than this. In fact, one cannot really qualify as an entrepreneur, in my view, unless he has done four things:

  • Risked his own capital and, if necessary, convinced others to risk their capital on his venture;
  • Employed technical and managerial staff to operate the enterprise;
  • Sold the business with a healthy return on investment; and
  • Repeated the process at least once.
There are fourteen entrepreneurial disciplines which must be mastered to achieve this. These are:

  1. Entrepreneurship
    Developing that fiercely independent, opportunity-seeking mindset.

  2. Marketing, Sales, Publicity
    Unleashing the full gamut of promotional techniques.

  3. People, Talent, Teams
    Inspiring, leading and recruiting driven-focused teams, sharpening your instinct for people.

  4. Business Systems
    Transcending the limitations of small and uncoupling yourself from your business.

  5. Strategy
    Devising a market position for maximum profitability by minimising the competition.

  6. Market Research
    Developing intuitive techniques for quickly testing business concepts.

  7. Customer Experiences
    Delighting customers through planned, repeatable, predictable experiences.

  8. Raising Capital
    Gathering sufficient money to make your concept a reality.

  9. Product, Quality
    Knowing how to create the best, customer-centric, enduring product.

  10. Investing, Treasury
    Deploying surplus profits for maximum return at an acceptable risk.

  11. Technology
    Exploiting technology which best serves the needs of your business.

  12. Cashflow, Accounting, Tax
    Protecting the solvency of your business, timely record-keeping and obligation payments.

  13. Law, Regulation, Risk
    Complying with rules, mitigating commonly occurring risks at acceptable rates.

  14. Trade Sale, Exiting
    Creating a competitive bidding process to sell your business.
                 
If you have just entered business life or have been in business for a few years but are frustrated with your lack of progress, you will want to ask yourself honestly if you have mastered these fourteen entrepreneurial disciplines. Were I a betting man, I’d guess you are not on top of them all. I see business owner after owner focused mainly of his product, perhaps a little on customers, followed by hatred for accounting but done begrudgingly out of necessity.

If this is you, your operation will remain at less than five employees before ultimately going out of business.

I do not want this to be your fate and so I have created this website.

Let’s explore each entrepreneurial discipline together. Let’s start on a quest to round-out your entire entrepreneurial capacity, unleashing your natural strengths to unimaginable heights but also turning those areas you despise into formidable skills. You can do it by studying all fourteen entrepreneurial disciplines.

Further, by mastering the fourteen, you’ll become a time magician, re-crafting your twelve hour day to ten, then eight like an employee, then six, four, two then full uncoupling from your business.

"Why would I want to separate myself from my business", you ask?

Time.

No money from a profitable business can compensate you for time lost in your precious life. Our time on this planet is short. I want you to have the time to enjoy your health, your spouse, your children, your family, real vacations and true life experiences. I do not want you chained to your business, living life beneath a garish halogen light and before the pixelated glow of your computer screen.

I want you to live. The fourteen entrepreneurial disciplines are the means by which you will achieve a more fantastic life, not some dry content from a dusty old business textbook.

This is the true art of entrepreneurship and a life of adventure, fulfillment and excitement.

Let’s take the journey together.

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