Young: Common ground chasing entrepreneurial dream

Reflection about how aligned with the entrepreneurial spirit were the lives of these three men.

I recently spent a very interesting afternoon in a West Kelowna that bears some mention.

I enjoyed conversations with three totally distinct individuals, who all seemed to blend together and prompt my thought about the art behind the creation of an entrepreneurial idea.

The first gentleman I spoke with was from New Zealand, who kept me attentive with the oration of his multi-faceted background and the roads he has traveled in bringing his personal venture to the Okanagan.

Second, I met for the first-time also a young psychologist who moved here recently with his family from Chilliwack. He offered some wonderful insights into ourselves and those around us in our daily lives.

Then before I set off to the supper hour with my spouse, I was introduced to a gentleman from France who has moved to the Okanagan, soon to be joined by his family, to create his entrepreneurial dream in Canada—a French pastry and chocolate factory—hopefully on the West Kelowna side of the lake.

This visionary has 8,000 original recipes from which to delight our  culinary fantasies.

With these three enjoyable visits behind me, it gave pause for reflection about how aligned with the entrepreneurial spirit were the lives of these three men.

And how, in tune with each other, they demonstrated the touchstones of innovation and creativity in their mission to make a difference in their lives and their world.

It raised for me the concept of the entrepreneurial idea art form and the magic of the journey evolving from absolutely any origin and form.

It often seems the best ideas for new products and services often come from a sense of frustration with the existing supply in the marketplace.

Entrepreneurship, in part, is the skill of connecting different patterns in order to create a product or service that is more useful, convenient, missing in the market that satisfies a want or need.

So I found some interesting theorizing concerning the keys to picking a winning entrepreneurial idea:

1. Know Thyself: A key variable here might be where do you fall on the risk spectrum? For example, many young aspiring entrepreneurs may well be a time in life for taking the big risk, others perhaps not to much.

2. What’s your angle? Generally, good venture ideas fall into six categories:

• Roll-ups—wherein disparate players in a given market are aggregated. Consider, for example, pulling together all the weed-pullers in Central Okanagan

• Better widget—offering incremental improvements is where most first-time entrepreneurs focus their new-found fire

• Better, faster, cheaper—and not necessarily all three of these

• A novel concept—who’d-have-thunk-it ideas that create new markets

• Geography—items like finding an idea that works in one location and doing it in a second location or spotting and capturing a local monopoly

3. Do the hard stuff first. I tend to get obsessed with rigorously evaluating new venture ideas. Part of my logic stems from the fact that the core essence of moving forward from idea to reach an entrepreneurial opportunity conclusion is the critical evaluation of the said idea.

4. Look at lots of ideas—the world is limitless for ideas, the trick is finding the one or even two that are right for you.

5. Do it—get moving folks, get answers. Such answers likely won’t come from sitting at your computer. And, do act with a sense of urgency to propel your new venture idea to reality.

Follow these suggested game rules and you have a good shot at answering the biggest question of all: Is this the one? Is this that special idea that will move me into the realm of the existing from aspiring entrepreneur?

Please remember this: Deep down inside each of us burns an entrepreneurial spirit, which means wanting to explore and potentially embrace starting and operating a new venture the way you hope to run your personal life.

A successful venture means increasing the clients you have and a successful personal life to many of us, means increasing the number of friends and loved ones we can muster. Hence, being an entrepreneur is really a way of life.


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