7 Paths to Entrepreneurship

Introduction

A lot of people ask me “How does one become an Entrepreneur?”. Below, I’ve listed seven paths that you can take to reach that goal. Of course this is only a partial answer and attitude, mindset and many other steps have to be simultaneously explored. But choosing one of these paths is necessary to begin something and take the longest – so start thinking about them or even better, doing!

I’ll elaborate on each of these in separate posts, because a single post will become too long. But this is a start.

The 7 Paths

1. The Trader
• Starts trading the goods he wants to sell or something similar, but most importantly to the market/customer he wants to address
• Can start understanding the market/customer but also the entire value chain
• This can include a Franchisee, Distributor or Retailer. These three do require capital for inventory and sometimes fees
• Here, the Very Lean Startup can be applied. For example, put up a website or store announcing the products to be sold and offer discounts for early signup

2. The Pirate
• Like a trader but goes one step further – selling goods under his own brand
• Again, ethical and even legal conflicts – may be difficult to recover brand image
• Should limit yourself to selling just enough to test the market

3. The Employee
• Takes a job in an organization that may be a potential competitor i.e. engaged in the same/similar business
• Must work hard – see the Fable of the carpenter
• Diligence will be rewarded with promotions – so s/he will know more about the business
• Avoid ethical conflicts

4. The Journalist
• Wanted to call it the researcher, but connotation is not sufficiently action oriented
• Looking for “scoops”
• Not about writing, but document everything
• Focus on a market segment
• Can also blog on the relevant topics

5. The Customer
• Become a customer for the product or similar product
• Helps you to identify weaknesses in competition
• …as well as weakness in product or its delivery
• Gives insight into the “need”

6. The Integrator
• Puts together a solution from existing products or services.
• Important that no fixed cost or infrastructure is built up
• Low barrier to entry (beware of competition)

7. The Innovator
• My favorite
• Goes in with the mindset of innovating a product
• Nothing to sell
• How can I solve your problem?
• Looking for customers
• Lean or Very Lean Startup is best bet

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