No Guts, No Glory: The Entrepreneur's Playbook

The best thing you can do is to try to lock in place the resources necessary to sustain you through the startup phase, which is an extraordinarily risky moment. 

What does it take to become an entrepreneur?  The steps to get there would be certainly to develop a concept for a product or a service.  Second, to talk to people about that concept.  Now this is a little dicey because concepts are often stolen or imitated easily, so you want to be very careful about who you turn to for advice.  But very frequently, the budding entrepreneur will gain financial support from family and friends to build a prototype, to find the first customer, to write a business plan.  And with those developments, perhaps they can go to a venture capitalist to raise some serious money with which to hire staff and build out the business.  


With venture capital money, typically that comes in waves.  You raise two, three, four rounds of venture capital money and perhaps by that time you’re on your feet and self-sustaining and generating enough cash internally to carry your business forward. Or it might be possible you’d take your company public and raise money on the stock exchange or conceivably sell your company to a large corporation that could fund the growth of your company indefinitely into the future.  

Those are the very broad strokes of steps to become an entrepreneur, and a successful one.  But you should know that most entrepreneurs fail.  Some astonishing figure like 70% of all new businesses fail within a short span of time - two or three years.  And the chief reason is not that the entrepreneurs didn’t have desire or didn’t have a good idea, or couldn’t find a willing circle of customers, but the company simply ran out of money.  

So the best thing you can do is to try to lock in place the resources necessary to sustain you through the startup phase, which is an extraordinarily risky moment.  Now given those odds of failure, the best entrepreneurs tend to be people who have a stomach for risk.  When you think about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, it takes guts.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less