Just Start is a book about a method that explains how successful entrepreneurs navigate uncertainty. At Babson, it's called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® and it's baked into everything.
Talking about the method is kind of like talking about how the chef prepared the special. Your server can describe it to you until he's blue in the face, but you're not really going to get it (or care, probably) until you've had a bite.
A case is more whiff than bite, but here's one anyway:
An Italian entrepreneur (let's call him Beppe because that's his name) is visiting Boston. While here, he's become interested in the mozzarella di bufala market. He thinks there could be a business opportunity.
How does he just start? With a low-risk, affordable action step. To find and frame one, he needs to ask himself:
- What do I want?
- Who do I know who could help me?
- What other resources do I have at hand?
- What am I willing to pay to play at this point?
Beppe wants to know if there's a opportunity selling authentic Italian mozzarella di bufala in the U.S. He knows me through my husband and he knows that I run Food Sol, so he figures I might know a few folks who would fit his target demographic. Beppe is a serial entrepreneur with a wealth of experience. He is willing to pay a few balls of mozzarella di bufala and one night of his time.
So he proposed a focus group and asked me to host.
My husband and I want to host because it's something fun, a novel way for us to engage friends and colleagues, and because there will be mozzarella di bufala eating involved. I know a bunch of local foodies who could help - they're all coming (with buffalo bells on) - and we have our house. My husband and I are willing to pay a couple bottles of wine, our space, and one night of our time.
So Thursday night is Mozzarella Focus Group.
Most entrepreneurs don't actually stop to write all this down. They just do it. They just know what to do. Maybe they think they're born with it. But maybe it's not that fancy.
There is no mind-blowing content to the method. Some really smart people just sat down and reverse-engineered the means by which successful entrepreneurs reach success.
The magic is that reverse-engineering the tales of titans brings entrepreneurship down to earth. And so if you have an idea, you can act on it. You don't need anyone to knight you.
Soup to nuts, the method is how Food Sol came to be.
And I'm just some liberal arts major from the travel industry.
So don't be afraid to taste.