I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal called Teaching Entrepreneurs to Do More Than Dream. The article talks about the closing of the University of California, San Diego’s Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship. I love the articles thinking behind the fact that we need to do a little less with the classroom textbooks of learning about entrepreneurship and more about the actual doing. Thinking outside of the box. For example, the concept behind The Moxie Center was a great one. Giving grants to young innovators which allowed them to take that idea and make it a reality. Thanks to a million-dollar gift the center was able to sustain for two and a half years before it gave out all of the money. In my entrepreneurial mind and the fact that I would want this program to sustain, why didn’t anyone think to invested the monies in an endowment and then use the draw down each year for the grants? Granted (no pun intended) the grants would be smaller and the selection would be more competitive, but this would have given a lot more return of investment from the philanthropist who generously donated the funds.
Transformational entrepreneurialism is similar philanthropy. In philanthropy, there is a passion for a social problem that needs to be solved. If you’re interested in taking on the exciting and rewarding adventure of becoming a transformational entrepreneur you should:
- Identify a need. This can either be a problem that needs a solution or something that nobody has ever thought of to make the world a better place.
- Do your research. Talk to a lot of people. Find a mentor. Read up (one recommendation would be my book The A.D.D. Entrepreneur).
- Trial and error. Take some time to make mistakes, learn what it is like to try and make a deal, find your comfort zone for what action you want to take when starting a business.
- Act on it. Take all of your passion, hard work, and love for what you are doing and create a sustainable and worthwhile business that you are proud of.
We need more transformational entrepreneurs. The person that is not afraid to stick their neck out and be unique with an idea or skill. While it is important to understand income statements, balance sheet and return on investments, it is equally important to encourage building, creating, and solving problems. Don’t build meaningless. Build passionate,unique businesses that are worthwhile to society. In my opinion, transformational entrepreneurs can make positive change. Taking a need or a problem and bring about a solution. It can also create jobs, reinvent society, and create a culture that encourages and empowers.