Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines

The aim of this blog is to share what I learn as I work with, and as, an entrepreneur, but yet all my posts lately seem to be falling back to my default setting of writing about writing.

So the time has come to start writing about starting. (I was inspired to start sharing when I came across this website of the UK government, who are sharing the redesign and relaunch of their site.)

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The art of ideas

Republished on Idealog Magazine

In my time I’ve written many, many business cases, starting when I conceived my first business idea about six years ago (cooking and travel tours in India… I’ve never been to India, I really just wanted to travel there). While doing my MBA I was paid to write business and marketing plans for businesses who didn’t have the ability to write one themselves and I also won the Venture Fund award for a business idea I developed into a plan. In the past six months alone I have written about eight plans in total.

I’ve probably written in the range of 50 plans over the past six years, and of those I’ve written for myself, one has seen the light of day and made it into a business (in the early days, an amazing learning experience, but not a good business idea). Most others have had various stages of success, but for some reason the reality is that they aren’t feasible and they get shelved.

My point is that I use the process of writing a business case to objectively work through an idea that I am excited about before I tell others about it. More often than not, I am able to work out myself why the idea is flawed, and in the cases where I am unsure or still positive I will work through the business case with someone whose opinion I respect.

Lessons I have learned along the way:

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The three Ts

Republished on Idealog Magazine

Lately we have had first meetings with potential investment opportunities, and they have been an interesting and mixed bunch.

During the process I’ve learned a couple of things, namely to do with what my boss calls the three Ts; Team, Time and Technology.

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The value of time and the word “entrepreneur”

I hate the word “entrepreneur”. I don’t know why, but I always have.

I cringed when in one of my first MBA classes we were introducing ourselves and one of the guys in the class described himself as” an entrepreneur”. People looked impressed till someone asked him what he did… He ran a car cleaning franchise. Not exactly my definition of an entrepreneur.

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