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Preparing for Startup

Rita was recently asked how people can best prepare themselves for an entrepreneurial career later on in life. Here are her suggestions:

There are three things that you can do to position yourself to start a company at some stage:

#1: Build your network. All entrepreneurs benefit greatly from their networks of contacts, and in fact this is one of the most important factors that determine whether someone will eventually succeed or fail. What you want is diversity, ability to keep in touch and the buildup of – social capital – meaning favors owed, people who like you, and the ability to engage others in making your vision real.#2: Create an inventory of opportunities. Good entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for the unmet need, the irritation that might offer an opportunity and the new technology that might be put to use. For instance, no bank thought of making money by helping people convert change to cash, but upstart Coinstar observed how frustrating the whole experience was, and invented a solution to tackle it. Last year, they booked $459 million in revenue.

#3: Consider your team. Contrary to popular myth, entrepreneurs don?t spring from the ground and take over the world all by themselves. There are usually a fair number of talented people who you?ll need to work with. So think about who should be helping you with marketing, legal, finance and other tasks ? building a talent bank before you need one can save you a lot of time later on, time you?ll need if you get lucky enough to grow the business.

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