The Entrepreneur Definition
This book is for you if:
Okay, so let’s assume you fit one of these profiles. Here are my objectives to help you address your concerns:
In the following chapters, I will explain my thought process leading up to my decision to start Yellow Brick Road Entertainment LLC and throughout the life of it. I will then share my specific 2005-07 circa business concept, which was BandDigs.com, an interactive video platform/community for the music industry—a cross between Myspace and YouTube.
Subsequently, I will drill down on everything from the business plan, funding model, financials, technology, marketing analysis, customer base, vendors, and alliances, to the adjustments my team and I made, the investment banking process we followed . . . and, SPOILER ALERT, to the eventual closing of the business.
The meat in the sandwich, however, will be the brutally honest lessons learned that I will share with you. If you run with just a few of these tidbits, your ROI on this book purchase will far exceed 10,000 times.
The lessons in this book will address topics such as who you should choose for investors and why, how to write your business plan, how to know your customer, how to better develop your product or service, who not to hire and why, what types of vendors to avoid, and how to deal with angel investors, strategic funding sources, and VCs to avoid being turned down for an early round of funding. I will even share lessons I learned about myself as a person, which I hope will help you sort out your own feelings and better deal with your own struggles and doubts.
Finally, I will tell you about the aftermath—shutting down a business and facing failure for the first time. Will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror and not think of strangling yourself if you go down in flames? What will it be like dealing with your investors, friends, family, and your health if the business shuts down? Ouch… sounds rough, doesn’t it? But here’s the bright side: my pain may very well turn out to be your gain! And that is my goal for this book, and for you.
Hopefully, by sharing the consequences of my actions, you will be able to leverage my mistakes into a much better outcome for yourself. If it is too late for that, maybe you will find solace in relating to my pain and it will ease your own.
With all of that in mind, let’s start by defining what an entrepreneur is. Here is an excerpt from an online definition of “entrepreneur”:
An entrepreneur is a person who has possession over a new enterprise or venture and assumes full accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome . . . Entrepreneur . . . is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome.. . . They are successful because their passion for an outcome leads them to organize available resources in new and more valuable ways . . . A person who can efficiently manage these factors in pursuit of a real opportunity to add value in the long-run, may expand (future prospects of larger firms and businesses), and become successful.
Entrepreneurship is often difficult and tricky, as many new ventures fail. Entrepreneur is often synonymous with founder. Most commonly, the term entrepreneur applies to someone who creates value by offering a product or service. Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and organize their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes existing interactions.
Picking apart the word entrepreneur is a crucial aspect of making your decision to “join the club.” Indulge me while I ask you a few questions to lay the foundation:
This list scratches the surface of the qualifiers for becoming an entrepreneur. Before reading further, please objectively answer these questions for yourself and your potential investors. Pause and reflect. Repeat.