by Joel Boh Zewen (Singapore SMU )
Entrepreneurship is an essential quality in every business venture. It is not the mere know how but it is a total mind set to lead people, assume risk and succeed in areas where few people have ventured into. Being an entrepreneur involves certain crucial steps, the first and foremost is to motivate people with a vision and an end goal.
How the business will look at the end is important, and having an exit strategy helps. The second step is to adopt a strategy. I have learnt the strategy for an entrepreneur does not need to be as high level as that of a large company. Yet, it must be easily translated into tactics.
Professor Pamela Lim guides you on how to execute a business idea and tells you the various considerations you have to factor in the process. It could range from funding to organising the management structure. Although her teaching employs few academic frameworks, but her mantra “Just do it.” is enough to help you overcome your own reservations and forces you to be focused and disciplined in setting up the business. Her emphasis lies in the execution of the idea, and this validates the concept of ‘stealing’ ideas from other people. While this is unconventional, it is very true. Value creation and invention is about building on an existing idea to make it better and not necessary starting from scratch.
Another aspect of entrepreneurship that impacted me is that business plans are never static, they are fluid and perpetually in motion. Professor Lim made it clear that each business plan would have to go through many versions before it could be presented as workable. Sometimes it might be a slight modification, other times the entire business idea could be overhauled. Through all this, I realized that an entrepreneur had to look past failure in order to succeed, no matter how severe the failure is; be it just revamping the business plan or driving yourself to the brink of bankruptcy.
The best take away from Professor Lim’s course was the realisation that I have a choice. I could be an employee, take home a fixed pay and be subject to corporate guidelines and rules. Or I could set up my own business, and take responsibility for my own financial needs.
Attending Prof Lim’s class is probably one of the best incubators for entrepreneurship. It spurs you to heights you never dreamed or thought you could go.