As an entrepreneur I have been running super speed since I launched in July 2015. It has come naturally though all things considered.
By nature I am a project manager and I adore having lists and making actionable steps. I just got a new project notebook that allows me to index the pages and to maintain my list - I sometimes just move the stuff from one day to the next or I cross the things off the list on the way.
As I am coming up to over 2500 words for part two of the entrepreneur-ING book I wanted to talk a bit about project management and going from zero to launch.
I really took the base from book 1 and expanded on the actual execution of launching a business. So much content has been shared and created about entrepreneurship but I do have an interesting perspective being an expert (and someone who has failed before at being entrepreneurial). Also I am an educator by nature not only the last 13 years in the classroom -- so I know how to teach and create lessons and I also have the expertise of trying and failing before as an entrepreneur.
I lay out in this upcoming installment the following information in my introduction, which I am including to this post.
If you did not read the first book, it does help to have done that to be ready to go from zero to launch. Check out more here: Lisa Vento Nielsen Author Page on Amazon.com.
Below is the introduction to the second book in the Entrepreneur-ING series The Prof's Guide on Entrepreneur-ING: Going from Zero to Launch – Everything You Need to Know to be an Entrepreneur Starting Today
The first installment of this series focused on developing and using entrepreneurial skills for either launching a business OR being the boss of your career. This time, I am taking my 15+ years’ experience as an entrepreneur and my 13 years’ experience as an educator teaching courses on entrepreneurship to give you the Zero to Launch Guide on moving forward with your idea or your business.
This might be something you decide to do now as a full time gig or as a side gig. It might be something you want to do but are not ready to execute on right now – but by reading this book and using my lessons, you might decide it is something you want to do right now. You can use this book to save up for your decision in a few years – you do not have to execute and launch right now. Maybe you are just thinking and want a new, fresh look on entrepreneurship.
You are in the right place – I am a new, fresh voice on entrepreneurship using the word I coined “Entrepreneur-ING” to create a full end-to-end launch process for you to use at any time for your idea, your business and more. There is the possibility you will go through all of these steps and decide you do not want to launch but in the meanwhile you started the process. Once you start being an entrepreneur, you will always consider it again and it will help your regular full time work as you focus on making yourself stand out in this potential new venture.
I started being entrepreneurial in 2002 and I have not looked back at all. Being entrepreneurial brought an extra level of skill and focus to my other careers as educator and executive. I have tried and failed a few times and I will provide some real life case study examples based off of my own various attempts at entrepreneurship.
In this book series (and in the other series I wrote on College and Career Readiness), I am the source. My unique background and experiences and my calling as an educator mean I am pulling it all together to tie in the process from start to finish with you here in this book.
I launched The Next Step in July 2015 and for the first time, I was at a point where my age and experience had caught up with my vision. I put my face, my name and my content/writing into this business. I write books now, too and have always dreamed of being a published author so if this business has done nothing else, it allowed me to achieve a major dream of my life.
That is not all, though, all of the lessons I have learned over the years through trial and error and as a professor on this very topic have now allowed me to help you do the same process and do it well! I look forward to being on this journey with you to go from Zero to Launch with your business idea!
In Chapter 1, we will discuss business ideas and execution. It is a good high level applicable discussion on how to move forward with an idea and also on identifying ideas. Business Plan Overview is discussed in Chapter 2; the meat and potatoes so to speak of this book is going to be compiling and completing the business plan as we review it in this book. There are tons of services and templates out there but this book will take you through the steps with your own professor/consultant (me) helping you do these steps.
Chapter 3 talks about websites because you cannot have a business today period without a website. It is as natural as breathing that people will look for your website before they even consider speaking to you and you can be right in front of them and this would still happen!
As a marketing major in undergraduate and someone who is always marketing myself either through my business or other ventures, I have a lot to say in Chapter 4 about Marketing.
I go into social media in Chapter 5; this is something I have taught myself from the ground up. I am not “digitally native” and had never used Twitter or Instagram until I relaunched my company in July of 2015. I have found lots of success with using social media to drive traffic to my site without spending any money on marketing the site. As someone who has launched business prior to social media, I can tell you this is an amazing thing to be able to do. I get between 1500-2000 people per week on my site; this is amazing for a small business that launched just eight months ago.
Chapter 6 discusses how to get that traffic to stay via using blogging. As a novice blogger, too, I learned the ropes on this the hard way. I continue to build out more and more content in addition to the books I self-publish (which I will touch on in this chapter, too but only briefly). The idea of writing a book would make almost everyone run away from this book quicker than quick so I will just discuss this in a high level way. If there is real interest in this, look for an updated Chapter on this in editions of this book moving forward.
Chapter 7 is the basics on structuring your business and identifying your mission or your mantra. This is the core idea of what you offer and your business idea. In Chapters 8, 9 and 10 we will be building your plan together. With insights, takeaways and space for you to add your own information, this book will become a draft of your business plan.
We will discuss managing for growth in Chapter 11 and your official marketing plan in Chapter 12. Chapter 13 will show you how to pull all of this information together into your official business documents and I want to hear from you in and around Chapter 14 for the feedback loop.
Be ready to go from zero to launch based off of my extensive experience as an entrepreneur since 2002 and my background in executing and teaching others to be entrepreneurial. I have spent countless classroom and seminar hours in rolling out my methods and plan on how to be an entrepreneur.
A huge part of this is what I discuss in the first book that really brings home the idea of how to be entrepreneurial; how to be risky in terms of aggressively measuring your worth, your skills and what you bring to the table. Do not make the mistake of discounting yourself in terms of who you are and what you can do. So many people limit themselves to the sidelines when they could be in the mainstream if they had the courage to try.
The first business I launched in 2002-2004 was focused on training and teaching other people and small businesses about how to train project managers and how to take the PMP exam and I can tell you firsthand about the ease of starting and running a profitable business NOW vs then. The idea is that with technology and opportunity the way it is, you have to wonder why you have not launched already. I also run classes through Wagner College Department for Lifelong Learning on Entrepreneurship: Building your own business and this book will be used in conjunction with my course design and my first installment of this series.
This book is a professor’s how to – I am the professor behind this book, this method and everything I espouse I have actually DONE in real life. I am not from the ivory tower; I have spent over 13 years in Corporate America, Higher Ed and as an entrepreneur, too. This book is actual time tested and because I have failed so many times, you can learn from me to avoid failure and go right for the success!
That being said, do not be afraid of failing. It is like when you are in school – if you fail it is how you know there is more for you to learn. You must think positively in terms of failure and learning to stay focused and on the path of entrepreneurship. You will find yourself growing as a person and becoming a better career person, a better employee and with higher prospects by trying to be an entrepreneur. Also, with my techniques and my experience as your guide, you will avoid the common pitfalls that impact many other first time entrepreneurs.
If you have been an entrepreneur already, welcome! I am glad you found me so that you can be ready to execute and succeed this next time!!
Lisa Vento Nielsen