Have you ever been intrigued by the thought of “being your own boss”? Do you aspire to make a difference in the world? Are you the type of person who is always coming up with new ideas or finding solutions to everyday problems? Maybe you identify with one of these, or maybe you identify with all of these. In any case, you can achieve entrepreneurial aspirations by shifting your way of thinking and doing.
Often people are interested in the concept of entrepreneurship, but may not identify as an entrepreneur themselves. Being entrepreneurial doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run a business or sell a product; it can be approaching life through an entrepreneurial lens and utilizing your skills to solve problems to do things new or differently.
Shifting your way of thinking can be a difficult task, which is why we designed the Just Start Guidebook to help you along this journey. The Just Start Guidebook is a digital, downloadable, and fully editable resource filled with activities and prompts to help get your brain flowing. While this Guidebook can be used to think through virtually any subject or topic you’re interested in, there are three key focus areas that are central to the Guidebook’s functionality.
1. Entrepreneurial mindset
A key part of being entrepreneurial is that you must first adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. An entrepreneurial mindset is a way of thinking about the world through utilizing your creativity and curiosity to build connections and create value for others. It means approaching problems and situations with the goal of finding a new or different solution. It means thinking about how you could do something better or more efficiently. Adopting an entrepreneurial mindset is at the very heart of entrepreneurship, which is why it is the very first activity in the Just Start Guidebook.
2. Problem spotting and solving
A helpful starting point for being entrepreneurial is understanding how to spot problems, big or small, and how to find different solutions. There are three activities in the Just Start Guidebook that walk you through problem spotting, problem-solving, and understanding how your solutions can be helpful for others (customer discovery). While you may immediately think that spotting and solving problems are major tasks, such as solving world hunger or coming up with the cure for a disease, it doesn’t have to start so big.
The Guidebook encourages you to think about everyday problems that you encounter in your own life and how to work through them. Maybe your bathroom door always swings open, so you glue a small weight to one side to stop it from pulling in the other direction, or maybe your dryer always eats one of your socks so you create a make-shift stopper to keep your socks from falling into the cracks. Identifying the ways you already problem solve in your everyday life will help you understand what problems people may face and how you can grow and develop your problem-solving skills to make a difference, big or small.
3. Understanding your strengths and using them to your advantage
Often people will experience imposter syndrome, meaning that you doubt your skills and abilities to accomplish a certain goal or task. This makes it especially difficult when someone is trying to do something new or different than what has been done before. In whatever role you play in your life, it is important to understand your strengths and utilize them to your advantage. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and build new skills, but it is helpful to know what you are good at and how you can use your strengths to help benefit others — whether that’s in your personal or professional life. The Just Start Guidebook helps you discover your strengths and think through how you can communicate your talents to others.
The Just Start Guidebook is a helpful resource for anyone who is interested in exploring the possibilities of entrepreneurship. So, if you ever find yourself stuck on a problem or in a conflict, needing help thinking through a project, or are generally interested in expanding your way of thinking, we encourage you to “Just Start”.