Some time ago, I stumbled upon the term ‘wantrepreneur” and got curious. The Urban Dictionary defines a wantrepreneur as: “someone who thinks about being an entrepreneur or starting a business but never gets started” or as “an individual that desires to be, but is not quite yet, an entrepreneur”. I find the latter definition much more charming as it gives hope that it is about to change in the future. Entrepreneurs like Rahul Varshneya and Alex Pirouz say “wantrepreneurs” often don’t even start-up for several reasons, and give advise on how to change that. I’ve summarised some of their findings here for you and phrased it “How to turn from a “wantrepreneur” to a real social entrepreneur:
1. Don’t wait for THE big idea!
Actually, don’t even think you need an idea to get started! Instead, find out what you are passionate about, identify a problem to be solved and find a way to solve it better than others do. More creative, more efficient, more effective, more impactful, more adapted to your environment, etc.. Especially social entrepreneurs are often passionate about a specific problem, let’s say unemployment, but they lack a real business idea. What do they do? They go out talk to unemployed people to find out the reasons, and listen to understand the problem. You can also go to events like “Startup Weekend“, where you can look for co-founders or team members. Maybe they got an idea, but they lack of skills you possess.
2. Don’t worry (too much) about the money!
If you are only concerned about they money, you will never get started. What’s more important is to start somewhere and to test your idea(s). It might be in your view be such a great product, but it turns out people are not interested, or not willing to pay. So test your assumptions first! Really lots of entrepreneurs started by zero or with as little as €20 like Refuse – Egyptian handmade products from upcycled plastic bags. Some even state, that starting with little made them very resourceful, attentive and focused on the priorities. Also Boost, a non-profit company that offers online shoppers a way to donate money at no extra cost, started by bootstrapping¹.
3. Don’t worry if you haven’t figured out the complete business concept!
It will change anyways….so I’ve heard 😉 Therefore, it’s important that you do you market research. Write ideas down on paper, or even better, create a Business Model Canvas (BMC), a prototype or beta, and then go out test your assumptions. The best is to talk to potential customers, users, or beneficiaries and ask them what they think about the idea. Get feedback. And then adapt your BMC.
4. Don’t be afraid of failure!
What’s the worst case scenario if you would fail? If you haven’t invested much money you don’t loose much, right? So even if you fail, take it as a learning experience! There are so many entrepreneurs with several attempts before their finally succeeded. And especially if you do your research and the market validation, then you reduce the risk of failure anyways.
5. Do think about your life goals, your passions, your dreams!
I asked myself the same questions before starting this blog: Would I regret not to try? Would I be upset if another person succeeds with the same or similar idea? Can I be happier if I do work that I’m passionate about? And I came to the conclusion, that if I don’t even try, I’ll never know if it might have worked out. Fact is, I’m meeting a lot of interesting people. I’m learning new things. I’m feeling good and at ease with myself. I do what I want to do and care about. Isn’t that much more important?
Here a funny video on exactly that same topic – Enjoy! 🙂
¹ What is bootstrapping?
The Business Directory explains it as: “building a business out of very little or virtually nothing. Bootstrappers rely usually on personal income and savings, sweat equity, lowest possible operating costs, fast inventory turnaround, and a cash-only approach to selling”. Bootstrapping is also seen “a type of business funding that seeks to avoid relying on outside investors “.