In the movie Moneyball, a true story based on the 2002 season of Major League Baseball team, the Oakland A’s, Brad Pitt’s character Billie Beane is the General Manager of a team with a player recruitment budget of $41m while other teams such as the New York Yankees had a budget of $125m. Beane must find a way to compete on an unfair playing field – this is a movie about looking at what matters. Through finding a completely different way to assess a player’s value, rather than buying in to the hype of their swing, Beane gathers together a team within budget that goes on to win 19 games in a row, tying for the longest winning streak in American League history.
This is, in essence, what entrepreneurship is about – finding genuinely new solutions to old or new problems. Whether it is the chair you are sitting on as you read this, the internet connection that enabled it to load, or the device which you are reading these words from, all of these innovations started as the dream of just one person. Through a process of overcoming years and sometimes decades of failures, one person drove the relentless pursuit of perfection until they arrived at something that was good enough to put their name on it and take it to the world.
It is through this principle that sees innovation become the central force that moves civilisation forward. Entrepreneurship is simply innovation that has been taken to the world in a way that touches peoples lives.
Too often initiatives that aim to enable entrepreneurship aren’t actually looking at what matters. Whether it’s a research report by a corporation or the petition that lands in your inbox for the Government to hand out more grants or give start ups selective tax rates, while all of this may be useful, none of it is going to truly unleash disruptive innovation. The entrepreneur is intrinsically driven by something far more powerful and enduring.
Today the innovation that matters no longer occurs in university research, corporate R&D or around committee tables. Today truly disruptive innovation happens in the garage or in the untamed and wondering mind of a budding entrepreneur as she sits through a university lecture or argues with her middle management boss who’s only interest is in defending the status quo even though she has found a better way.
Nobody ever leaped off the cliff of their comfort zone being forced to grow wings on the way down as they were challenged on every level from the trials that dangerously whisk past them on a daily basis, only to stay with it year after year and grow into a person even they had not imagined, to go on and actualise a vision completely unborrowed from the past that disrupts ever so refreshingly and makes a true impact on the world, because the Government gave them a grant. That is not to say that great companies and entrepreneurs haven’t utilised Government grants, it is to say they would have done it anyway. Such is the essence of the entrepreneur.
The best thing anybody can give an entrepreneur is good advice. It is with good council that an entrepreneur can refine her idea, gain massive insight in how to better connect with her market or in how to lead a small team to do great things. Good advice usually comes from those with been-there, done-that experience who have come face to face with the challenge of innovation year after year and have lived to tell the story.
When coupled with good advice, and only when coupled with good advice, money can also make a meaningful difference to the speed at which a seed can grow out of, and into, itself.
Having personally spent many years working with business owners through my previous business MBE Education to raise money, acquire and build a path to exit, I learnt a lot about what makes a good deal on both sides of the table and more importantly how a growing business builds real value. Today with our community of 60,000 early stage entrepreneurs in The Entourage, the demand for good advice and smart money has never been stronger.
My first decade in business taught me much. It gave me the resilience required to continually jump off the out-of-comfort-zone-cliff, the emotional fortitude needed to find hope and lead in times of great challenge, and perhaps most importantly, the wisdom to always and unapolegitcally, look only at what matters.
The launch of the Entourage Growth Fund is our next step in serving the entrepreurship community and this was recently acknowledged by BRW in their article covering the Fund’s launch. If you believe you’re an entrepreneur on a meaningful mission, and your aim is to make a significant impact on the world through your business, then you may be someone who becomes part of something here that we are truly excited about.
You can apply for funding from The Entourage Growth Fund by filling out the Application Form here.