Are you confused as to how to begin taking entrepreneurial action or be an entrepreneur? Do you wonder what the stages of starting a new business or entrepreneurial project might be? If so, I’ve created this page to list all the best frameworks and guidelines provided by others. Each model will tell you where to look for further information if you’re interested in digging deeper.
Frameworks (click to jump to one)
- Accelerated Proficiency in Entrepreneurship
- Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt
- Effectuation [content coming soon]
- From Stupid Idea to Smart Reality [content coming soon]
Source: The UnStoppables: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial Power, by author Bill Schley. Click here to see my review of the book.
When to use Accelerated Proficiency
If you want to speed up your learning curve in any field or when facing any skills-based challenge. This framework can be used for any and all purposes. In which you wish to quickly become proficient. For our purposes, if you want to become entrepreneurial, you can become proficient in entrepreneurship in a short timeframe using the Accelerated Proficiency method.
What you get
- A set of rules and principles that teaches you how to get into motion, safely and quickly, to accomplish any objective you have. You will become Minimally Functionally Qualified (MFQ) in the given field or challenge so you can immediately begin taking action.
- The MFQ to get you in motion so you can start learning all the unconscious things and develop the expert intuition that a seasoned practitioner can’t really articulate to you—the things she does automatically, the things she “just knows.”
- Sets you on the road towards a transcendent level of expertise so you can keep on going by yourself, without the help of a teacher.
The method (the how)
Understand: Expose the False Facts, Assumptions, & Hearsay Behind It
- First, bring to light the false facts, assumptions, and hearsay that breed continual Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)—and then remove them! This is exactly what military boot camps do by first “breaking recruits down” before building them back up. For purposes of becoming an entrepreneur, you can do this now by reading here about the truths and myths about entrepreneurship I’ve accumulated from experts.
- Before jumping into the Skills Set and Rules Set you should discover the essence of whatever challenge you face. For our purposes, before attempting to become an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial, you should first understand the essence of entrepreneurship. Soak in the essence.
Conceptualize: Get a Snapshot of It from Beginning to End
- Second, develop your ability to picture the essence and understand the sequence of achieving it from beginning to end—quickly and basically. Visualizing the whole process overwhelms intellectual FUD. It lights the spark of “it’s possible for me.” It gives us permission to believe.
- Now that you know the essence of entrepreneurship and who is and who is not qualified to be an entrepreneur, your next step is to harness Accelerated Proficiency so that you can get into motion. You will learn a small skills set and rules set that support the essence of entrepreneurship from the previous step.
Physically Experience It by Getting Wet
- Third, get completely wet, ASAP. Instead of just studying the essence, you’ve got to touch it, feel it, and live in it to train your conscious and unconscious in the real thing. Experiential immersion in the essence overwhelms FUD
Get in Motion
- Lastly, adhere with a vengeance to a unique variation on the familiar 20:80 rule: Spend 20% or less of your time pondering and preparing, and 80% or more doing—repeatedly.
- Like a Navy SEAL doing house-to-house combat, moving forward is what keeps you alive. You can read more here about the benefits of taking action sooner rather than later.
Example of Accelerated Proficiency: Krav Maga
- An applied example of Accelerated Proficiency is that of Krav Maga, the hand-to-hand combat system taught by the Israelis.
- Traditional martial arts are complex, exquisite systems that take years of training to get proficient in. But, this doesn’t work for the Israelis. Their army has to take in teenaged kids of all shapes/sizes/abilities and turn them into soldiers within weeks.
- So, the Israelis developed an entrepreneurial combat system, known as Krav Maga, which is a super-effective self-defense system of hand-to-hand combat that can be learned in one month. Instead of relying on many techniques and rules, Krav Maga teaches a few essential principles that can be learned in an accelerated amount of time. The system is so focused and compact that you quickly learn to think on your feet and adjust to the most unexpected variables and thus can successfully defend yourself with just one month’s training.
To give yourself Accelerated Proficiency, there are a few unbreakable principles that you are required to use. If you use these they will make you more effective at anything you do. It appears that three or four is the universal constant for learning and applying anything. Although you will learn hundreds of principles in your lifetime, you’ll do best to default to three or four top-level principles when you are planning and getting your new business up and running.
Not only will you have three or four high-level principles, but you should adopt three or four principles for everyday functions like marketing, selling, or product development, for example.
From the moment you start Step 3: Physically Experience Entrepreneurship: Get Wet, you should be on the lookout for your magic three or four principles in everything you do. This will become very important especially once you take a look in the next section of the UnStoppable Business Tool Kit, which gives you six key areas to focus on in your new business.
But for now, here are three master principles to always use when working on a new entrepreneurial project:
Think on your feet
- To be an entrepreneur you’ll need to think and innovate on your feet under real conditions in real time. The best principles to rely on in times of stress are called heuristics—mental “rules of thumb” that guide decision-making. The reason we need heuristics is because they get to the heart of a matter using minimal bandwidth that enable snap judgments that are usually right.
- The best way to express “rules of thumb” are in little word packages because these are the fastest to learn and remember in a critical situation. These powerful miniature word packages are called Micro-Scripts and are used constantly for Accelerated Proficiency. For example, Navy SEALs use the microscript, “tap, rack, bang”, to clear a jammed magazine during a gunfight. This simple rule keeps soldiers alive during a crisis.
- This is one of the best ways to learn a new skill quickly. We can constantly condense principles into heuristics and then turn them into catchy Micro-Scripts. This is the method of training that Navy SEALs use, and it can become yours.
Simple beats complicated
- Staying simple is the express lane to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Throw away complicated business plans. Stick with a simple outline of your business model using tools such as the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya.
Define the center—and go all in
- The principles of Accelerated Proficiency always direct you to the center of any problem because the center is where you want to go all in with your effort and focus. Keep the center of your brand, performance, culture, or status as your customers’ #1 choice locked in your crosshairs. It will take constant adjusting to stay lined up with the center of any problem but this is the only way to win—by going all in only where it counts. Remember, it’s very likely that only 20% of a problem causes 80% of the damage, so make sure to concentrate only on that 20% when starting an entrepreneurial project. The same 80/20 rule also applies to opportunities.
Source: The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt, by author Russ Harris. Click here to see the book on Amazon.com.
When to use
I would venture to say that anyone wanting to be more innovative or entrepreneurial will encounter increased fear and self-doubt. If you read this book you’ll discover that fear is a normal feeling that humans experience any time we face a challenge. So, because being entrepreneurial will inevitably mean confronting many challenges, you should be prepared to deal with the fear and self-doubt that will come with it. The rules and guidelines below form a great framework for increasing your confidence. I highly recommend you read this book because its takeaways go far beyond what I’ve summarized below—just know that its not geared towards business professionals but anyone wanting to become more confident. If you read this book all the way through and apply its techniques you will gain self-confidence and stop missing out on opportunities in life.
What you get
- 5 Main Reasons for Low Self-Confidence
- 5 Solutions to Low Self-Confidence
- 10 Rules for Winning the Game of Confidence
The method (the how)
It’s unlikely that you lack confidence in everything, but rather, you lack confidence in specific areas of life or activities. You probably are confident about riding a bicycle, but when it comes to being entrepreneurial or innovative you may lack confidence. The first thing you need to do is understand why you would lack confidence in some things and not others:
Understand the 5 Main Reasons for Low Self-Confidence
- Excessive expectations
- Harsh self-judgment
- Preoccupation with fear
- Lack of experience
- Lack of skills
Now, gaining confidence requires work. Here are the 5 solutions you can work on:
Implement the 5 Solutions to Low Self-Confidence
- Unhook from excessive expectations
- Practice self-acceptance and self-encouragement
- Make room for fear—and, if possible, use it
- Step out of your comfort zone and get the experience you require
- Practice the skills, apply them effectively, assess the results, and modify as needed
Lastly, the author of The Confidence Gap asks you to consider flexibly using the following 10 rules, but not to rigidly adhere to them:
10 Rules for Winning the Game of Confidence
- Rule 1: The actions of confidence come first, the feelings of confidence come later, if at all.
- Rule 2: Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear; it is a transformed relationship with fear.
- Rule 3: Negative thoughts are normal. Don’t fight them; defuse them.
- Rule 4: Self-acceptance trumps self-esteem.
- Rule 5: Hold your values lightly, but pursue them vigorously.
- Rule 6: True success is living by your values.
- Rule 7: Don’t obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process.
- Rule 8: Don’t fight your fear, allow it, befriend it, and channel it.
- Rule 9: Failure hurts—but if you’re willing to learn, it’s a wonderful teacher.
- Rule 10: The key to peak performance is total engagement in the task.
Some key takeaways from The Confidence Gap concerning fear are repeated here for entrepreneurs or innovators.
- Anytime you get out of your comfort zone and take a risk or face a challenge, you will feel fear. But, realize that this is normal for humans and is not a weakness on your part.
- Learn to appreciate fear as an ally, not an enemy. Fear is a very large source of energy that you can use to power your entrepreneurial activities.
- It’s not fear itself that holds you back, but your attitude toward it.
- True confidence is not the absence of fear, but a transformed relationship with fear.