Saturday, March 31, 2012

Entrepreneur Can Succeed With Scarce Resources

The entrepreneur who lacks resources often can't really explain the reasons why he or she is, in fact, resource poor. It's actually a "blind spot" for them, and they often attribute their scarce resources to unavoidable events. But the scarcity of resources may only be the "tangible evidence" that this particular entrepreneur has a limited ability to execute or perform the requirements of the "entrepreneurial success script" (the pattern for achieving success in a new business venture).

For example, they may not have properly "harvested" past business ventures (captured profits or turned equity into financial gain), thereby generating sufficient resources to make possible future venturing. The entrepreneurs who lack resources may also be "lone wolves" who have not learned how to mobilize others. Or, they may not have recognized their area of extraordinary expertise (what they do best) and are "barking up the wrong tree".

Many venturing types who are either "Classic Expert Entrepreneurs" or "Institutional Experts", have "done their time" in the area of lacking resources. Times of scarcity appear to be a natural part of the new venturing experience, and for this reason those who lack resources have a unique situation. Things such as raising venture capital or finding potential investors may appear to be far from their current state.

Therefore, within this group are opportunities waiting to be refined. And while their plans should be given serious consideration, they should also be thoroughly scrutinized.

What You Should Do

You might currently feel comfortable going it alone with your own limited resources or lending your venturing expertise to an established business opportunity where resources(such as cash, contacts, infrastructure, technology, etc.) are already in place.

But, if the entrepreneurs who lack resources intend to engage in or proceed with a new venture, they should seek help from other experts or from appropriate consultants. You probably need an expert advisory board. Essentially, your needs "appear" to be resources, and in fact they partly are. But they also include the need for close examination by experts other than yourself (venture capitalists, institutional experts within a bank or small business department of a university, or by expert venturers) to identify the more subtle reasons why resources are flowing slowly or not at all.

However, if you lack resources and are intent on undertaking a new venture, try to be humble, find an extra measure of patience, put yourself into a listening frame of mind, and start seeking detailed, specific input regarding the approach that you are taking to your venture. Most likely you will face the obstacle of being over-optimistic on your own part and will attempt to refute or challenge the advice you get (viewing it as being irrelevant or lacking in optimism). You really are dealing with a potential "blind spot" and are likely to misinterpret the information that you receive.

Dr. Ronald K. Mitchell is a specialist in entrepreneurial cognition, global entrepreneurship, and venture management. He developed the Entrepreneur Assessment which won the acclaimed Heizer Award for this groundbreaking research. Find out more at

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