The word ‘entrepreneur’ can be very intimidating. Instead of equating it with the likes of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates think about entrepreneurship as how you solve daily problems in your life. The accompanying picture is an entrepreneurial example of how in times of limited resources and stay-at-home restrictions we removed an old water heater by using a skateboard, a table-top, and some good old fashioned elbow grease.
Now more than ever we need bold ideas and determined action. They won’t arise from nowhere; it’s left to us – to you – to make it happen. This is a moment to imagine the new, and then build it. To serve others, and make the world incrementally better. First we need to beat the virus. Then it’s time to get to work.
We need people to think not only about how to get a job but how to make a job. All students should at least ask themselves ‘How can I turn my skills into a company or a career?’ The below link is to an article from the Kaufman Foundation and the work that they are doing. Of interest is how they are collaborating with educators, students, families, businesses, industry and entrepreneurs to reimagine high school at scale.
The challenge is not limited to high school. We at First Pivot are working with two additional groups, primary schools and the 50+ age population. Both can benefit greatly from the addition of entrepreneurial skills. Our focus with primary schools is to complement the current investment in STEAM with entrepreneurial skills to turn ideas into action. With the 50+ age group we are building on their vast work experience and learnings and helping them create their future.
We are all in this together. We all have the capability to be entrepreneurial.
The world is the midst of a global pandemic. People are getting sick and scared. The unemployment rate is soaring as jobs are being lost. One 6 year old thought that time is right to open up a Joke Stand. Meet Callaghan McLaughlin who said, “Even when you're scared or sad, a good joke makes you feel a little bit better.”
Callaghan’s Joke Stand is a great example of an everyday social entrepreneur. Social entrepreneurship is an approach by individuals, groups, and entrepreneurs where they develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues.
Before the Covid-19 crisis Callaghan had developed an interest in comedy. He spent several months learning his repertoire of jokes and practiced them on his immediate family. When the pandemic struck he had the awareness to realise that now more than ever, his neighbourhood could use some humour. He pivoted from the traditional stand-up format and settled on a pop-up Joke Stand at the end of his driveway. His success has even made him a mini internet celebrity.
What does a duck snack on? Cheese and quackers!
The Apollo space program suffered its worst tragedy before it ever left the ground. On January 27, 1967, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee climbed inside their Apollo 1 spacecraft for a routine prelaunch test. As they sat on the launch pad, a spark from some faulty wiring triggered a massive fire that tore through the cabin’s pure oxygen atmosphere. A complicated latch system on the hatch made it all but impossible for the astronauts to escape, and by the time ground crews finally opened it several minutes later, all three men had died from asphyxiation.
JFK famously said, "we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
The loss of life and setback from Apollo 1 could have ended the program then. It didn’t. Along with the now famous Apollo 13 mission, NASA completed a total of 17 missions in the Apollo program.
Learning new skills is not easy in the best of times. Who would start a business now, as we face an unprecedented global pandemic? Leaders throughout history, like JFK, set big goals and achieve them by breaking success down into a series of solvable problems. If you want to be an entrepreneur, start by learning about what an entrepreneur is and isn’t.
"In about six to 12 months, there will not have been a better time to start a small business in the last 10 or 12 years, because starting a business in the depths of a recession is a great time to start a business. Good people are less expensive. Real estate is less expensive. Your resources, your raw materials, all the things you need to do to build a new business are a lot less expensive. And in addition, when you come out of a recession, companies are much more willing to try new things. You have the wind at your back."
We are here to help you start your journey.
Ron Howard, director of the film Apollo 13, once pointed out to Jim Lovell, the captain of the mission, that it was hard to hear a problem when listening to the original tapes from the time of the initial explosion. The response to immense problems was calm and measured – in both the spacecraft and in Mission Control.
Stories abound of innovation and entrepreneurial solutions. One aspect of the mission that received special attention in the movie involved the need to on-the-fly figure out a means to deal with the carbon dioxide that began to accumulate inside the spacecraft (this would have ultimately knocked-out the astronauts and killed them with carbon dioxide poisoning). NASA engineers on earth were tasked with figuring out how to deal with getting gas filtering canisters to fit into a special vent and were limited to only using items that already were on-board the flight.
An entrepreneurial approach that involved using the covers torn from the on-board operations manuals, and using duct tape (proof once again of the heralded worth of duct tape), along with various other items, was devised and then radioed as instructions up to the crew. The crew embraced the improvisation and fortunately, it worked.
The entire organisation was focused on making revised plans, and working those plans. People spent days at their desks dividing up immensely complex problems into solvable pieces. Throughout the crisis, there was little doubt and little fear. NASA, their suppliers, and the crew brought the crippled ship safely back to earth.
Now more that ever it’s important to remind ourselves that success can happen even when the odds seem overwhelmingly stacked against you. Focus on the mission at hand. Stay in the present and break down complex challenges so you can continue to make forward progress. Consistency compounds.
If you enjoyed this and would like to learn more about our entreprenurial programs please email us at email@example.com
The Apollo Apollo 13 space mission changed inflight from a mission to land on the moon to a mission of getting safely home. Covid-19 has turned the world upside down and many people today find themselves feeling that that their mission is also one of sheer survival.
“In the coming months as Australia emerges from COVID-19 lockdown, entrepreneurship will be critical to restarting parts of the economy.” The below article references research that shows despite Australians being well-placed to create their own venture, many Aussies tend to hold themselves back.
Entrepreneurs will need to be the healthcare workers of the economic recovery.
Contact us to learn more about our programs.