Principles of Entrepreneurship Preparation

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The Jockey Principle

  • Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires an acute ability to convince investors, business partners, employees, stakeholders, and customers to believe in you, your product, and your company. To obtain the support and funding of stakeholders, some entrepreneurs rely only on glossy, marketing materials, professionally designed and developed business plans, multimedia presentations, and overly optimistic financial projections.  These items may impress some people, but rarely will they impress "money people." Money people are those special individuals who have significant capital to invest and who are experienced investors. Examples of money people would be venture capitalists and "angel" investors.
  • Money people have learned that the key to making good investment decisions is to make good people decisions. Money people don't invest in businesses or business plans or ideas. Instead they invest in people (the jockeys). They know from experience that they can take an average horse (the business) and an out­ standing jockey (the entrepreneur and his management team) and still win the race (accumulation of value in a business investment).
  • The secret to becoming an investment-worthy jockey is to get in touch with yourself and your vision for the company. This requires that you spend time each day with your intellectual self, your physical self, and your spiritual self. The intellectual self will tell you what to do. The physical self will provide you the vehicle in which to get it done. The spiritual self will give you peace to understand why you are doing what you do and how your actions fit into the larger plan.
  • Only after you've taken care of all three selves will you be at your best and be most competitive.  By really knowing yourself and being able to articulate your vision, you can begin to understand your distinctive competence and move closer to making people eager to invest in you.

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

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