Knowing when it’s time to leave that safe job with benefits to move into entrepreneurship. Dr. Brynn Winegard left her institutional job to follow her passion. She gives top tips on how to become an entrepreneur.
Dr. Brynn Winegard is a Canadian professor, consultant, speaker and writer. Brynnspecialty is in combining insights from social cognitive neuroscience to business phenomena, including and especially marketing and retail operations. Brynn now runs her own consultancy, Winegard & Company, specializing in bringing brain sciences to business as a consultancy and research incubator. Brynn is currently writing a book about the intersection of social cognitive neuroscience and organizational theory. Prior to an academic life, Brynn spent over a decade in corporate marketing working with such companies as Pfizer Inc., Nestle Inc., Bank of Montreal, ScotiaBank, CIBC and Johnson & Johnson Inc.
Think Like A Journalist Quote
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –Amelia Earhart
- Be You: Be honest with yourself about what you are passionate about, what really fuels you, what you are really interested in doing, being, achieving.
- Do You: Have the guts to do what you are really about. Don’t look at the competition (“competitive orientation”), don’t try to “Keep up with the Jones’”, don’t be a second mover or mimetic.
- Know You: Brand you has to operate like any brand—know your core competencies (and weaknesses), know your intended brand footprint, image etc. and stick to them.
Coming to the conclusion that demand for my services (speaking, training, consulting) had reached a high enough peak that I could safely move on from my institutional career as a professor/corporate career as a marketer. Demand for what I was supplying was high enough (without marketing or sales) that I could safely strike out on my own and start my own company. That was a satisfying moment of years of training, networking, delivering all culminating in an encouraging new beginning.
When It Didn’t Work
While ramping up clients, contracts, and engagements early in operation of Winegard & Company I took many subcontracting roles and ended up working too consistently for another consulting agency—I was playing by their rules, in their disciplinary area, out of my comfort zone, making them money—all because I was scared demand for my work would decline and I’d need the financial/psychological ‘safety net’. This detracted from my core purpose and interests and ultimately had to be ended in order to retrench and get back to what I was really interested in and meant to do.
How To Become An Entrepreneur
- Know Thyself and Stay True to It
- Don’t be afraid to explore the depth, breadth, and height of what your strengths/core competencies could be applied to
- Get and Stay Organized
- This helps with personal ‘zen’, professionalism, ease of function, better communications, easier expectation-setting
- Learn to Say No
- Don’t be afraid to slow down, say no to contracts
- More isn’t always better—even when it comes to clients or contracts—believe it or not.
- Regrouping, retrenching, taking time out, and finding balance helps with perfecting your craft, focusing your efforts, and really sticking true to what you do best, your core competencies.
Think Like a Journalist
- I’d figure out what they are good at and passionate about; what their core competencies are—this will help propagate them into the better financial stability and future operations. Financial instability usually has a root cause, figuring that out would be key on the agenda as well, but knowing what to do about it still comes back to what they are good at and can do better than any other organization on the planet; what they have competitive advantages at.
- I’d organize them around those core competencies by assessing current versus desired state and creating a plan to get them there.
- Then comes the simplest, hardest work: executing against the plan.
Smartphone: it’s calendar application; a task list or task manager
Internet Channel to Recommend
Ted.org—Lifelong learning, curiosity, and expansion are part of perfecting yourself and your craft, in my view.
Neuromanagement by Dr. Brynn Winegard (due out in 2016)