As I began to reflect last week on the state of the progress with the Entrepreneurship Strategy Initiative that began June, 2011, on the steps of Kelowna City Hall, I found myself reflecting on our purpose for the initiative.
The idea is to explore a connecting the dots symmetry to have our mission reflect a glimpse of the regional landscape pertaining to entrepreneurship development—look at what we have collectively achieved and what we can game plan to do better under a coordinated strategy.
The connecting the dots theme stems from the recognition that while we have many pieces of the entrepreneurial jigsaw puzzle evident in the Okanagan Valley, there remains a perception that many of us have heard over and over.
That perception is a lack of effective coordination among service providers and stakeholders, hence the optimization of stimulating entrepreneurial pursuit falls short of where and how it might be.
I have been having this vision of working in concert with many to identify an entrepreneurial strategy game plan, to provide the tools and recipe for greatness that lies at our fingertips.
I found myself brought to the threshold of this “aha moment” when I read recently an item on the Internet that made it very clear to me what we collectively can achieve when we move in the right direction.
The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t just about money—it’s about building wealth, both financial and personal, through resources that only great relationships can bring.
It’s truly about connecting the dots, those connection points of intelligence, wisdom, desire and ability that are innate to all people.
It’s about having the intuition not only to know those connection points exist, but also to know what to do with them to continuously cultivate innovation, creativity and initiative.
An eye-opening article I read recently referenced the life and legacy of Steve Jobs, explaining how the Apple co-founder used his intuition to connect his dots of opportunity that didn’t yet exist for him.
This revelation proceeded to bring me back to the Okanagan Valley entrepreneurship strategy initiative, an undertaking that has involved close to 30 other valley community leaders.
The goal is to assess where the dots may not be connected in a manner to achieve the multitude of personal and venture success available to us.
After digesting the story about Jobs, I was inspired to google “connecting the entrepreneurial dots” and was overwhelemd with a tsunami of information based on that powerful theme.
This all led to arrive at the thought of how our strategy working group might be inspired to identify and assess its own connecting the dots formula to build the bridges and links to entrepreneurial success in our valley.
So consider this—new entrepreneurs tend to underestimate the cost of launching a new venture and don’t access sufficient funds to make their dream a reality. Without sufficient capital, the entrepreneur can be put in the unenviable task of finding additional financing at a time when they should be concentrating on the venture operations and management.
Connecting the dots would seem logical in this circumstance, to help an entrepreneur understand the financial and other resources required to get their venture off the ground at the start.
It isn’t enough to say there are existing providers to assist the entrepreneurial dream and organizations who are designed to lend a coaching and mentoring hand.
We truly need the assessment of what is working and what is not, and then collaboratively set about to create a realistic and realizable network and toolbox that is integrated with unquestionable efficiency and effectiveness.
We must together trust ourselves trust ourselves to think big together for the thousands of self-employed folks we have in our midst who strive to navigate their entrepreneurial journey in the face of adversity, and along the way bring wealth and opportunity through the resources that only great relationships and connecting the dots can bring.
Joel Young is founder of the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society.