I am in the process of launching a new venture with some terrific partners. I say I am in the process, because we aren’t having a seminal event to launch. What we’re doing is getting our act together (legal, accounting, messaging, targeting, etc.), and we’re testing the waters (and developing our business) through our network.
That word network has all sorts of negative connotations, so I like to refer to it as connections, friends, colleagues, and trusted advisors. It seems that new ventures conjures up kids right out of college, but the Kauffman Foundation research shows that Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 in the last 15 years had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity of any age group.
A lot of wanna-be entrepreneurs are waiting for the brilliant-idea-epiphany (like Instagram), but that’s like wishing to win the lottery. We believe what University of Chicago economist David Galenson has found: experimental geniuses, reach their peak slowly though trial and error, gathering information, and testing assumptions to realize their full potential. We certainly don’t believe we’re geniuses, but it’s good to know some things get better with age!
I can’t imagine creating the venture we are without having a myriad of life experiences (aka successes and failures), and a network of trusted advisors. I say trusted, because trust is the key characteristic of the people in our network. I always thought of entrepreneurship as a lonely endeavor, but I am finding a richness in the friends we have that are willing to help. They’re just plain gracious, and for all the help and support we’re receiving, I am extremely grateful.