Personal Business Plan: Summary
In these final sessions students will share highlights from their Personal Business Plan (PBP) and how entrepreneurship and innovation could play a role in their personal and career paths. The innovative and entrepreneurial process that was covered in this course is as applicable to a person’s life as it is to creating a company. Thus, this session will help students identify where they would like to be and how they plan to get there.
To consider as you complete the Personal Business Plan assignment:
Vision and Opportunity
- What are your goals (career and/or educational) after you leave your university?
- What is your purpose, your values and your mission? List the 3 key questions that guide your choices. These should be essential questions that serve as touchstones to direct your life and work. For instance, how can I have impact? What do I love? What do I fear? What engages my passions? How do I want to be remembered? The answers to these questions may well change over time, but when the questions themselves are fundamental they tend to last a lifetime.
- What is the market and opportunity that align with your goals? Don’t restrict yourself to matters of career or work; think more broadly about your opportunities to make a difference.
Marketing and Implementation Strategy
- Create your market positioning statement. This may be directed at a hypothetical employer, industry, organization, or the world at large.
- What compelling value will you offer to your employers and society?
- How will you differentiate from other students? How about from the broader populace?
Risks and Mitigation
- What are the key milestones and checkpoints in your plan?
- How will you measure/determine if you have successfully attained these milestones? How do you define success?
- What external factors might affect (positively or adversely) your attaining success?
- Develop contingency and risk mitigation strategies.
Entrepreneurial Ethics, Personal “Board of Directors,” and 6-Word Summary
- Entrepreneurship is not all about personal financial gain. It concerns crafting a lifelong plan to make a positive impact on society. Character does matter. Failure is OK; unethical behavior is not. True wealth requires the creation of enduring value, which requires integrity and ethics. Entrepreneurship and business are not just contact sports subject to their own arcane rules, but an integral part of life that reflect the values of each participant. How do you plan to practice ethical principles in your daily actions?
- If you could assemble any three people to advise and mentor you, who would they be? They may be alive or dead, family or world leaders, friends or strangers. Why would you choose each? Is it their wisdom, their accomplishments, their words, their creativity, their character, their heroic deeds…?
- Similar to popular “six-word story” exercises, please summarize your PBP in 6 words (e.g., “humanist engineer, global citizen, caring teacher”).
What matters most to you as you contemplate your future career and personal lives? The entrepreneurial process is at its core concerned with “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources already under control,” as Professor Howard Stevenson of Harvard Business School originally said. This process is as applicable to your career as it is to starting a company. The goal of this assignment is to identify where you want to be and how you will get there. Do not worry about your current resources. Think entrepreneurially. Your personal business plan should include a long-term vision statement, the “external” opportunities that exist, your “internal” (personal) strengths, and a strategy for yourself and your life over the next three to five years. In addition, please share at least one “failure” from your past and what you learned from it in terms of maximizing your potential for the future. The assignment should consist of about one page (up to 600 words) that summarizes as many of the areas above as possible, as well as the one “failure” wherever you feel it best fits. Develop a set of slides to present in class as requested by the instructor.
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