Starting entrepreneurs on the right foot

College students learn skills in the Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup competition that carry over into careers as entrepreneurs. This photo was taken in 2019, which was the last time there was in-person oral competition. At least one of these students is moving forward with their concept and is an i2E client.

One of the great things about being an entrepreneur is that there are always so many people and organizations who want to help. The other side of that coin is the flinty-eyed question that every successful entrepreneur eventually learns to ask: “Is this the help I need right now?”

Accepting help takes time—and no entrepreneur ever has enough time. This is never more true than in the first three years or so of a startup’s life. Think of everything that has to happen in those three years. It starts with a big idea of course. The entrepreneur recognizes a problem in a target market and comes up with a solution. Then the hard work really starts. Validating the problem and the market. Pivoting. Revalidating. Prototyping.

To have a chance at success, entrepreneurs must be almost miserly in prioritizing every choice, every activity, and every hour they spend.

Christin Hakim

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