Answering Questions from Student Entrepreneurs

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Though my best-known books are Selling with Story and The Story Engine. Not many people are aware that The Story Engine wasn’t my first book.  My first book was called The College Entrepreneur.   At the time I felt this really big gap between two narratives that I was hearing.  There was the entrepreneur narrative saying don’t go to college at all, and it’s a total waste of time and money. Instead, start a business and learn on the streets.  Or the main-streamed university perspective to just keep working to get your degree.  I felt like there was a middle ground that wasn’t being discussed.  Because of my experience at the University of Utah, I was able to see what the university was like behind the scenes. I believe that it is important to graduate with much more than just a degree.  The piece of paper on its own isn’t really going to get you the career that you want.  I feel like there is nothing better than starting a business to do that. That is why I wrote The College Entrepreneur.

At Westminster College here in Salt Lake City, there is a class taught by professor Clifford Hurst called The Entrepreneurial Mindset.  Every semester, I get invited to visit this class and have a discussion with the students in the class about my book and my life.  The questions that are on these students’ minds are on many more budding entrepreneurs’ minds so I am going to answer some of these questions on this episode of the podcast. 

In This Episode:

  • [00:43] The Story Engine was not Kyle’s first book. Kyle’s first book was called The College Entrepreneur.
  • [01:48] Kyle had a unique experience at the University of Utah where he had been a student but also had worked as a full-time administrator in the Study Abroad office.
  • [02:58] How the university was working can create opportunities that are really cool for students who know how to look for them.
  • [03:37] Westminster College in Salt Lake City offers a class called The Entrepreneurial Mindset and each semester Kyle gets invited to speak in the class about his book and life.
  • [04:02] The questions on these students’ minds are on many other minds including budding entrepreneurs. So in today’s episode I am going to answer questions from entrepreneurial youths.
  • [04:22] How comfortable with risk should an entrepreneur be? Can you further expand on the types of risks entrepreneurs face and how someone who at times can sometimes be risk-averse can still be an entrepreneur?
  • [05:08] One of the biggest risks out there is the risk of rejection.
  • [05:43] The next risk you need to take is to be willing to invest in tools, other people, and yourself.
  • [07:16] Networking is very important in the business world. What is the best advice you can give to somebody who wants to network more but isn’t an outgoing person?
  • [09:11] Make it a system or habit to be consistently engaging with your top Dream 100 clients.
  • [09:37] I have dealt with periods where I am not in school and just focusing on my business 100% of the time. Through these periods I have struggled with procrastination as self-sabotage as well as a lack of motivation. Is this normal? I am so often hard on myself and I want to be hustling 100% of my time, but I get so burnt out and then a punch of self-doubt comes at me.
  • [10:09] Being entrepreneurial there is something about being hard on yourself. You’re ambitious, excited, and sometimes being hard on yourself is just all the energy you have to want to create.
  • [10:28] Kyle suggests reading Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art.
  • [10:51] Work on disciplining yourself and growing good and positive habits.
  • [11:11] Do you have any advice on prioritizing goals? I feel like I have too many goals and passions, and can’t decide where I want to focus my time. It is holding me back from starting at all.
  • [11:47] Once you are able to decide on the goals that you really want to focus on it actually creates the freedom that you were hoping to experience in having all of these options and multiple passions.
  • [12:16] Kyle highly recommends getting really clear on your goals. Check out the Michael Hyatt’s Focus Planner or just write out your goals in 90 days segments. What can I do in the next 90 days to achieve my vision for what I want?
  • [13:14] As someone who is building my own personal brand, I struggle a lot with imposter syndrome. How do you overcome this or tackle this to convince yourself and your audience that you are indeed an expert and are qualified?
  • [15:49] How should I balance being their boss with being a friend?
  • [16:20] Consider yourself as a leader instead of a boss. As a leader, you want to lead, inspire, and grow your interns.
  • [16:39] Sometimes you have to draw boundaries, be clear, and tell them the bad news. As a leader that is your responsibility.
  • [16:56] In entrepreneurship you need to be forgiving of yourself. You’re going to make mistakes, but you want to strive to be excellent, and you should strive to be excellent as a leader. It is okay to make mistakes and you should forgive yourself quickly, but you should always have a high taste in quality and always try to be better.
  • [16:56] In entrepreneurship you need to be forgiving of yourself. You’re going to make mistakes, but you want to strive to be excellent, and you should strive to be excellent as a leader. It is okay to make mistakes and you should forgive yourself quickly, but you should always have a high taste in quality and always try to be better.
  • [17:18] If you're striving for excellence, growth, and improvement your team is going to see this and be inspired by it.
  • [17:41] There was a portion of your book where you talked about the negative connotation of business and how often it is viewed as evil and how that stereotype can hold some potential entrepreneurs back from acting on a business idea.
  • [18:49] The more money you can bring in, the larger the impact you can make.

Resources Mentioned:

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