The Three-Step Entrepreneur Process

By Bill Bishop, renowned speaker and author of “How to Sell a Lobster.”

Having your own business is not the same as being an entrepreneur. A “business owner” is someone who is self-employed. They provide products and services to customers for money. However, that does not mean they are an “entrepreneur.” In many cases, they have simply created a job for themselves.

An entrepreneur is someone who understands and employs a three-stage process, either deliberately or intuitively. This process is:

  1. Develop a BIG Idea: The entrepreneur has an idea about how to create more value in the world. This could be an invention, a new service, or even a conceptual idea like a book or movie plot.
  2. Package the BIG Idea: The entrepreneur then packages the BIG Idea into a form that can be sold to customers. This packaging will include names, stories, graphic images, and if it’s tangible, physical elements.
  3. Promote and Sell the BIG Idea: The entrepreneur then develops and implements a marketing strategy to promote and sell the BIG Idea.  

An entrepreneur is someone who understands this process, and may use it hundreds or even thousands of times: BIG Idea, Package, Sell. The key thing to bear in mind is: Someone who is a salesperson is not necessarily an entrepreneur. They only do step three. They promote and sell ideas that have been created and packaged by someone else. An entrepreneur is someone who does all three steps.

Also, it important to realize that “marketing” is not just about selling or promoting. It is not just about making cold calls, sending out letters or advertising. It is not just about doing seminars or even doing speeches or writing articles. Marketing is about making sure you have done three things right: That you have the right BIG Idea, the right packaging, and the right promotion and selling methods. For example, you might be the best salesperson in the world, but if you have the wrong idea and/or the wrong packaging, you aren’t going to make a lot of sales.

The thing is: Some people who are doing only step three have the ability to do the first two steps, as well. It is just that no one has shown them the way, or they haven’t been given the encouragement or support to do so.

Think about it: How many schools teach kids this three-step entrepreneur process? How much does our society encourage the creation, packaging and selling of BIG Ideas? Not much! In fact, most entrepreneurs experience the opposite. Naysayers try to discourage them when they come up with a BIG Idea. Every step of the way someone tries to stop entrepreneurs from using this three-stage process. That’s why being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

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