The Misconception of Needing Experience
Many educational institutions say you have to have experience to start or grow a business.
Working with under-served, under-represented, or under-resourced communities for several decades now, I say that most of the time the last thing you need to start or grow a business is experience.
I’m not saying that having experience won’t help you or give you an advantage, but you don’t “have to” have the experience to start or grow a business.
Generally, the entrepreneurs I work with start their businesses because of a need or a want in the community. Many people who have started and grown businesses — some, but not all, having experience — were hungry to solve a problem in their community, or to fulfill a demand, and were able to act on it.
I’ve seen this in every industry from building signage to medical offices.
They were looking, for example, to bring health care providers into the community. So they hired the right people to run the office, and had the can-do attitude to make it work.
They started the business, then leveraged resources around them to make sure they were filling the gap in their community.
The reason we provide training and facilitate discussions is to share our experience with aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners, so they can understand how to minimize mistakes by learning and observing those who have gone before them.
Of course it helps a lot if you were in the field that you are going after, or have experience in that industry, because we are all trying to minimize the mistakes we could potentially make on the journey.
BEFORE YOU GO
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
- How can you make up for a lack of experience?
- What can you do to bridge the experience gap?
- What other things have you done to start or grow a business with or without experience?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.