Dr Jeff Cornwall

The Entrepreneurial Mind is the blog of Belmont University instructor Dr. Jeff Cornwall.

Dr Jeff Cornwall - The Entrepreneurial Mind is the blog of Belmont University instructor Dr. Jeff Cornwall.

Life’s a Pitch. Be Ready!

Entrepreneurs need to be ready to pitch any time, anywhere.

Jake Jorgovan, an alumnus from Belmont’s Entrepreneurship program, is always ready to give his pitch.

“At the most random situations, I will find myself giving a pitch,” says Jorgovan. “Out at drinks with friends, or just out socializing and suddenly I run into someone who is a contact directly in the space that I am working in. It can catch you off guard sometimes, but you should have your elevator pitch prepared and not be afraid to deliver it anytime of day.” Continue reading

Just Because Nobody is Doing it is not a Reason to Launch

“I’ve got a great idea for a business.  I know it will work because nobody is doing it!  I need to move quickly before someone else does it first.”

As someone who works with entrepreneurs for a living and hears a lot of business ideas, this type of business pitch puts up a big red flag for me.

Just because nobody has started a particular type of business is by no means an indication that the market needs that type of business. Continue reading

Making Strong Partnerships

When starting a new business together, business partners are brimming with excitement about the possibilities that the new venture may bring.  There is a collective air of anticipation like a team in the locker room getting ready to head out for the “big game.”  The last thing new business partners think about as they launch their new venture is what will happen when the day comes when the partnership ends.

But the truth is that eventually every business partnership will come to an end.  It may come earlier than the partners expect, due to fundamental and irreconcilable business disagreements.  Or maybe because one of the partners simply has lost a passion for the business and decides it is time to pursue a new career direction.

Continue reading

Look for Veins of Gold in the Market

When first starting a new business, entrepreneurs are not well served when they view themselves as builders or architects.  That is the wrong frame of mind.

When entrepreneurs enter the market with a predetermined view of what they are going to build or design they run the risk of creating a business that does not really fit with what the market wants.

Steve Blank, successful entrepreneur and author, cautions entrepreneurs to learn the difference between the searching stage of launching a new business and the executing stage. Continue reading

When it is Time to Work in Your Business

Here is a sampling of quotes from first-time entrepreneurs that I hear in my office.

“I am trying to get my business card just right – does it look better with a horizontal layout or a vertical one? And do you think this font is OK?”

“We think that after working on it for the past six months that our business plan is just about finished.”

“I’ve been tweaking my logo for the past couple of weeks and I think it is getting close to what I want.”

“This is my latest mission statement – I moved a couple of words around so I hope it sounds better now.” Continue reading