First Steps Towards Starting a Venture with Bill Young

The entrepreneurship practicum class had the pleasure of hearing Bill Young speak about the beginning steps to starting a business. Bill is an ICE Institute Associate and entrepreneur with years of experience. His presentation was a very interactive, less of a speech to us as students and more of a conversation with future entrepreneurs.

Before we could discuss anything else, we defined what we thought the term ‘entrepreneurial’ meant. For most of us, it was creating something new or innovative, or creating a business with a new product or service. Bill described ‘entrepreneurship’ as pursuing a passion or vision of something unique. He reminded us that innovation does not happen in a vacuum, but is often the result of pulling a combination of things and sequencing them to make something new.

We talked about the importance of assigning responsibility for tasks in a group setting, and holding members accountable for those tasks. This led us into a discussion of the hierarchy of goal setting. At the top, the most overarching concept is the objective. Each project should have only one or two objectives according to Bill. Next, goals are associated with these objectives and finally, tasks are assigned to each goal. Bill helped us come up with objectives, goals, and roles in our group for a project we will be working on all semester- an exercise that was immensely helpful to a group of senior entrepreneurship students.

The final concept Bill left us with was the idea to hit work hard in the beginning, dedicating as much time and energy to a project or new job, then find your own pace later. This tied into the notion that entrepreneurs need to get things done without tabling them for later because you can always ‘do something later,’ but it is the entrepreneur who ‘does something now.’

Bill was an inspiring speaker, as well as a supportive guiding force for our class. He had great advice and we all benefited from hearing him speak.