Linda Dickerson is executive director of Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries, which supports and mentors entrepreneurs at Syracuse University Libraries.
SU is one of 20 universities around the world with a Launchpad financed by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to support and mentor entrepreneurs.
In the article Linda Dickerson Hartsock on leadership: Find a mentor, be a mentor, think like a startup is interviewed by Stan Linhorst. She has five tips for entrepreneurs, with my comments following, read the article for details on each tip:
- Have a plan – true, if you don’t know where you are going all roads will take you there
- Be flexible – but not so flexible you flipflop! Survival in the startup ecosystem goes to the fittest, adapt rapidly or die!
- Understand risk – I think it’s the entrepreneurs job to minimize risks, not take them, contrary to what many people seem to think
- Be optimistic – definitely!
- Stay with it – I totally agree with Linda Dickerson that persistence and perseverance may be the most important of all.
She also addresses mentoring:
What would you want the local civic, business and political leadership to do to encourage startups and entrepreneurship?
It comes down to partnerships and collaboration. We’re stronger together.
Again, go back to that notion of being the mentor as we see this generational change in the community. Encourage and nurture young leaders, both business and civic leaders. Pass on wisdom and advice, but at the same time be open minded and learn from them, because they have a lot to teach us.
The article concludes with a truism that all entrepreneurs need to heed: Change is hard!