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Is Business Ownership for You?

Believe it or not, before college, I perceived the business world as dry, straight-laced and quantitative. I had little interest in it – I didn’t have a positive emotional connection. I thought that “business” was about beige corporate environments, financial spreadsheets and pinstriped suits.


Instead, I was drawn to freestyle action-sports and other creative activities. I pursued various adrenaline fixes like “getting air” with my bike; sky-diving; cliff-jumping into ski chutes and rivers; surfing and windsurfing. These were activities that blended sports with style.

During my senior year in college, however, I discovered a personal creative connection with business. I stumbled into an internship at ad agency Fallon McElligott. As North American Ad Agency of the Year, it was the hottest creative shop in the country. It quickly attracted clients such as Federal Express, The Wall Street Journal, Porsche and Rolling Stone Magazine.

While at Fallon (and subsequently, with two other agencies), I was dazzled by a culture that encouraged creative risk-taking that led to highly effective advertising. It was an invigorating approach that unlocked the creative capability within each person and team.

Fortified with this new creative lens, and while pursuing my MBA, I learned how imagination could apply to other business aspects including pricing strategy, organizational strategy, finance, product development, and business modeling. Previously, I perceived these to be dry subjects. I now saw how they linked to a motivating creative project, like fashion or snowboard design.

Then, when launching two consumer-based businesses, I discovered creativity’s role in entrepreneurship and new business development. Entrepreneurship, after all, is the essence of creation. It draws from various sources – taking a little of this and adding a dash of that – to create something new.

I saw how imagination fueled startups like Apple Computer, The X-Games, Starbucks, MTV and DC Shoes.

Ever consider pursuing your own startup?

Are you a naturally curious person or drawn towards possibilities?
Do you see opportunities where others do not?
Do you have a personal “cause” or set of values that you’d like to advance?
Do you have a quiet desire for independence or wish to make a bigger impact in the world?
Do you have a need to express, create or build something?
Do you like the idea of living a unique life and taking on unique challenges?
Do you feel underutilized or limited with your career?
If you answered yes to any of the above, consider an alternative pursuit in new venture development. Create a concept that is special to you. And offer unique value to an audience that needs it. Starting small is okay.

Each of us has a unique creative talent that is often buried and underutilized. Discover and apply your creative genius by visiting Venture Superfly. And see how far you can go.

About the author, John

John Benzick is an entrepreneurship coach and the founder of Venture Superfly. He is a Tech Partner at the venture-capital fund of Matchstick Ventures, a Mentor with Techstars Retail accelerator, an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and (former CEO-in-Residence) at the University of Minnesota, and founder and owner in two consumer product businesses. Click the button below to learn more.

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