Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Spring 2007Kellogg School of Management
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Culture of collaboration
Risk takers, value makers
Venita Fields '88
Joseph Levy '47
David Weinstein '00
Betty Chow '88
Doug Cook '98
Julia Stamberger '02 and Pam Jelaca '00
Cheryl Mayberry McKissack '89

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The new worker's revolution
So you want to be an entrepreneur
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So you want to be an entrepreneur. Here's how to make the jump

Entrepreneurship can be a powerful lure and a rewarding opportunity. But what happens if you are already on a traditional corporate path and want to make the jump into starting your own venture? How do you increase the odds of success? We put the questions to some Kellogg experts.

"Understand your strengths and shortcomings because both will be totally exposed [if you become an entrepreneur]. Evaluate lots of opportunities even if a potential venture may not immediately excite you. ... The corporate skills that aided me in my entrepreneurial pursuits were managing and leading people — vital to the entrepreneur. Gaining that experience through a corporate opportunity is ideal. Learn on somebody else's dime."  Doug Cook '98, CEO of Chicagoland window replacement company Feldco

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So you want to be an entrepreneur. Here's how to make the jump
KEO club creates bond and student sounding board
Myths and realities of entrepreneurship
KEIP keeps it real for budding entrepreneurs
"Sales, negotiation and communication skills — you will use these constantly with employees, vendors, investors, etc. ... Get in shape, physically and mentally, before starting a business. Your performance is everything, and your business will only be as good as you are ... You also need a solid tolerance for risk. If you don't have this, invest in other startups as a passive investor."  Julia Stamberger '02, co-founder of GoPicnic

"You need to have a realistic business plan and the value proposition must be valid. You can't be afraid of the unknown, or of failure. Identify outcomes that you can live with in the event of failure ... Focus on the end-game and don't be distracted by other opportunities that may come your way. These will take you away from your business plan." Corporate skills that can help: "Recruiting talent that can turn 'your' vision into 'our' success; experience managing a budget or resources."  Venita Fields '88, senior managing director of Smith Whiley & Co.

"There is no one 'down the hall.' In the typical entrepreneurial setting, expert consultants are not readily available, so the entrepreneur must get resourceful to garner affordable necessary talent." Get rid of certain "corporate" skills: "Corporate managers often measure risk and reward as life or death considerations. Few risks are worth taking when the price for failure could mean being pushed off the corporate ladder. One reason U.S. big business is losing world dominance is the reluctance of many companies to do serious R&D. What CEO would take such a risk, the costs of which adversely affect the bottom line, with direct impact on the CEO's bonus, options, and even job? Entrepreneurs, conversely, accept the need to make mistakes, learn from them, try again and ultimately be graded on the final outcome."  Lloyd Shefsky, clinical professor of managerial economics and decision sciences
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