I unfortunately don’t have a great deal of time to read a lot of…anything. But, I still scan headlines, read a few blogs, and magazines. I also listen to NPR on WAMU on my commute back and forth to work.
Everything I read and everything I listen to is processed through my entrepreneurial filter. The entrepreneurial filter is like having extensive situational awareness while always wearing business goggles. I constantly seek what opportunities exist within what I just learned? What piece of information is relevant and what will I be able to leverage?
Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it’s not until a certain new prospect appears that makes the information I once heard become relevant. Everything you hear and learn has some sort of impact on business – somehow. That’s why anyone serious about business stays abreast of local, national and world news and happenings across all fronts. (Keep a forest view interest while you focus on whatever sector of the forest, tree or branch you’re on)
I think one of the most critical aspects of absorbing all information with the entrepreneurial filter is developing a great ability to think outside the box. My recommendation to anyone who is trying to raise money is “think outside the box”. Be it in regards to where, how and who of the fund raising process.
Someone contacted me today who wanted a little bit of guidance on fund raising. I replied to his question in a way that I know is frustrating to read because it didn’t necessarily have any clear guidance. I was annoyed with my own answer, which had me brewing on proper and helpful guidance for him. I hadn’t put in my email the usual “think outside the box” comment so I put myself in his shoes. Although I have little knowledge of what he’s working on; I started to think outside the box. It didn’t take but about 45 seconds for me to come up with a possible avenue for him to look into. This avenue is paved by a few things I’ve seen in articles and been hearing about on the radio.
He thought it was a great possible way to go. It’s going to take a lot of additional brainstorming to pave the road but at least it’s a real option with potential.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a striving entrepreneur start developing your entrepreneurial filter. Play around with what you hear and read about; find the business implications and possibilities. You can train yourself to start thinking any way you want to!! It just happens that some ways of thinking are a lot more beneficial than others.