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Entrepreneurship, Second Edition by Andrew Zacharakis, William Bygrave

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3.1. From Glimmer to Action: How Do I Come Up with a Good Idea?

We said in the preceding chapter that most successful ideas are driven by the entrepreneur's personal experience. Entrepreneurs gain exposure to their fields through their jobs and use this experience to identify possible opportunities for a new venture. Considering that many students have limited work experience, you may not have the knowledge base to generate a new idea. So how, then, does a student find a worthy idea?

Start by looking inside yourself and deciding what you really enjoy. What gives you energy? What can you be passionate about for the many years it will take to start and grow a successful company? For those who lack this professional experience or who find they haven't enjoyed their professional life to date, it takes effort to find the answers to these questions.

3.1.1. Finding Your Passion

Think long-term. What are your goals for your degree, and where would you like to be 5 years and 10 years down the road? Most students have difficulty envisioning the future. They know they want an exciting job with lots of potential (and, of course, above-average pay), but they haven't really thought about their careers in detail. Students often have a general idea of which industries and types of jobs are interesting to them (say, "something in finance"), but they lack a clear sense of what type of company they want to work for after college (culture, customers, and so forth). After all, school is a time of ...

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