In the last discussion on entrepreneurialism, we discussed the application of the 4-D model and today, I want to explore the Topic Choice or in terminology of the entrepreneur what am I creating and for what purpose?

Entrepreneurialism is about creating a product or service that ideally fulfills a need that has not yet been identified or the end-user is not yet aware they have a desire for such a service or product.  The first step in the 4-D model is to identify the Strategic Topic, which is an affirming vision or statement about tomorrow.  The business and sales literature frequently refers to identifying the “pain point” and then addressing it.  In this case the Strategic Topic might sound like – 100% operational service or decrease in error rates or full-engagement of all employees – on the surface they sound great and certainly would suggest a need to be addressed.  What is missing – it is passion – where is the passion?  Entrepreneurs certainly have the ability to address pain points and solve problems and their passion is frequently much bigger and they have a larger worldview of the topic or situation.  The strategic topic for the entrepreneur is inspiration and provides focus for future activities more importantly it is their beacon, providing guidance and direction when unforeseen opportunities arise.

The Strategic Topic is a forward-looking statement that clearly states where the entrepreneur is headed and the direction she will take.  The entrepreneur sees a future others have not yet seen, they make linkage others are not able to connect, they believe in the power of creativity to shape a new result and they think in life-style or what will enhance life regardless if it needs enhancing.  Think the iPhone or iPad, the world of apps, social media services like Facebook and Twitter, local accommodations provided by Air BnB and the advances in medical science such as genome tracking – these were all areas that have enhanced our lives and prior to their arrival we did not know our life would be enhanced by their presence and today we are not able to imagine a life that does not include these services and products.  For the entrepreneur it is about creating a new experience that enhances life of the user.  Thus the Strategic Topic is about experience and challenges to reader to be able to have a vision of what life could be like.

The Strategic Topic has several characteristics that are useful to consider when developing the Strategic Topic, these include:

  • It is forward looking and lives on the horizon
  • It inspires and creates excitement
  • It juxtapositions to seemingly contrasting ideas
  • It is stated in the affirmative
  • It challenges and raises questions

When next an idea appears, see if it can be stated with the aforementioned guidelines in place – the entrepreneur is able to do this for she sees the world wit the product or service operation and looks for all the reasons it will be a success.   It is about creating a new vision and reality for a product or service that users will embrace for it enhances their life – this is what allows entrepreneurs to succeed and it starts with their Strategic Focus!

Send me your ideas and let us craft your Strategic Topic – contact me at info@ralphweickel.com

By: Ralph Weickel