The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
Issue 1 | January 2023


“Follow the Dark Horse”

When we study everyday, “underdog” entrepreneurs, we find that there are few true traits that unify them. Instead, these dark horses, as Harvard Lecturer Todd Rose calls them, are working tirelessly to reach fulfillment.

“Find out what motivates you and stay close to that…we spend a lot of time telling children what they should care about and very little time helping them discover that for themselves. That has to change if we are serious about helping our children live meaningful and fulfilling lives.”

Read this quick article from the Harvard Ed Magazine about the value of following these dark horses. If you want to dive deeper, Rose has also co-authored a book, Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment, that explores four dimensions of the “dark horse mindset” that anyone can embrace.

Find your own path

“The 6 Steps That We Use For Hypothesis-Driven Development”

As we step out to find our own paths toward fulfillment, we often find that to achieve our goal; we need to think of others. Often, finding problems to solve is the bread and butter of entrepreneurial activity. But, guidance entrepreneurs receive often focuses on solutions and fundraising rather than understanding the complexity of problems or the perspectives of those who face them.

There is another way, however. Like scientists or detectives, the most impactful entrepreneurs develop their services through a hypothesis-driven approach. Check out this great blog and ebook to learn how one firm, UpTech, is doing to revolutionize product development. How can we apply this approach to any new service development?

Follow the steps



“Gig Economy and Self-Employment Report”

Self-employment is on the rise, not only in the job market but also in media and political discourse. But self-employment is not a one size fits all concept. In this recent report produced by Gallup and Intuit, we see pre-pandemic trends and the impacts of those trends on the lives of those who are in some form of self-employment.

Most important to note in all of their findings is that “ the negative attributes associated with self-employment, however, appear to be offset by advantages… including higher levels of satisfaction with aspects of autonomy and independence. Moreover, the self-employed are far more likely to agree that they use their strengths daily and that their opinions count. These are important indicators of engagement in productive work.”

While complex and different from the norm, self-employment tends to be worth it for those seeking fulfillment.

Read the report



“The women forced to 'choose' self-employment”

An essential subset of self-employed people is the group of working mothers who were, mid-pandemic, essentially forced into it. For working mothers, there was the choice between providing care or maintaining their income. For many, losing their income was not a viable option.

“Ultimately, while self-employment offers benefits to women who found traditional employment unsustainable, asking women to work – even if it’s for themselves – and simultaneously parent still leaves mothers unable to reach their full working potential.”

So, as we consider the benefits of self-employment for single people or parents who are not the primary caregivers in their household, we must also consider the motivations and necessities of self-employed mothers. What can we do to improve the situation or reframe the narrative?

Consider the choices


Top of Mind  


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