Experimental Entrepreneurship

“Paths are made by walking”

Franz Kafka

Experimental entrepreneurship is taking our endeavors into a wider sphere to observe their effects, test them in low-risk ways, refine the strategies needed to make them viable, and experience a taste of the challenges we’ll need to take on to make them profitable and sustainable.

Entrepreneurship, in this context, is more about adopting the kind of mindset that is needed in order to create or start something new. For some of us, the “something new” could be a small business. For others, it could be a project done in the workplace. Someone might make and sell something in a limited way or test a prototype or do a short-term freelance project. It could be charity work or something we do for free to test our skills, boost our confidence, and grow our network.

All entrepreneurial experiments involve creating a controlled environment where we can experience what we envision looks like and feels like, how it changes us, and how others respond. It might entail incorporating small changes into our everyday lives long enough to know whether we want to go to the next level, or it might mean immersing ourselves in a prototype project that will show us how committed and how prepared we are.

The only failure in experimental entrepreneurship is giving up before we learn what we need to learn–about ourselves and the market or audience we are seeking to enter or the sustainability of what we want to do. A successful result is any decision–whether it’s a decision to launch something more permanent or the decision to seek a different way of manifesting our vision.