Lessons about Entrepreneurial Risk in Edtech
Some edtech entrepreneurs thrive in a fast-paced environment fueled by caffeine and outrageous ideas. Others are more methodical in approaching productions and marketing.
The chosen approach comes down to one thing when you’re an edtech entrepreneur: how much risk are you willing to accept?
If adrenaline rushes and relentless anticipation fuel your business plan, you may be completely comfortable with risk. On the other hand, if risk means trying the ahi tuna salad instead of the baked cod, you may have a less adventurous style of product launch. There’s no one right way that will make you the multimillionaire and household name of your dreams.
Edupreneurship, or edtech entrepreneurship, isn’t an easy path. It demands passion, persistence, and infinite amounts of patience. Your motivation levels hum with energy. Your love of teaching and learning remains high. Most of all, you know yourself and how you will respond in any risky situation.
Success comes when you are true to yourself.
Identify your emotions
Thoughts influence feelings and emotions make us take or avoid action. They influence decision-making at every level.
The high-risk edupreneur often acts impulsively, spurred on by intense emotion. By the same token, the low-risk entrepreneur may allow thoughts and feelings to prevent them from making decisions. They become entrapped in analysis paralysis, unable to commit or move ahead.
The Lesson: By knowing your risk tolerance, you can use your thoughts and feelings to take the action you need. For example, risk-takers may want to pause before acting, and risk-avoiders may want to explore what the worst thing could be if they said yes. By developing your emotional intelligence, you are building the skills you need for good decision-making in any situation.
Know when to listen to criticism
A study at Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales confirmed what you may have already thought: if you value appearances, you will value what others, especially the media, have to say about you and your edtech product. Those who do not value appearances focus more on data and less on others’ opinions.
The Lesson: Narcissistic entrepreneurs can be easily swayed by media reviews – for good or bad. Those who are less narcissistic may find themselves wringing their hands when data turns sour. It’s critical that these leaders know themselves well enough to temper external opinions and aggregated data before making a final decision. One bad (or outstanding) comment isn’t final, and neither is poor data. It’s an opportunity to move on.
Use risk aversion to your advantage
Your personal tolerance for risk can thwart your dreams and hold you back if you never take action. That same lack of recklessness can hold you in good stead and save your company. Your edupreneurial success depends largely on knowing when to be bold and when to turn a cold shoulder.
When risk isn’t your entrepreneurial thing, it’s time to rely on the strategies that work best for you. Risk aversion isn’t a negative characteristic. It just means that you’ll be more cautious than some of your competitors.
And that may put you in the lead.