[Part of the Learning Styles Series, contributed by Regis University affiliate faculty member and Educational Consultant at the John J. Sullivan Chair, Marilynn Force, PhDc ©]
This past May I attended Facilitator Training at the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship. The training was based on innovative guiding principles of entrepreneurial mindsets, supported by the Kauffman Foundation, rather than the traditional entrepreneurial training processes that have existed.
The principles of this cutting edge process were laid out by Pulitzer Prize nominee Clifton Taulbert and Gary Shoeniger in their book, “Who Owns the Ice Hours? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.” Clifton and Gary, both recognized thought leaders on the power of community and entrepreneurship education respectively, wrote the book to communicate their mission for the creation of cutting-edge inspired learning programs to deliver real-world impact.
The purpose of the book, as Gary and Clifton state in their introduction was to “deconstruct the entrepreneurial code” (P. xxv) …and examine what “mindset” makes an entrepreneur, and what of that mindset will truly make an entrepreneur successful.
Gary, at the time he met Clifton, was looking for a specific kind of entrepreneur to interview, a fellow “Outlier” who started at a disadvantage and persevered, doing whatever it took to survive and become successful. Both Gary and Clifton had come from such a background. In conducting the interview, both found a commonality through Uncle Cleaves’ life lessons in running an ice house in the middle of the Deep South.
The nature of the book’s premise begins in the Preface by stating that “Entrepreneurship is a mindset that can empower ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary” (p. xvii).
The book begins by introducing us to Uncle Cleve, a black man and Clifton Taulbert’s uncle, who hired him out of the fields of cotton picking to work and run Uncle Cleve’s Ice House, the only ice house located in their region of the Mississippi Delta in the 1960’s.
Uncle Cleave was an Outlier and taught Clifton the mindset of how to be a successful Outlier, during a time when being a successful black business man, against the odds of the established culture of segregation, was literally unheard of.
The class and book went on to describe what a ‘mindset’ is and how it is developed through tacit knowledge of the entrepreneur. That tacit knowledge then drives the opportunity pursued by the entrepreneur. The extended definition of mindset then examines how an entrepreneur is driven by an internal locus of control instead an external locus of control.
Once an entrepreneur understands what drives them as individuals, there are eight specific processes that an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind, which include:
In addition to listening and interacting with Clifton and Gary, our class had an opportunity to SKYPE with another successful entrepreneur, Brian Scudamore, founder of 1-800-Got-Junk? Our class listened to his story of how he has grown his company to be the most successful Junk hauling system in North America. His focus in knowing his entrepreneurial mindset, in addition to knowing his learning process and the learning processes of his employees, has been key in the development of a successful enterprise.
To close, let me quote Clifton Taulbert, “the great advances in life rarely come about as the result of doing more of what we are already doing. They come about as the result of a shift in our awareness followed by a change in our behavior” (p. 176).
It is the intent of the Sullivan Chair and the Regis University Office of Diversity to bring Mr. Taulbert to speak at our campus. We also intend to offer this training to Regis and make it available to our students.
Taulbert, C., Schoeniger, G. (2010). Who owns the icehouse: Eight life lessons from an unlikely entrepreneur. Cleveland: OH. ELI Press, LLC.
Marilynn Force is an affiliate faculty member who has been teaching for a total of 22 years, 15 of which have been spent at Regis University focusing on finance and accounting within the School of Management. She has also taught for Metro State College and Webster University. Most recently, she has been brought into the Educational Consultant to the John J. Sullivan Chair for Free Enterprise program at Regis University as an Education Consultant. Ms. Force’s career has focused on all aspects of small business development, entrepreneurship, management, communication and the creation of effective learning processes and anxiety cessation within the academic and business environment so critical thinking can occur. She is currently an ABD Doctoral Researcher working on the completion of her PhD in Education.