I’ve been thinking about spotting opportunities a lot this week.
This started in the midst of a conversation with two friends one of whom has always been an entrepreneur (and has learned through more than a few skinned knees) how to spot, unearth, and sometimes precipitate possibilities for her business.
Both people are extremely bright, goal-oriented, and committed to their individual endeavors. But the thinking is quite different.
The reason this came up was because Dale, who had been in corporate, never had to worry about the marketing part of her business. She worries about it now and is taking steps to get support from a terrific organization. She will need more than that.
She has been trying to get meetings with high schools that have STEM Programs, thinking that this was her target audience. The problem is that the schools have many barriers to being heard and think they are just fine. What she is offering is a blockbuster that spots talented children early, teaches them what exciting careers are provided now, and some that are emerging to ignite their interest in science.
We noticed that high school students often must declare a major before they begin their freshman year. Changing majors is an expensive proposition. Additionally, schools have not, in many instances, made themselves acquainted with all the opportunities to learn about the interesting and varied careers in the sciences.
This is a common story in the entrepreneurial world. It seems that failure is necessary to earn one’s stripes.
The conversation continued and we started investigating where there was more challenge and with whom. We suddenly concluded that her target audience was not schools but the parents and kids interested in or headed to STEM programs.
Parents are the most interested party here. They want their children to make the most of their gifts and want to spend their money wisely. College is too expensive to entertain any notion of frittering away an additional year.
Dale is going to change her strategy and create online panels of experts from all over the country to speak to children and their parents with emerging talent in the science community. She will use LinkedIn to do these talks, followed by specific programs that invite those interested in day trips to visit particular departments or scientists, but also those involved in the financial arenas of healthcare that need innovative and mathematical minds to create brilliant programs.
There is so little guidance for young people, especially if their parents are not acquainted with these areas of learning. The school guidance departments can barely keep up with their workload, so she is going to create something for parents that has big implications for all career categories. Brava to Dale and the opportunities that will come her way by changing her direction.
This topic is a big one, and I will stick with it a bit longer. So until next week….