Monday, July 10, 2006

The Acton Experience - 7/10/06

I am still working hard to get caught up on my readings for Acton.  If pre-matriculation is an omen of the work load I can expect, I am going to be in for a busy year.  Here's what the June 12 assignment looked like:

Your Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
This was a how-to for creating a journal to document all of the work that you do during the course.  There are columns for "lessons learned" and "what I still need to learn."  Basically, it's an approach for capturing your notes on your assignments in an organized and concise manner.

The Entrepreneurial Journey: Course Introduction
An overview of the curriculuum involved in the Entrepreneur's Journey course: Introduction, Opportunity Analysis, Gathering Resources and Launching, Entrepreneurial Growth and Harvesting the Rewards.

The Ultimate Fit Checklist
This is the framework developed at Harvard Business School for evaluating business opportunities.  The framework is: Opportunity (What are the Key Success Factors?), People (Do we have the right people on the bus?), the Deal (How do we make the pie bigger?) and Systems (How do we keep on course?)
Birkman Test
This is one of the classic personality tests.  It took me about an hour to complete it.  We are scheduled to discuss it in class.  It's designed to identify your preferred job types, your motivations and assess your aptitude in various areas.  I took it a while back, but I'm interested to see what it tells me today.

My Money Autobiography
This is an assignment from the book The Energy of Money-A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment. I'm sure the title will make some people cringe; I think a lot people squirm when: a) they see people reading money books and b) see the word "spiritual" in a title, but it has already opened my eyes to how money influences our lives.
Putting Yourself in The Customer’s Shoes
An exercise in understanding customer motivations, written as a case study on a lemonade stand.  Once I got warmed up, this was a lot of fun.

Getting Inside the Mind of Your Customers
Our task here was to interview someone on their motivations when making a purchase.  My friend Kenneth was gracious enough to let me interview him for an hour and a half on his motivations for purchasing a PDA.

The E-Myth Revisited 
The gem of this week's reading.  What causes most small businesses to fail and how to fix it.  It was eerie seeing how much some of my past businesses were reflected in the stories.  This is one of those books that I will end up  giving to friends.