Entrepreneurship – September 8, 2020

Chaos and Entrepreneurship


Eighteen months before the start of pandemic shutdowns, UBS’ Business Owners Client Segment partnered with Barbara Roberts, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School and Hofstra University to interview entrepreneurs for our report and video series “Flight paths: Selling a business is just the beginning.”  Roberts talks of her learnings from Flight paths and how it applies to the post-pandemic world.

Entrepreneurship is a state of being that does not end with the sale or transfer or end of a business; it’s the end of one experiment.  As we experience our current situation, one senses a growing appreciation of and call for entrepreneurship and innovation as the way out of this mess.


Entrepreneurs thrive in chaos

Anything is possible in chaos, and people with an entrepreneurial mindset may be particularly well-positioned to thrive in it.  In chaos, no one has the answers – previous responses are unreliable now.  Prior assumptions and beliefs could be damaging, even.  But in a time like this, lean into your intuition and sense of what should happen and you can help shape what comes next.

The essence of people pulled to entrepreneurship and innovation is a drive to solve problems and create opportunities.  To be the first person to do something important – now, or anytime – give up on two things that can hold you back: a need to be perfect and fear of failure. Focus instead on what it takes to solve a problem, then take action in that direction.


Return to “The Why”

Innovation requires imperfection at times – some experiments won’t work out. For those of us who are further along the start-up journey, leading sizable businesses with a proven model, this chaos brings a new frontier of challenge. The world changed in a matter of weeks.  All business owners would, in effect, reimagine themselves as start-up entrepreneurs, and innovate along with a rapidly evolving society.

To thrive in this chaos, return to “The Why” of your business.  Remind yourself why you started. Your original purpose can help you discover what’s now required in your business.  Understand the new ways your customers are experiencing problems.  Talk to your customers, collaborate with your stakeholders.  Who can you serve now? What do they need from you? How do you serve? Think about how you wish to be remembered on the other side.

Business owners can read more insights from UBS resources and their entrepreneurial peers in the recently launched e-magazine “Forging the new normal: Resources from across the firm as owners get back to business” available at ubs.com/team/successiongroup.


Important Information

Main contributor: Barbara Roberts, Entrepreneur in Residence, Columbia Business School and Hofstra University.

This article has been written and proved by UBS Financial Services Inc. for use by its Financial Advisors.

Geal Talbert, CFP®, CLU®, CEPA®  and Brandon Park, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, CEPA®,   are Financial Advisors with UBS Financial Services Inc, 733 Bishop St., Suite 1600, Honolulu, HI 96813. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice.  Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc.

As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, UBS Financial Services Inc. offers investment advisory services in its capacity as an SEC-registered investment adviser and brokerage services in its capacity as an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Investment advisory services and brokerage services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate arrangements. It is important that clients understand the ways in which we conduct business, that they carefully read the agreements and disclosures that we provide to them about the products or services we offer. For more information, please review the PDF document at ubs.com/relationshipsummary.

©UBS 2020. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC

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