The Nursing Entrepreneur's Toolbox
Nurse Entrepreneurs spend years preparing for the right opportunity to use their nursing education, expertise, and experiences to start businesses. We turn the elements of the nursing process into blueprints for starting ventures within the healthcare industry. Assessing analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating clients are transferrable skills that make up the entrepreneurial mindset. The nursing process and the right opportunity is a recipe for successful nursing business ventures.
I’m scared! I am thinking about starting a business! I am a future nursing entrepreneur…I think? When I think of entrepreneurs, I am reminded of three characters in the Wizard of Oz. The scarecrow, lion, and tin man wanted a brain, courage, and a heart. These are the three tools of an entrepreneur. I need the Wizard!
Nurse Entrepreneurs spend years preparing for the right opportunity to use their nursing education, expertise,and experiences to start businesses. We turn the elements of the nursing process into blueprints for starting ventures within the healthcare industry.Assessing analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating clients are transferrable skills that make up the entrepreneurial mindset. The nursing process and the right opportunity is a recipe for successful nursing business ventures.
Webster’s dictionary defines opportunity as “an advantageous occasion”. An opportunity is not advantageous unless the entrepreneur feels some level of passion for an idea, and a personal connection.Like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz, the heart of the entrepreneur drives motivation and the ability to think outside of one’s environment where the opportunity presents itself.
The brain is the command center for which all things are controlled. In the Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow wanted a brain. The entrepreneurs brain power keeps them on the track to success. The brain is a culmination of a person’s life experiences, personal beliefs and values, and education both formal and informal. Altogether it shapes how the entrepreneur analyzes, develops, and implements an idea.
For the entrepreneurial mindset nurses have “heart” and“brain” covered. Nurse entrepreneurs are increasing in various areas in the health care industry demonstrating creativity, business know-how and the ability to identify niche markets and consistent customer bases. Nurses entrepreneurs are branching out into coaching, teaching/training, public speaking, writing/editors, software developers, and day care to name a few.
I believe I found my opportunity. I am passionate about developing nurse leaders for the future. I guess that is why I teach nursing leadership and management to nursing students. Providing courses on relevant topics for nursing leaders is not only an opportunity,but a passion for developing future nurse leaders.
As a future nurse entrepreneur, a barrier for me would be overcoming self-doubt. Internally, self-doubt is also an objection that requires intervention. The entrepreneur that lacks confidence or courage likeOz’s lion will fail even before they begin. They spend too much time thinking about why it “won’t work” instead of mitigating the “what ifs.” These negative thoughts prevent them from seeing the big picture, and often the fear of failure paralyzes the ability tomove forward.
Perhaps turning the lion’s quest for courage into a positive acronym can provide a box of tools for potential entrepreneurs lacking courage. L-I-O-N.
L is for leaning forward. It takes less energy to lean forward than backwards. Just about all motivational speakers talk about the positive aspect of leaning forward. We lean into the wind when walking or when there something we want to listen to. Leaning forward helps the entrepreneur to approach a new venture with a singular focus. You are not dwelling on the past if you are facing forward.
I is for intervention. No one expects an entrepreneur to know everything about starting a business. New entrepreneurs tend to try to go it alone and view asking for help as a sign of weakness. There are thousands of entrepreneurs in the world. Pick one and start asking questions. Entrepreneurship is a team sport and like baseball you are only alone when you get up to bat. Until then,you have the support of team members and fans.
O is for opposite direction. It is okay to make a U turn if you are facing the wrong way. Just because you start off in one direction, you may need to offramp to a new destination. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that it is a journey with many twists, turns, and detours. Approach it like the adventure itis and be prepared for anything.
N is for natural. Let the idea come simple and unrehearsed. If you are forcing yourself to come up with an idea, it not for you and you will spend more time talking yourself out of the idea than with the idea. Noticed I did not say “into” the idea. You should not have to talk yourself into anything. It takes courage to stand up to people who want to reshape your idea into something they really want to do. An idea should fit and feel like a pair of well-worn slippers.
At the end of the Wizard of Oz story,the characters realized that what they were looking for was inside each of the mall the time. The scarecrow had a brain, the lion showed courage, and the tin man demonstrated emotion and passion. The wizard is in all of us. We don’t need to go to the land of Oz to see the Wizard. Now where is that yellow brick road to entrepreneurship?
Poll: What prevents you from venturing out to start a new business?
1 Votes / Multiple Choice
Fear of Failing
Not be able to support myself/family
Unable decide on what I would be good at
I don't know anything about starting a business
Lack of support from friends and family.
Ms. Revels-Fitzhugh has over 30 years nursing experience to include management, utilization management, case management, and care coordination in the Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance industry. She has held Director to Senior Vice President level positions in which project start-ups, restructuring, and fiscal management was required. She is doctoral candidate in Business Administration specializing in Entrepreneurship at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA.
Joined Jul '17; Posts: 1; Likes: 6.Aug 12, '17You had me when you began talking about the Wizard of Oz! It is one of my all time favorite shows and has so many hidden lessons! You are right about the Wizard being inside each of us! Good luck with the courses you plan to create, they are sure to help many future nurse leaders!Sep 21, '17A very well written article! Hits everything that is deep down for nurses who want to go into business for themselves! There seems to be no prep out there for any medical personnel for going into biz, but yet there are gaps in our current healthcare system that nurse entrepreneurs could serve/fill very well! What you need is a website to promote and sell your programs to your target audience! I (and a partner) have a site where we sell courses in foot care, preps for the cert exams and support information for for RNs, LPNs, and others, and it took us forever to find out what to do - it was agonizing! Now, we know, and we understand your pain! I would be happy to discuss it with you if you call me but don't have any idea what the policies are for putting contact information on here. (I'm brand new on here.) My # can be found at Professional Education – "Providing excellent continuing education for nurses.". I am EST, and this is my cell. And by the way, we do NOT do websites - I can just give you some free advice on where to go, etc and some biz advice. Why would I do that? I am "older" and out of the workforce and I love to help nurses and others go to their next level in their careers! It is very satisfying!