The best training for entrepreneurship? Hint: She doesn’t sleep through the night — Trond Undheim

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Trond Undheim

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Trond Undheim

From WBUR Cognoscenti

My best ideas come to me between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. This is not by design — in fact, I wish it weren’t the case — but, as an entrepreneur, I roll with it. My third child is a terrible sleeper. In her two years, she hasn’t slept through the night once. When she wakes up in the wee hours, and it’s my turn to comfort her, sometimes I can’t fall back asleep. I tiptoe out of the room, flip on my iPad, and work on my new startup.

It’s counterintuitive, but of all the experiences I’ve had over the course of my life — including starting a business incubator, stints in government and at big corporations, and teaching in MBA programs — perhaps the thing that’s prepared me most for entrepreneurship is parenting.

Entrepreneurship is about building something from scratch. It’s about nurturing and developing. It’s about constantly juggling. You try to have structure — it’s a worthy goal — but sometimes spur of the moment opportunities present themselves, and you end up going in unexpectedly fruitful directions. Entrepreneurship is about learning, experimenting and determining what works best through trial and error. And just when you think you’ve figured everything out, the business moves into a different phase and new priorities take hold.

Read the full post at WBUR Cognoscenti.

Trond Undheim is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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