Mentality of entrepreneurs during COVID: 'Spirit of a pirate, execution skills of a Navy SEAL'

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Business owners have been improving manufacturing processes, supply chains and other sectors impacted by COVID-19, but it hasn't been easy.

"Those people who would optimize their supply chains, who had done just-in time-manufacturing, had financial leverage. When they got hit by COVID, they didn't know what to do and they basically went out of business. But, it was the entrepreneurs who had the spirit of a pirate and the execution skills of a Navy SEAL who seized the new opportunities," said Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Aulet, who was an executive at IBM for 25 years before starting three technology companies of his own, said on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, that change is a motivator for entrepreneurs who are always looking for new growth areas.

"Business people were told command, control, defeat whatever it is that you're going to do, always control the resources you have. Yet, you know, entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunities with resources beyond your control," he said.

To that end, Aulet is seeing more entrepreneurs today collaborating and sharing resources and areas of expertise within their networks. That community based way of operating has allowed companies to be leaner and focused on their strengths while fielding more referrals.

"Being able to have communities that you can get resources from to help you to realize opportunities is a fundamental third dimension of entrepreneurship," he said.

Watch the Small Business Spotlight video with MIT Entrepreneurship Professor Bill Aulet above for ideas on streamlining operations and finding new opportunities in the post-pandemic economy.

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