The Download for February 9, 2016

Links and resources for those on #thetenuredentrepreneur journey

Entrepreneur: Starting a Business in 2016? Avoid These 5 ‘Beginner’ Mistakes (Note: All five are worth reading and memorizing.)

If you are planning on starting a business this year you are undoubtedly full of excitement. While raw excitement, infatuation and determination are all great, you need to make sure that you proceed with caution so as not to encounter the common pitfalls that lead to business failure.

Avoid making these five beginner mistakes many new entrepreneurs often make — and good luck with your new business venture!

Inc.: How to Open a Business Bank Account for Your Startup

Opening a business bank account for your new endeavor doesn’t just serve to legitimize your business idea and make you a “real” business. It’s also a vital consideration for your taxes, according to tax and business attorney Barbara Weltman. Besides making it harder to keep track of what to report as income and expenses, by not separating business and personal finances, you could be costing yourself–and your business–money by not taking advantage of items that can be designated as write-offs.

A business bank account allows you to easily keep track of expenses, manage employee pay, convey finances to investors, receive and deposit payment, and plan your budget more accurately. Creating a business bank account requires simple steps to get you working quickly.

Inside Higher Ed: Grad Students, Entrepreneurialism and Career Preparation

While some MLA attendees may have shuddered to see yet another term from the business world on the convention’s program, I think “entrepreneur” is a useful way for graduate students to think about themselves. For one thing, they already have a lot of qualities that we associate with entrepreneurs. Richard Cherwitz, a professor in the rhetoric department at the University of Texas at Austin, describes intellectual entrepreneurs as those who “take risks and seize opportunities, discover and create knowledge, innovate, collaborate, and solve problems in any number of social realms.”

Graduate students need to apply to their career preparation the same entrepreneurial spirit they apply to their academic research. By thinking more like an entrepreneur (or a professional, CEO or revolutionary) and less like an apprentice, graduate students can better prepare themselves for a range of fulfilling and meaningful careers.

University of Venus: From Tenure Track to EssayJack (EssayJack is an “educational software company that has invented a web app to help students with academic essay writing.”)

“But what else can you do?” People asked me as I began untangling myself from my life as an English professor. Some version of this question is often lobbed at people with Liberal Arts/Humanities training, and I think it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our skill set. Those of us trained in these fields are masters of critical thinking and problem solving; we know how to research; we can work independently and as part of a team; we can secure grant moneys and fill out paperwork like nobody’s business; we know how to write and use a semi-colon properly; and on top of all that we have content-specific expertise. I think a better question might be: “What can’t you do?”

And in my case, when people would ask the additional question “What job could be better?” I realized that part of what made tenure seem like nothing more than a gilded cage to me is that I didn’t really want a job. I wanted to be the one making the jobs for other people.


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