Entrepreneurs Looking To Succeed On Purpose

A startup incubation program that’s been getting a lot of attention lately is Succeed On Purpose, started by Terri Maxwell, who has a background in school teaching as well as marketing. Maxwell didn’t feel fulfilled by her experience in corporate America, so she set out to create her own company that helps others maximize their potential and fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. Maxwell and her company was recently profiled in the New York Times.

Based in Las Colinas, Texas, Succeed On Purpose was formed in 2009 and has an entrepreneur incubation program based on 3 C’s…Culture, Cash, and Coaching. Maxwell hosts a monthly Purpose Workshop to help would-be entrepreneurs find their purpose, which she explains is a combination of strengths and passion. After the initial $99 workshop, you can apply to the program — 2 classes are set for 2011 and 3 are targeted for 2012. Upon acceptance into the program, you are provided free training and coaching throughout the entire program by mentors and business advisers. Succeed On Purpose looks to invest up to $20,000 in any of the business ideas. Upon leaving the program, graduates are expected to “give back” by spending a couple hours per week mentoring and advising the new entrepreneurs in the next class.

What sets this program apart from many others is if a particular business isn’t ready at the end of the class, they aren’t forced to “launch”. But rather, they can continue in the program honing their skills and business strategy until they are ready.

Maxwell initially encountered scalability issues with her initial business strategy. But once the concept of a true incubation program took hold, it was much smoother sailing. The biggest challenge Maxwell has faced so far is the expectation alignment that must occur at the onset of the class. Some entrepreneurs aren’t quite mentally prepared for the sacrifice necessary, both in time and mental effort, as well as the roller coaster of emotions that happen throughout the life of a startup. If it appears someone isn’t ready for this, Maxwell will not accept them into the program. The students have to be fully committed. If not, the chances of success drop precipitously.

Brad Anderson
beanderson@juno.com