Is it Magic or Mindset?

A Winning Sales StrategyIs it a magic sauce? What is it that makes an entrepreneur? Is it some sort of secret ingredient? Are people born with it or can it be learned? The great minds over at the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative believe it is a mindset that can be adopted.

Gary Schoeniger and Mike Sutyak have been interviewing entrepreneurs throughout the United States to identify the elements of that mindset. Their goal is to create an online educational program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop the knowledge they’ll need to be successful in business.

It’s not enough to hang a shingle outside your door, or create a dynamic website. You have to embrace the mindset that so many successful entrepreneurs have.

Gary and Mike have already created the first foundational course and it is being offered through the Kauffman Foundation’s website. This course, Mindset: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial IQ, takes the student through the discovery process. With interviews and basics, the course is a unique mix of specific information and overview. They’ve really captured the ‘magic sauce’ of the entrepreneurial spirit.

Mike and Gary believe that the widespread growth of online learning has made possible a unique and scalable approach to entrepreneurship education. Multi-media online delivery now enables today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and experience in a powerful, engaging and cost-effective format.

Functioning as an “online textbook”, the ELI Entrepreneurship Program(s) are designed as a “blended” application that combines face-to-face classroom instruction with multi-media online content to create a powerful, effective and scalable approach to entrepreneurship education, giving learners and teachers an environment to learn and teach more effectively. The programs can also be offered as an individual self-directed online learning program.

Now, more than ever, entrepreneurship has become vital to creating sustainable economic growth, both at home and abroad and policymakers have begun to declare entrepreneurship education a leading imperative. The first program offered by the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, launched in 2008, was developed exclusively for The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and is currently being distributed throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Their Mindset program is now being promoted through The Kauffman Foundation’s

The vast majority of students (traditional and non-traditional) do not have access to the entrepreneurship education, training and resources that will adequately prepare them to start and grow a successful business.

The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) mission is to develop and market a new class of multi-media online education programs that enable participants to learn from the firsthand experience of today’s most successful entrepreneurs in an engaging format that is both cost effective and highly profitable.

The goal is to educate and encourage entrepreneurship at all levels. The ELI Entrepreneurship Programs offer a revolutionary application that provides  the flexibility to combine face-to-face classroom instruction with the firsthand knowledge of successful entrepreneurs to create a powerful, effective and scalable approach to entrepreneurship education. The ELI programs offer learners and teachers an environment to learn and teach more effectively.

In addition to a variety of introductory, intermediate and advanced online learning programs, ELI will offer additional resources such as teacher training, individual and group coaching and mentoring programs.

Understanding the value of hearing it straight from the entrepreneur, Gary and Mike have created an entrepreneur video blog where people can find interviews of entrepreneurs. These hour long interviews have been distilled down to some golden nuggets of information and insight.

Gary Schoeniger and Mike Sutyak have captured the value of entrepreneurship as well as the importance of an education.

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Diane HelbigAbout the Author: Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day Coaching. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Sales Experts Panel at Top Sales Experts.


Diane Helbig Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach and the president of Seize This Day. Diane is a Contributing Editor on COSE Mindspring, a resource website for small business owners, as well as a member of the Top Sales World Experts Panel at Top Sales World.

11 Reactions
  1. The guys at ELI have put together some great material. It has been our pleasure serving them at DigitalChalk.

  2. Great to see educational programs for the entrepreneurial mind! Do you know how traditional academia is tackling this issue? Do you know about courses in entrepreneurship at universities?

  3. I found your blog from Technorati whilst I was searching for small business information and the only way I can think to describe the information on your blog is quite simply that I have never seen such good quality online anywhere else as yet.

    Mark McCulloch

  4. Great to see this level of interest in teaching entrepreneurialism.

    While I believe that successful entrepreneurs have an inherent born trait (an amazing passion and commitment to do what they believe, regardless of other opinions or roadblocks encountered), training goes a long way to help.

    To answer Martin’s question, many local colleges offer certificates or full degrees in entrepreneurship, so you may want to look at your local college for similar help. We are fortunate in Dallas to have SMU and the Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship ( led by Jerry White. Jerry is really a pioneer in this effort. As a long time educator to entrepreneurs, he has helped many with business skill and training that augments their passion and desire to succeed.

    So you may want to look to your local college searching their site for entrepreneurship programs.

    Cheers, Grant

  5. There is also a nationwide organization called SCORE (, that is a non-profit organization that provides new and existing entrepreneurs with free counseling to start or grow a business. The organization has over 11,000 volunteers who are experienced, knowledgeable professionals that devote their time to help others. Our local chapter in Sarasota, FL is Well worth looking into!

  6. It is definitely a mindset! Just like any other endeavor in life, it is really about how we approach it. It is invaluable to not only teach an entrepreneur the necessary skill sets to ACT like an entrepreneur,but to start at the core by transforming his mind to BE an entrenepreneur. As a Marketing Administrator and Faciliator of the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac Programs, I am very excited about this program.

  7. Blue Sail Creative

    Entrepreneurship is the ability to see the big picture and put a system in place that makes sense for your company.

    If you can isolate the components of your business you will be able to align the cogs in a way that generates all the business you need.

    it’s also about being able to balance risk / reward properly.

  8. Free Internet Business

    Key element of every success to a certain is “Mind Setting”.

    And in mind setting, you need to have procedures that are highly relevant towards your goal.

    Most Businessmen became successful because of “Mind Setting”!

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. A certain mindset is definitely required for an entrepreneur to succeed. I forget who said this but the best description of this mindset I’ve ever heard goes like this: To succeed as an entrepreneur, one must shift from a “Value Extraction” mindset (or an employee mindset) to a “Value Creation” mindset.The employee mindset is ” I put in my time, I deserve a paycheck”. The entrepreneurial mindset starts with the idea that I must create value for the other person before I can be a success.

  10. Diane- Great article. Gary and Mike deserve kudos for putting together such a comprehensive course. It’s an inspiration to anyone who is starting a business or is hip-deep in a business now. The same old “how to build a business plan” isn’t helpful anymore. ELI’s course is the ultimate answer.