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Jason Whitlock: A Values-Driven Entrepreneur Shares Ten Principles for Success in the Highly Competitive World of Sports Content

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Key Takeaways and Actionable Insights There are many kinds of entrepreneurs. They are all instigators of win-win arrangements in which customers are served in innovative ways by enterprising individuals and firms. Lives are improved for consumers and producers. On this week’s Economics For Entrepreneurs podcast we dissect the path to success of an individual who ...

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Key Takeaways and Actionable Insights

There are many kinds of entrepreneurs. They are all instigators of win-win arrangements in which customers are served in innovative ways by enterprising individuals and firms. Lives are improved for consumers and producers.

On this week’s Economics For Entrepreneurs podcast we dissect the path to success of an individual who chose the crowded and highly contested field of sports content production, navigated a way to the top, and then broke out in a new entrepreneurial distribution initiative.

Jason Whitlock shares with us many principles of his success (Mises.org/E4E_75_PDF); we highlight just a few of them here to whet your appetite for the podcast.

Choose a field that fits your personality and interests.

We have talked a lot with our contributing economics professors about assembling a unique and competitively advantaged set of resources. Jason’s unique resources were a love of sports, some original thinking, and a distinctive personality that he was able to express in writing. He wasn’t deeply technically trained for his first profession (journalism) beyond writing for his college newspaper. That wasn’t the point. His commitment to the pathway — starting at the very lowest point in the climb — was the point. This is what the textbooks and white papers call effectual entrepreneurship.

Credentials are nice but hard work and experience advance you.

Jason has won a number of prestigious awards over his time on the path to success. He was delighted to receive them. But he stressed that advancement comes not from the credentials but from the hard work and experience-gathering of which they are a reflection. Experience is the most important: learning from others, learning from circumstances and events, learning from setbacks, learning from observing industry trends and what happens to others. At Mises University 2020, Dr. Per Bylund told us that experienced entrepreneurs are the most Austrian (Mises.org/E4E_75_Bylund) — and therefore the most successful in business — because they are able to glean from their experiences what is most important for the success of a business and what is merely incidental or actually detrimental.

Let your values guide you the whole way — define them, write them down, adhere to them.

Jason has thought deeply about — and codified — his own values. He includes them in his personal profile (Outkick.com/Jason-Whitlock) on his entrepreneurial distribution platform, Outkick.comThe entrepreneurial life is a values-driven life.

Your intuition and innate ability to read people are your best tools for managing the future.

We discussed the entrepreneurial act of embracing change and trying to “stay ahead of it,” in Jason’s words. How do you do that? He elevates the role of intuition and empathy over data gathering and predictive analytics. Again, at Mises University 2020, Professor Peter Klein spoke of the elevated role Austrian economics allocates to those two cognitive skills, and even cited academic studies about the entrepreneurial advantages of intuition ("smart intuitors") among cognitive skills (Mises.org/E4E_75_Klein).

Always, always put your customer first. Be honest with them, be objective, and serve them distinctively.

It is the first principle of Austrian economics in business that the consumer is sovereign and that an Austrian business puts the customer in first role in everything that they do. Jason Whitlock confirmed the same principle without any prompting. For a sports content producer, the customer is the reader, viewer or listener. Jason characterizes his audience as the intelligent sports fan who can appreciate an original take and distinctive reporting on subjects that many other content producers are covering.

He commented on how athletes today don’t understand the principle. The customers are fans who attend the events and enjoy the performance. Athletes sometimes misunderstand and think that “their twitter feeds are their fans” and often go to the point of ridiculing or rejecting or offending their customers. We’d call that a failure to demonstrate empathy, and disrespecting consumer sovereignty. Successful entrepreneurs don’t make that mistake.

These are just a few of the incisive and instinctively Austrian insights from Economics For Entrepreneurs podcast #75 with Jason Whitlock.

Additional Resources

"Jason Whitlock's 10 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success" (PDF): Mises.org/E4E_75_PDF

Per Bylund's Mises U lecture, "Austrian Economics in Business": Mises.org/E4E_75_Bylund

Peter Klein's Mises U lecture, "Entrepreneurship": Mises.org/E4E_75_Klein

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