ENT630 Week 3 Blog – You Have Learned Your ABCs, Now Practice Your CBAs


As an entrepreneur, when you desire to create something new or you set huge goals, especially ones beyond your current capabilities, you often create unintended, unpredictable and sometimes more valuable results.

According to Steven Schussler, “the entrepreneur process is a matter of Conceive, Believing and Achieving”. “These are the main ingredients in the recipe for entrepreneurial success”.

This also reminds me of the famous quote from the late Napoleon Hill: “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past”. It’s not only about thinking, it about believing and achieving.

The process needs many activities involved, time, frustrations but don’t let the feeling of “out of my comfort zone” discourage you. “Stability and familiarity are comforting conditions for more people, entrepreneurs have no such comforts” Steven said. Take actions and worry about the result later. Create new things, testing to see how it works, knowing it is ok to fail and learn from it.

The results come from new knowledge (discoveries), new opportunities (surprises) and new capabilities (innovations) required to attain our goal. Discoveries, surprise and innovations can sometimes be much more valuable than the original goal. The more powerful the goal, the greater the possibility of such valuable strategic by product.

So here we go with a new idea and no one who thinks it will work. But it will, you know it will. You know it will take a little time but let the kids learn of this and this product will be alive. A story about an extraordinary entrepreneur who through talent, drive, desire, believe and achievement to make her own dream come true:

As you recall, in the 50s, Ruth Handler, known as “Barbie’s Mom, co-owner of Mattel Inc. “When I conceived Barbie, I believed it was important to a little girl’s self-esteem to play with a doll that has breasts”.

When Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler first proposed that company make a grown-up doll, the marketing staff at Mattel balked at the idea. Little girls like playing with baby dolls, they proclaimed, and were certain that adult women wouldn’t want their children to have a doll with breasts, but the budding business dynamo wasn’t one to give up easily. It took her nearly three years but Handler finally convinced the company to make the doll. It was the best decision they ever made. Barbie, as Ruth would name the 11.5-inch doll, it was an instant hit, not only making Mattel an undisputed leader in manufacturing, but also creating a $1.9 billion per year industry.

Handler got the inspiration for the Barbie doll while watching her young daughter, Barbara, and her friends playing with paper dolls. The girls liked to play adult or teenage make-believe with the dolls, imaging them as college students, cheerleaders and adults with careers. It dawned on Handler that make-believe and pretending about the future are important parts of growing up. Handler’s vision for the doll, which she called Barbie (her daughter’s nickname) was that she be the “ideal” woman. By 1959, Barbie was a reality and ready to hit the stores. When the doll was introduced at the 1959 Toy Fair in New York City, retailer had never seen before a doll so completely unlike the baby and toddler dolls that were popular at the time, and many refused to carry it. Big controversy.

Undaunted, Handler went directly to young girls with television ads that presented Barbie as a real person. Thanks to this innovative marketing approach, within three months of her debut, Barbie dolls were selling at a rate of 20,000 per week. Demand for the doll was so great that it took several years for the supply to keep up with the demand. Barbie was so successful that she enabled Mattel to go public in 1960, and within five years, Mattel could join the ranks of the Fortune 500.


Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. New York: Union Square Press, 2010. Print.

Radicals & Visionaries: Entrepreneurs who revolutionized the 20th Century of Thaddeus Wawro, 2000



5 thoughts on “ENT630 Week 3 Blog – You Have Learned Your ABCs, Now Practice Your CBAs

  1. Mattel is a great success story! I was listening to an episode of “How I Built This”, a popular podcast that tells the story of entrepreneurs who have built empires, and the Mattel story sounds extremely similar. I would encourage all of the members of this class to take a listen when they have a spare 30 minutes.



  2. Wow, your reference to Ruth Handler’s story was great. It really was the perfect example to tie the story together. Sometimes ideas come together within our personal daily experiences. And now, 50 years later, Barbie is still one of the leading toy brands.


    • Thank you, Schree! When I was young and saw the Barbie doll, I just wondered how and who could create such interesting invention. The Ruth Handler’s story prevailed even more interesting, it could happen and give chance to anyone in any circumstance in life, regarding think out side of the box and doing business.


  3. Mary, I love the quote from Napolean Hill! I am a firm believer in that if you truly want something and you set your mind to it, somehow – even subconsciously – you will make it happen. This is so important in entrepreneurship because it allows us to fully identify with what we are most passionate about. Great post!


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