The Lessons Learnt From World Renowned Entrepreneurs
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his dormitory in Harvard. Chris Johnson and Tim Keck launched The Onion while they were still junior at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Frederick Smith first outlined the idea for the parcel delivery system that would one day become FedEx in a paper he wrote while still a student at Yale. Today, countless new university graduates are considering taking the path less and turning an idea into full-time entrepreneurship. But before a job is rejected or the job application package is packed, recent students must consider whether they have the potential to start a business, whether it’s opening a physical store or starting a technical startup.
News Every day business experts and entrepreneurs, many of whom started their first company from the university, asked for some entrepreneurial advice for recent graduates. Here are some of the most important lessons they have given.
- Follow your passion
- Don’t be afraid to make the leap
- Learn from within
- Find mentors
- Network constant
- Use your technical know-how
- Develop great communication skills
- 8. Calculate finances
- Cultivate grit
- Understand that failure is part of the process
As an entrepreneur, the importance of doing work that brings you joy and satisfaction cannot be exaggerated. In fact, the passion of a founder is the key to the success of a company. ‘You have to do what you feel like to have a satisfying career,’ said John Tabis, founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company. ‘You must find a job or a career path within a discipline that you are passionate about, then quickly go in, dive in, learn and add value. ‘By doing work that has meaning for you, you get the motivation to get ready in the rough areas and the tumultuous times that are inevitably part of building a new venture.
‘Starting a business is difficult enough,’ said Nick Bulcao, founder and CEO of Airspace Technologies. ‘If you are not excited to get out of bed every morning, it will not work. ‘Lydia Brown, founder of Chicago Collegiate Nannies, agreed and commented that new students should not waste their skills on a career path. were never meant to get up. ‘I pursued my father’s dream of becoming a financial professional for five years before I admitted it wasn’t for me,’ said Brown. ‘When I developed the concept of my nanny agency. . . it was so obvious that I should always have done this. ‘
A recent grad can come with a million valid reasons why it makes no sense to start a business, even if it is for many entrepreneurs, there really is no time like the present. According to entrepreneur Jess Ekstrom it might seem easier to get a job first, gain some experience, save a little money and then start a business. But running away from such stability will be harder than you think, and you could never make the leap. ‘It is better to go for it and then get a job if it fails, instead of getting a job and never going for it,’ said Ekstrom, who launched her company Headbands of Hope while still in college. Steven Benson, founder and CEO of Badger Maps, noted that recent graduates generally have fewer responsibilities and obligations, and can therefore spend more time building a business. ‘As a new grad, you have the advantage that you probably have little overhead and can take risks,’ said Benson. ‘Imagine a recent course and compare it to a 35-year-old with two children and a mortgage, and it’s easy to see why young people have an advantage. ‘ If you need extra income when starting your business, Ekstrom advised reaching out to fellow startups to see if they have part-time work opportunities or look for grants for young entrepreneurs. The US Small Business Administration also provides resources for potential entrepreneurs, including workshops and lessons in corporate education on a variety of topics.
Regardless of when you decide to start your business, it is always valuable to take some time to learn from experienced professionals. If you work shortly for someone else, you can build up an extensive list of contacts, collect practical tips and learn from some leaders in your industry. ‘The value you get when you look at how they work and run their business and the possible mentoring you would get from them will help you build your own successful venture,’ said Othmane Rahmouni, founder of Lovop. refine your own ideas about what you want to achieve. ‘You can start in one area to discover that you prefer another part of the work,’ said Michelle Garrett of Garrett’s Public Relations. ‘When you start your journey, you know that there may be twists and turns on the way – and that is perfect. ‘
A mentor or two can make the difference when starting a new business, says Cory Levy, co-founder and COO of After School. Finding experienced and trusted advisors who can offer guidance and support will help a new entrepreneur to overcome the pitfalls of business development and ownership. ‘Nothing shortens a learning curve more than anyone with that experience,’ said Mark Babbitt, founder and CEO of YouTern. ‘Graduates must find a stable of mentors and establish mutually beneficial relationships. ‘ Levy also suggested contact dealing with entrepreneurs you admire to interview them about how they achieved their success.
‘I see many smart entrepreneurs fail simply because they don’t have the real knowledge about how to run a business,’ added Casey Meehan, founder of Epic Presence. ‘It’s much different than what you learn at the business school. Find the experts and choose their brains. ‘
A strong professional network can help you realize your vision and often makes the difference between success and failure for your company, said Rahmouni of Lovop Consulting. Trent Silver, a millennial career coach and CEO of Nerdster. com, disagreed: ‘Having a valuable network of friends, family and companies brings. . . benefits such as moral support, potential investment, increased clientele and opportunities for future businesses. ‘One way to build this network is to make connections as often as possible and with as many people as possible, said Sarah LaFave, chairman of Lori’s Hands, a non-profit organization she co-founded at a university. Since valuable connections were made everywhere LaFave proposes to show as many events as possible, talk to the person sitting next to you during a meeting or in a waiting room and introduce yourself to the speaker after a seminar. ‘I called people for support, advice or referrals that I had casually met. . . often from other sectors with whom I had not had much in common when I met them,’ LaFave said. In addition, Keyvan Hajiani, co-founder and head of marketing at SocioFabrica, advises to use different social networking tools to expand someone’s circle of contacts. ‘Social networks make it easy to connect with alumni, mentors, and business owners [from whom] seek advice and respond to ideas,’ Hajiani said. ‘Your network will become increasingly important as you progress in your career, so it is important to promote it [early]. ‘
Technology is a fundamental part of today’s fast-moving business environment. Recent graduates from universities that are digital natives are specially equipped to harness the power of technology to establish, promote and grow their business. ‘There are so many ways to get started quickly and easily in a company that was available less than 10 years ago,’ said Ryan O’Connor, owner of One Tribe Apparel. O’Connor recommends technology to increase interest in your business by building an Instagram following, writing for popular blogs and launching online magazines and products on Etsy or Amazon without having to build a full brand first.
Communication is a fundamental skill in life and in business, says David Moncur, director of the Moncur brand agency. Good communicators must have the ability to form bonds and to solve problems in person. ‘You can repair or prevent a series of communication problems with a five-minute phone call,’ said Karl Sakas, an author and president of the Sakas & Company. ‘If you go back and forth more than a few times you email, or you need to share some tough news – pick up the phone. ‘ ‘Everything is not online,’ added Brandon Dempsey, a serial entrepreneur and author of ‘Shut Up and Go!: A Millennial’s Guide to Outuring Out What You Want and How to Get It’ (Lioncrest Publishing, 2016). ‘Many companies are found online, but close deals offline. Focus on both online and offline skills. ‘
All entrepreneurs must prepare for every aspect of running a business, and this includes developing a good understanding and ability to manage the financial aspects of their business, including financial analysis, taxes and budgeting.
‘Regardless of what you study, you must be competent in the basics of accounting when you start running a business,’ said Robert Ellis, CEO of Massage Tables Now. Alex Kurrelmeier, director of the Ron Rubin School for the entrepreneur at Culver Academies, said at an early stage entrepreneurs should look for online courses in the financial world and study various startup business models.
‘It will most likely take a while for your company to be in a place financially where you can rent a full-time controller, so the more comfortable you are with numbers, the better,’ Kurrelmeier said.
If you want to start a business, our expert sources agree that you must set aside the desire for immediate satisfaction and plan to work harder and longer than you ever thought. Developing unchanging resilience and dedication to your business will be needed to withstand the toughest days.
‘The most important quality you need as an entrepreneur. . . is ‘holding on to life’ or grit, a combination of perseverance, patience and adaptability,’ said Kate Sullivan, a business sociologist and content director at TCK Publishing. So much of what is needed to set up a new business is simply about the non-glamorous monotony of hard work. Brown, from Chicago Collegiate Nannies, believes that future entrepreneurs must understand this reality before venturing. ‘I think a lot of people have false fantasies about what it means to be an entrepreneur. They propose a flexible schedule, afternoon lunches with friends and immediate success,’ said Brown. ‘The reality, in fact, is very different. ‘ As a business owner, Brown says she works twice the number of hours she did in her previous career and always has more work to do at the end of the day. ‘The concept of ‘leaving work behind at work’ does not exist if you are an entrepreneur, because you are solely responsible for the success of your business,’ she said. ‘Do not become an entrepreneur if you fear hours of nights and late nights with minimal initial compensation. ‘According to Kirsten Quigley, co-founder and CEO of LunchSkins, flexibility must also be part of the new entrepreneur’s psyche. ‘The startup world is not linear, you cannot always get from point A to point B in the way that you have mapped out,’ Quigley said. ‘Clients can’t always be with you, partners can change, distribution channels can shift, [but]. . . you have to be willing to push your sleeves up and wade into unknown territory with equal parts fearlessness and optimism. ‘
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50 percent of small businesses fail by the age of five. This sobering fact can be enough to discourage those with a low risk tolerance when starting a business. However, young entrepreneurs should not be afraid of failure, but instead acknowledge that it can teach them valuable lessons about their business and the path that their career must offer. Joe Schumacher, CEO of The Goddard School, recognizes that failure is often stigmatized in society. But young people who want to build a business must ignore these limiting concepts of what it means to be successful. ‘When you start a business, remember that companies have to take risks to grow, and sometimes these risks lead to failure,’ Schumacher explained. ‘Good judgment must always be exercised, but if we assume that failures must be seen as educational moments. ‘ Sullivan of TCK Publishing repeats this sentiment: ‘Chances are, you won’t have a billion-dollar business first time out,’ she said. ‘You will have to fail a few times, dust yourself and try again. ‘
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