4 answers

How do I go about being a successful entrepreneur?

Asked Stockbridge, Georgia

4 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

That is a very good question. Here are some steps

  • get to know yourself well enough to determine which career areas are best suited for you based upon your personality traits, so that you can determine which type of business in which to become involved
  • start by working in a successful business that is of the type for which you matched and become the best employee that you can be. Over the years I have seen many people who have followed this route have had the business handed over to them when the owner decided to do something else or became a major player in the business. The advantage of working with someone whose business is successful is that you do not have to make the mistakes that a new business owner makes along the way
  • If you are interested in knowing what is involved in starting and running a small business, you can do a google search for "Service Corp of Retired Executives". This is a part of the Small Business Administration make up of retired executives who will provide free consultation and workshops to those involved in small businesses. Their site is SCORE.ORG which you can visit to get started and they have offices in many cities across the US.

However, the first step is getting to know yourself better.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Camille’s Answer

Updated Paris, Île-de-France, France

I think to become a successful entrepreneur you have to be 150% determined and most importantly, well balanced in your personal life. Your entrepreneurial project will take you 24/7 of your time so you have to know what are your priorities and what brings is the balance in your life.

You have to be passionate about your topic, meet as many people as you can meet related or not to your topic but just in order to gather as many feedbacks as you can. A successful entrepreneur is someone who is going to ask himself to right questions, listen to feedbacks given to him in order to make his idea evolve and pivot as many times as needed.

G. Mark’s Answer


I'm going to give you the essential ingredient. That's to write a business case. It may sound boring, but it's actually the coolest step. You need to put your plan into words so that you and others can understand what you're going to do. The business plan is necessary to get any sort of help or advice to realize your goal. You describe the problem you're intending to solve, why it's important, why people would want it, what you'll need, and why this is the time to do it. This is essential to get funding -- either from "angel" investors, venture capitalists, and/or friends and family. It'll also allow you to examine your plan to convince the most important person -- you. If you can't do that, this is the litmus test to show you that you have more work to do before starting anything else. You'll be adding details about what can go wrong, what sorts of people you'll need on your team, what you planned schedule is, the funding you'll need over time. There are all sorts of guides for fleshing out a business plan on line, but starting on that is JOB NUMBER ONE. And writing it and reading it over and thinking of stuff to add, imagining how it will be when you do each step -- that should be the motivation you need as well as a great confidence builder for you and everyone you'll be depending on. Communication is essential for a business, and it's always made my experiences in startups a lot easier when the team stays "charged up".

Jessica’s Answer

Talk to everyone around you, don't be shy to say hi! You never know who you're going to meet and it's always good to expand your network because you'll make great relationships that will be beneficial to you later down the line. I would also highly recommend finding a mentor who has created the results that you are looking for.