4 answers

What does it take to become a businessman/entrepreneur?

Asked Redwood City, California

4 answers

Tom’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hi Isaac. Maybe I can help. I started a business and made a living with it. I've learned this is really rare. The vast number of businesses fail, and they take the investments of the owner with them. A person can wind up without a business but still owe a ton of debt.

The easiest answer to your question however is....luck. And you have minor control over that. If anyone tells you luck doesn't play a big part they are wrong. In a moment I will show you how to increase the odds for being lucky. First the typical.

You have a great idea. You investigate it. You find a store to rent. You set up a website. You borrow some money, hire a couple people and fill the store with inventory you hope will sell quickly. You open your doors and.... now luck takes over. It will have a big hand in your success, or not. There are a ton of variations on this scenario, I'm sure you get the idea.

Over 50% of the time the business will fail within the first 5 years. Failing means the owner may wind up with a lot of debt. And I can assure you in the other 50% the majority are struggling and more will go under. And business owners can often expect to draw no salary or reduced salary the first year or so. That was my case.

So...still wanna be a entrepreneur?

Here's how to increase your luck and odds of success. I've seen this work several times and I'll share an example using professional engineers....you can apply the idea to whatever industry/job you are interested in.


I worked at a company one time that had a lot of engineers who designed and invented things the company used in the industry they were in. But the engineers also had to keep an eye on the industry as a whole---so that they invented things most helpful to the company. Well, darned if a couple of those engineer folks didn't get an idea for something that would solve a large problem for all the businesses in the industry. The light went on. They wanted to start their own business with this idea. They kept working at our company for another 8 months, but they called a few of their acquaintances in the industry and bounced the idea off of them. It was positive feedback. Two of their acquaintances even said they'd buy the item if/when it was ready. So the folks I knew quit the company where I worked with them and started their own. Since they were 'insiders' and already had a couple 'orders' in their pocket they had immediate industry respect and their product was in fact a hit.

And THAT'S a way you can start your own business with the least risk and best likelihood of success.

When you've made your millions we'll re-connect and you can send me a huge check!! (kidding) Good luck.

Anthony’s Answer

Updated Durham, North Carolina

To become a businessman or entrepreneur it take 3 things in my opinion, "Passion" "Risk" "Reward". I say passion because if you are not passionate about your work, product, service then the other 2 will never become a factor. Most people are scared to take the first step of becoming a Entrepreneur because it's a fancy word for being unemployed or self employed. Many people are fine with the security of working for someone else but lack the passion to make the jump and become their own boss. Risk is always what could happen, do I have enough overhead to pay my bills etc. You have to identify what will happen if you are not successful, will you lose everything and if you are too worried about the "Risk" then you have to go back and see if you are truly Passionate about what it is you want to become or what your business will be. The best part of this process is the "Reward" because this is what you will achieve whether it be money, prestige, etc. So, if you are passionate about something, if it's worth the risk, then the rewards can be plentiful. There will be many sacrifices that will come with being an entrepreneur, you will lose hours to work, you will lose hours of sleep, you will lose hours of spending time with friends and family. So, this is not something that everyone could do, because if it were easy everyone would do it.

Richard’s Answer

Updated Morrisville, North Carolina

Hello Isaac,

There are so many ways to answer the question as you can read and they are mostly relevant. I want to focus on the attributes of successful business owners and boil that down to 5. Before you go any further though, don't just go into a business solely to make alot of money. Do what you are skilled at and what you love to do in that order. Reflect on the attributes and work on addressing those areas you feel you need to strengthen. Find a mentor both online ( Brian Tracy for me ) as well as locally. I have seen very successful people in many industries and they all plan very carefully to address strengths and weaknesses.

1) Self-Discipline, 2) Integrity,3) Persistence,4) A Clear Sense of Direction,5) Be Decisive and Action Oriented

Best to you !

Thank you for taking your time to respond to my question.

Del’s Answer

Updated San Jose, California

Firstly read all the above responses as they are centered around the real success factors of being an entrepreneur. I would add that a well thought out business plan that has been vetted by disinterested others is a great first step. It helps to take the passion and shape it with the forces of risk and market demand to harden your ideas. Do the thinking on paper firstly, then execution is easier.