So, you want to be an Entrepreneur?

Part 1 in our Entrepreneurship Series

For the past 40 years, my career has taken many interesting turns and sent me in many directions that I never anticipated. From Wall Street to Main Street, and everywhere in between. All the while, my dream was to own and lead my own business.

As a film student in college, my mission was to build a production company and produce artistic works like films, music, and videos. I took some accounting courses, business law along with all the classes I needed for my major.

After college, I joined the working world. I started to experience the practical side of business, the dirty guts of it as defined by Wall Street. I spent two decades on Wall Street soaking up everything I could about business, management, and leadership. After 20 years, 35 pounds, ulcers, and other fun unhealthy habits, I decided it was time to leave the Wall Street grind and get back to my roots. I had worked 85-hour weeks, never took a vacation, and often thought “I want more time to spend with family.” Four years later, I became CEO of a not for profit which I ran for 6 years and built into a $1.4 million business.

Since the late 1990’s I’ve been helping people start businesses and have been starting businesses myself. I have taken knocks, seen success and failure, changed lives, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It is in that spirit that I would like to help others build successful businesses by avoiding my mistakes and drawing wisdom from my successes.

What kind of person does it take to be an Entrepreneur? Well, let me tell you. For every Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, there are thousands of John or Jane Smiths. To be successful it is important to develop these traits of strong leadership. You must have confidence in yourself and your abilities to solve what problems you might encounter, plan carefully, remain resilient and determined, and always listen to learn. It is also essential to have a balance between managing “big picture” ideas and more detail-oriented plans.

Some of these traits are intrinsic and some can be acquired over time. If you believe in your idea and are willing to do what it takes to be successful, you can enjoy a profitable business. In the coming weeks, we will explore these traits and more as we expose the messy, often glamorized truths of Entrepreneurship.