I remember the excitement of starting my first business in 1997 as though it were yesterday. My husband and I launched our first online legal document filing service from our apartment living room—with only $100 and no previous entrepreneurial experience.
We had to learn the ins and outs of business ownership as we went. It was gratifying—and challenging. Now, having sold that first business for $20M 15 years ago and operating our second successful online document filing company since 2009, I enjoy sharing words of advice to other aspiring women business owners. If you have your sights set on making your entrepreneurial dream a reality, here are some tips for boosting your business acumen.
6 Tips for Learning How to Survive and Thrive as an Entrepreneur
1. Let Your Passion Drive You
While not every personal passion makes a sustainable business concept, it is important to feel passionate about your business idea. I believe that emotional connection needs to be there because building a business requires a great deal of time and energy. Without that personal bond, you may not find the stamina and resolution to learn as much as you should or put in the hard work necessary to overcome the challenges ahead.
2. Reflect on Your Existing and Past Work Experiences
There’s much to learn about running a business from the experience of being an employee. Think about what you’ve observed about customer service, staff interactions, product and service quality, administrative processes, and more. What have your employers done well, and what could they have improved upon to make their businesses more successful? You don’t have to have a business degree to identify what worked and what didn’t work. Consider your past bosses’ best practices and lessons learned as case studies that can help you put your best foot forward and avoid mistakes.
3. Tune Into Resources That Will Help You Develop Your Leadership Potential
It’s normal to have some self-doubts when working for someone to own your own business and be the boss. Not all successful entrepreneurs are born leaders; they educate themselves and take the initiative to develop their leadership skills. One way to do that is to leverage the vast amount of online resources—including blogs, podcasts, webinars, books, etc.—available to boost your leadership prowess.
A few of my favorite business and leadership books include:
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
- Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein
4. Join Groups Geared Toward Entrepreneurs and Professionals in Your Industry
While face-to-face networking opportunities are limited, you have many online venues for mingling with and learning from other successful entrepreneurs. Seek to join social media groups with an entrepreneurial focus and those that are specific to your industry. Also, most local chambers of commerce have modified their programming to provide more online networking opportunities via virtual “lunch and learn” events, mixers, and professional forums.
5. Find a Mentor
Successful entrepreneurs recognize that they’re not infallible. They must be willing to get honest feedback and accept constructive criticism along the way. I encourage you to consider finding a mentor with whom you can share ideas and receive insight. A mentor might be someone who is already running a business in your industry or another person you trust and respect.
6. Be Choosy About the People Who Surround You
I have loved my entrepreneurial journey and do not have any regrets. That said, there’s one thing I would have done differently in my early years of entrepreneurship; I would have chosen my friends and acquaintances with more scrutiny. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who will be supportive of your efforts—even if they don’t fully understand why or what you’re doing.
Sadly, not everyone will be as excited about your path to business ownership as others. That’s OK…generally…unless their lack of enthusiasm stands in your way of accomplishing your goals. Whenever possible, be selective about with whom you spend time because it can directly affect your motivation and mindset. As an entrepreneur, you must be firing on all cylinders to be the best that you can be.
Entrepreneurship: A Professional – and Personal – Evolution
Entrepreneurship is more of a journey than a final destination. While taking the initiative to learn what it takes to launch and run a successful business, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself in the process. As a business owner, you gain both authority and accountability. Embrace the opportunity to obtain new knowledge, hone skills, and make a difference for your customers, your employees, and your community.
7 of the Best Free Online Business Classes for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Want to grow your startup skills on your own schedule, for free? Here’s a guide to the best online classes from top universities.
Want to start a business but don’t know where to start? A little education can go a long way, especially when it’s free.
Here are seven great online classes for aspiring entrepreneurs–from some of the top business schools in the country.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
What will you learn?
- How to overcome the most common myths of entrepreneurship
- How to define your goals as an entrepreneur and a startup
- How to identify business opportunities
- How to conduct market research and choose your target customer
- How to design and test your offering
- How to pitch and sell to customers
Time involved: Six weeks, approximately one to three hours per week.
How to Start a Startup
Stanford (Sam Altman)
More a series of videos than a class, “How to Start a Startup” covers a wide range of topics–and includes startup founders like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Emmett Shear (Just.tv and Twitch), Marc Andreessen (Netscape), Aaron Levie (Box), and Paul Graham (Y Combinator.)
What will you learn?
- How to build a team
- How to build a product and talk to users
- How to raise money
- How to build a great culture
- How to build services that scale
- How to manage, operate, and be a great founder
Time involved: 20 videos, approximately 50 minutes each.
Nuts and Bolts of Business Plans
Sloan School of Management (MIT)
Maybe you won’t need a business plan–plenty of people argue you don’t. Or that your business plan will start changing the first week.
Even so, understanding the basics of a business plan will definitely help bring focus to your idea and your first steps–so what better than the course that has been taken by every MIT MBA student for over two decades?
What will you learn?
- How to refine and present your idea
- How to create marketing and sales plans
- How to choose the right business model
- How to develop financial projections
- How to plan for legal, accounting, copyright, etc. issues
- How to execute your plan
Time involved: Six videos of approximately an hour each, plus extensive lecture notes and supplemental material (if you want more).
Launching Your Startup
Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
Ideas are great. but execution is everything. A great idea and a solid plan is a given; the next step is to put it into action.
What will you learn?
- How to build a minimum viable product (MVP)
- How to build a team
- How to build a network: advisers, mentors, professional service providers, etc.
- How to create a brand
- How to bring your brand to market
Time involved: Self-paced, approximately eight hours.
Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
Once you’ve launched, you’ll need to grow–especially if you’re bootstrapping your way to success and financing your startup with the revenue you generate.
What will you learn?
- How to land customers
- How to use earned, paid, and owned marketing as efficiently as possible
- How to build cost and pricing structures
- How to develop and track the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business
- How to build a great culture–and maintain it as your startup grows
Time involved: Self-paced, approximately seven hours.
Financing and Profitability
Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
How do you make a small fortune? Begin with a large fortune and start a (insert your favorite startup money pit here).
Because a business without (eventual) profits isn’t really a business.
What will you learn?
- How to develop the right business models
- How to keep your best customers
- How to determine the right financing for your business (even if “financing” just means your savings)
- How to calculate burn rate, break-even point, and other key financial metrics and milestones
- How to pitch investors
- How to decide when the time is right, and under what terms, to exit.
Time involved: Self-paced, approximately six hours.
Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work
You can learn business and entrepreneurial skills from a wide variety of sources. But who will teach you how to stay the course when times get tough, as times inevitably do?
For starters, these folks.
What will you learn?
- How to follow a few simple steps to become more resilient
- How to develop specific skills to deal with difficult situations
- How to perform a little self-care to recharge your resiliency batteries
- How to apply resiliency frameworks to professional and personal situations
Time involved: Two weeks, approximately three hours per week.
Content Manager and Career Expert
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Being a successful entrepreneur doesn’t come naturally; the bright ideas do, yet learning how to run a prosperous business takes a lot of time. Effective businessmen and women know how to make the most of a bad situation and learn from their mistakes. They didn’t pick up this skill through education but rather through experience along the way.
To help you avoid a number of hurdles and setbacks, here are the most important business lessons you can learn from successful entrepreneurs.
1. Don’t Waste Time Dwelling on Your Ideas
Bill Gates gained success through telling a little white lie. He told computer company Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) that he had developed a BASIC interpreter for their microcomputer, the Altair 8800. Turns out he managed to bag himself a gig but hadn’t actually produced any software at all! Within a short amount of time, Gates had to create a demonstration of the software – that, ultimately, paid off and kick-started his career. As Roy Ash, cofounder of Litton Industries, put it: ‘An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it’.
2. It’s Not all About the Money
Obviously, making money is a major part of your business’s success – but what’s even more important is the vision and passion you have for your company. Take social media mogul and multibillionaire Mark Zuckerberg, for example, who just about broke even in his first year of business. He also turned down a billion-dollar offer from Yahoo!’s CEO Terry Semel for the sale of Facebook. (He’s definitely gloating that he made the right decision now.) Mark’s dedication and desire to feel like he’s doing his best every minute of the day is what has made his social networking site dominate the industry.
3. Create Something of Value and Dream Big
If you create an identical business plan to that of a successful competitor, you’re literally just setting yourself up to fail. What you want to do is create something that will be of value to your consumers. Take Richard Branson, who says that he starts a business only if it will improve people’s lives. His idea for Virgin Atlantic came about after he was consistently unhappy with the service on British Airways. He only every builds something he is passionate about, too: the devotion he had to make his airline number one was what made it victorious, and it is now the biggest airline leading the travel industry.
4. Learn from Your Mistakes
Many celebrities and entrepreneurs are living proof that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing – as long as you learn from your mistakes. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX has a 10-year history of blowing up one rocket after another. Yet, he didn’t let that failure set him back and recently successfully landed another Falcon 9 first-stage booster after launching a US Air Force space plane from Cape Canaveral. He constantly questions himself and looks for ways to do things better and push boundaries.
5. Believe in Yourself
Do you know of an entrepreneur that doesn’t believe in themselves? Probably not, because all prosperous business tycoons have believed in their product or service right from the start; if they, didn’t who else would? Self-doubt can hold you back from taking a risk that would have otherwise paid off and from following through with your new innovative idea because you’re afraid of the negative feedback. As Shane Barker from Inc so eloquently put it: ‘If Larry Page had listened to naysayers, we probably won’t have Google today’.
6. The Customer Is the One That Truly Matters
Any customer service role will teach you that the customer is always right. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is a strong believer of this and strives to keep his customers happy, and has a 24-hour team at hand when a problem arises with one of his services. Barker says: ‘By fulfilling your customers’ needs, you can win their loyalty and eventually establish yourself as a successful entrepreneur, beating your competitors in the process.’
7. Set Your Own Trends
In entrepreneurship, it’s important to set your own trends instead of following the pack. You want people to be following your vision and to inspire to be like you. Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is a prime example of setting her own trends; she doesn’t conform to society and has still proven herself as one of the leading designers in the industry. She doesn’t believe in social media, either; in fact, doesn’t even own a phone, and is therefore able to create what she thinks is fashionable and wearable without following catwalk trends. If you believe in something, you’ll encourage others along your journey, too.
8. Forget the Haters
Whether you’re a celebrity, artist, reality star, model, public figure or entrepreneur, you’re always going to receive some kind of backlash. There will always be haters that will try to bring you down and knock you off your game. Successful entrepreneur and media icon Arianna Huffington knows this a little too well: when she first launched the Huffington Post back in 2005, she received major criticism, with the online publication being described as an ‘unsurvivable failure’. The moral of the story here is that you need to develop a thick skin in business and try to ignore the naysayers.
9. Constantly Improve and Reinvent
If you want to get ahead in business, you need to think ahead; it’s no good just creating a one-hit wonder and sitting back to relax. You need to think of your next move and what you can do to improve and outdo what you previously did. This is a vital business lesson we learned from Walt Disney. He created the first ever animation movies that we have all come to know and love. But he didn’t stop there: he went on to design merchandise and build an amusement park, too. He would also personally test all the park rides and instantly make changes if he felt that something could be improved.
10. Don’t Count on Always Having a High Salary
When some people first make it big in their industry, they get a little silly with their money, splashing out on expensive cars, lad pads, glam squads, extravagant holidays and flash designer gear, and fail to appreciate that fame doesn’t last forever. Mike Tyson is a prime example, having spent $140,000 (£98,700) on a Bengal tiger – soon after this, he declared bankruptcy. On the other hand, tennis champion Serena Williams deposited her first $1 million (£704,000) cheque in the bank, storing her assets, and is now worth over $80 million.
Entrepreneurship can feel like an impossible dream. It’s a big word for something that is actually so simple.
After failing at entrepreneurship early in my career, I became an aspiring entrepreneur for several years until I built up the courage to start again and give it a go. I learned to use my seven startup failures and one successful business as inspiration, rather than a demotivating excuse.
It certainly wasn’t easy, but after six years of grinding it out, I finally found a way to create another online business. This online business charges for ebooks, online courses, digital content, coaching services, and consulting to a handful of internet businesses.
Not feeling good enough is something I became an expert in before getting started with my latest online business. After attending Startup Grind Meetups and listening to the Foundr Podcast, I realized that this feeling is incredibly common. Feeling like you’re not good enough is part of the business journey. It’s completely normal and should be embraced in an effort to overcome the feeling.
Think of business as nothing more than an interest.
The words “passion” and “purpose” easily confuse aspiring entrepreneurs. They seem grandiose and unachievable. You can wait your entire life for some magical moment or transformation.
The word “interest” is simpler to understand and apply.
You may not have a passion or a purpose, but I’m willing to bet you have an interest. What is it? Knowing your interest is key because business is nothing more than an interest. If you have an interest in something, it can be a business. You can use that interest as the first step to start a simple business.
Entrepreneurship is nothing more than charging money for something.
This is the most important point of the article. If you are charging money for anything, you are an entrepreneur.
If you got paid to coach the basketball team, then you’re an entrepreneur. If you got paid to tutor a college student, then you’re an entrepreneur. If you got paid $20 to cut someone’s hair after work, you’re an entrepreneur.
Let’s go even further: If you have a regular 9 to 5 job, then you’re an entrepreneur who already has one client. And the best part is you can sell your skills to more than one client. People let non-compete agreements stop them from doing part-time entrepreneurship, but with the right advice, you can have multiple customers you bill your time or outcomes to.
You are good enough to be an entrepreneur if you have at least one deposit hitting your bank account already.
The setup costs are a lot less than you might think.
VC money can make us think we need to have millions of dollars to get started. Here’s what I started with:
- A free WordPress website
- An old version of Microsoft Word
- A PayPal account to receive payments online
- A home internet connection
- An old desk
The internet was the only thing I really paid for, and – let’s be honest – I was always going to have internet. So, essentially this entire business setup was free and cost nothing.
The start of a business idea is an experiment, and you can do it for free.
The best startups were created during recessions.
The economic environment can stop many aspiring entrepreneurs from giving it a go. It can seem smart to sit and wait for the crisis to pass.
But here’s the thing: A recession is a code word for “SALE.”
Ads are cheaper to buy in a recession; traffic is cheaper to acquire during a recession; freelancers will put their prices down during a recession; subscription companies might offer lower monthly plans during a recession.
If you can, you want to start a business during a recession when there is less competition and everything is cheaper. Startups like Uber, Square and Airbnb all came out of the 2008 recession, proving how much opportunity can exist.
Everything changes during a recession for aspiring entrepreneurs, and now is the time to pounce.
You can de-risk your entrepreneur journey with a four-day workweek.
If you have dreams of being an entrepreneur and want to de-risk your journey, an easy solution is to work a four-day workweek. The current economic client makes it easier because companies are looking to save money and offering to be paid for one less day a week can help. You can then use your extra workday, the weekend, and after hours to start your little business.
As you learn more about business and find ways to monetize, you can then slowly wind back your days even more until you go all-in on your business. Or you could have a normal career and a side business for diversity.
You will build mental strength even if your business idea fails.
Whatever business you start might not work out, and that’s completely fine. It’s not because you’re not good enough. The psychological reframe you can use to avoid feeling like a failure is to see your business failures as a way to build mental strength.
Your mind gets stronger through entrepreneurship because you have to back yourself, your ideas, your beliefs, put money where your mouth is, and take a few calculated risks that might not pay off.
It’s hard to feel like you’re not good enough when you focus on the incredible mental strength you’re building in the process.
You can dip your toes in with content first.
Content creation is a great way to test your entrepreneurial skills. All businesses need content, and most of us are creating content and sharing it on social media already in our personal lives. You can take your social media habit and consciously use it for business purposes.
The way I started was by writing a couple of blog posts a week. After some time, I began earning a few dollars from that content and posting it in different places. Then, I charged people, who wanted to do the same as me, for blocks of coaching and an accountability partner.
If you can find a way to charge for content – ads, payment from publications, Medium, coaching, freelancing – you can test your ability to charge money for your skills, and that could lead you into your own business.
You can run mini-tests with Facebook ads and a mailing list.
Another easy way to test a business idea as an aspiring entrepreneur is to set up a mailing list and direct people to it through content and social media. If the call to action on your content and social media posts is strong, then the number of daily email subscribers will trend upwards.
I had an idea for an ebook I wanted to sell and ran a few test Facebook ads to see which title would help a wider audience find my how-to strategies.
I hear aspiring entrepreneurs say all the time that they don’t feel like they’re good enough. Well, I’m here to disagree with that myth. I’m here to tell you that you can be an entrepreneur because it’s as simple as charging money for a skill you’ve acquired. If you need a skill to sell, there are plenty of online courses you can do to acquire billable skills.
Don’t wait your entire life to start your entrepreneurship journey and end up having regrets because you didn’t try. You are good enough.
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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur who is working on polishing your knowledge to be able to start a successful business?
It goes without a doubt that to start a successful business, your educational background needs to be sound. Most successful businessmen are well learned. But learning the syllabus of your school and college is not enough, as it has been read by a bunch of other students as well. You will have to educate yourself a step ahead from others by joining an academic summer program during summer so that you can polish your knowledge about the field you are passionate about and be future-ready to be your own boss.
Apart from education, you also need to instill certain skills to become an entrepreneur in the future, we have discussed them below;
1. Learn to be Persistent:
Persistency is the foundation to be an entrepreneur. Businesses do not always profit, there are times when your attempts may fail. This does not mean you give up easily, but you need to make persistent efforts to continue running the business and make profits.
2. Visualize Your Future Success Every Day:
Like the law of attraction explains, visualization of your future would bring in all the positive forces to make it a reality. Visualizing to be a successful entrepreneur will make you work hard for it and will increase the chances of your success.
3. Evolve Every day:
You cannot become an entrepreneur overnight, it takes years of learning new things and building qualities to evolve constantly as someone who can run a business. It is not just about educating yourself but also consuming as much information as possible to develop your skills.
4. Be Honest About Your Weak Areas:
Successful businessmen reached where they are today because they knew the importance of not just identifying their strength but also weakness and work on those areas. Each person has some areas of weakness, you need to accept your weaknesses so that you can develop those skills or outsource the work.
5. Learn to be Committed:
Learning to commit to things is a must quality which aspiring entrepreneurs should possess or else they cannot be persistent in business and will soon give up.
6. Learn to Overcome Stress and Anxiety:
Becoming an entrepreneur is a tough choice as business fluctuations can take a toll on your mental health hence you need to be able to handle the stress and anxiety. Learn relaxing techniques and meditation to prepare yourself to handle stress so that this does not bleed over your career.
7. Develop Your People Skills:
Other than technical knowledge, a business owner needs to be able to work with a team of people and communicate with customers hence you will need to work on your people skills from an early stage in life so that you will be confident and ready by the time you start a business.
8. Learn to Balance:
Becoming an entrepreneur can consume a lot of your time hence keeping a balance between professional and personal life will become more difficult. Start to practice time management from today itself so that in future you will be prepared to work as per schedule efficiently which will help you have some time for yourself as well, other than running a business.
9. Face Your Fears:
When you become an entrepreneur, you are on your own and will have to face many ups and downs. Be prepared to face your fears so that when life becomes rough, you will be ready to face anything.
10. Learn from Your Past Mistakes:
You will surely fail once or twice while running a business and when that happens you will have to pull yourself up, learn from it and make sure that the mistake is not repeated. Start training yourself to identify your mistakes and learn from them today, this will bring you even closer to success, even if you have failed in the past.
11. Spend Judiciously:
When you run a business, you will have to manage your capital. Finding funds for doing business itself is a task hence you will have to distribute and use your funds judiciously. Start learning to manage your finances from today so that you are prepared to handle future finances cautiously.
12. Learn to Sacrifice:
Running a business will not give you a lot of leisure time hence you will have to make choices between your work or other commitments many times. Business owners often have to make many sacrifices to keep the company in profit, be prepared for that.
13. Nourish Yourself:
Running a business may take a toll on your health, both physical and mental health hence you need to prepare yourself to be fit and strong. Take care of your diet and start working out so that you can handle the business workload and stress while still remaining healthy.
14. Challenge Yourself to Be Better:
The biggest motivation to improve yourself is to challenge your own achievements. Every time you strive to be better than yourself, you are one step closer to being a successful entrepreneur.
15. Do the Work You are Passionate About:
Identify the field you would love to pursue as a career in the future and work towards becoming an expert in that field. Start preparing yourself to become an entrepreneur who specializes in the field you are passionate about.
You may have your entire future figured out but without possessing these skills, you will burn out soon, losing motivation and ultimately giving up. Whereas by preparing for your future well ahead, by working on yourself, you will be placing yourself ahead of others and building the path towards becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Podcasts can be a great way to hear success stories, learn new business strategies and get inspired while you travel or when you feel bored.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you should prepare yourself by reading books, listening to valuable podcasts and watching educational videos before you jump into the hustling world.
I have compiled a list of 7 best podcasts for aspiring entrepreneurs like you. You can listen to these podcasts to learn more about entrepreneurship, online business, marketing, and productivity.
Let’s take a look at the list.
1. The GaryVee Audio Experience
Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee is the perfect icon and a great mentor for every young hustler. He is a Belarusian American entrepreneur, public speaker, Investor, New York Times bestselling author, and internet personality.
On The GaryVee Audio Experience , he shares audio segments from his YouTube videos, keynote speeches, interviews as well as originally recorded podcast episodes about entrepreneurship, productivity and life lessons.
I think it’s the ‘must listen’ podcasts for young entrepreneurs and struggling hustlers.
Also, two of his books ‘Crushing It!‘ and ‘Crush It!‘ are must-read books for every aspiring entrepreneur.
2. The Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging Podcast
Pat Flynn is an American entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster and author. He is known for his blog – Smart Passive Income , he uses to teach his followers about building online businesses and generating passive income.
In The SPI Podcast, he shares online business and blogging strategies, marketing tips and interviews.
His blog, podcast episodes, and YouTube videos teaches me a lot and helped me build an online business at the age of 15.
This post contains affiliate links (I don’t recommend anything that I don’t believe in), meaning at no extra cost to you, I might receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.
3. Valuetainment Podcast
Patrick Bet-David is an Iranian American entrepreneur, author and internet personality.
I’m a proud school dropout and it’s true that his famous book ‘ Drop Out And Get Schooled: The Case For Thinking Twice About College ‘ inspires me a lot.
On the Valuetainment Podcast , Patrick Bet-David shares How To’s, business lessons and Interviews.
The best part is,
Most of his podcast episodes are small, to the point and extremely valuable to you.
4. The MFCEO Project
Andy Frisella is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker.
In The MFCEO Project , he shares life lessons, business strategies, productivity tips and helps people build a successful mindset.
5. Marketing School – Digital Marketing and Online Marketing Tips
Hosted by Neil Patel, the world’s leading digital marketer, entrepreneur, and investor.
On the Marketing School podcast, with the co-host Eric Siu, Neil Patel shares actionable digital marketing tips, business strategies, and blogging tips.
Most of his podcast episodes are extra small and full of valuable and actionable digital marketing tips.
6. Foundr Magazine Podcast
Foundr magazine is the leading entrepreneurial digital magazine and media company founded by Nathan Chan.
On the Foundr Magazine Podcast , Nathan Chan interviews hard to reach entrepreneurs as well as some not known entrepreneur and they share entrepreneurship tips, marketing tips, startup advice, business strategies, and their success stories.
7. Entrepreneurs on Fire
Hosted by John Lee Dumas , an American entrepreneur, and podcaster.
On the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, he interviews successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. They share business strategies, valuable advice and they describe their rough road to becoming successful in their business.
Gary Vee featured John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn in his bestselling book ‘Crushing It!‘
Final Thoughts: 7 Best Podcasts for Aspiring Entrepreneurs.
There is some awesome podcast for aspiring entrepreneurs to get inspired or to learn new things. Such as The Tim Ferriss Show, Dan Lok Show, Ted Talks Daily, Startup School by Y Combinator, Rise of The Young, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, etc. Sometimes I listen to these podcasts too.
But these 7 podcasts are my favorite and I listen to them almost daily and The GaryVee Audio Experience is my all-time favorite podcast.
Now It’s Your Turn
Hey, I really hope you enjoyed reading this list of 7 best podcasts for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What’s your favorite podcast?
Let me know in the comment section below right now.
Also, share this post with your friends and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for some awesome podcasts to learn more about entrepreneurship.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I’m always available to help young hustlers like you.
As a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold companies across industries, I love the concept of modeling what works in one industry and applying it to another.
What I learned in the film, music and marketing worlds I was able to bring into the tattoo industry to create the only nationwide tattoo trade school. And as the owner of tattoo studios and tattoo schools from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, I’ve had the pleasure of working with tattoo artists across the country who build their businesses at a rapid pace in order to leave their day or night jobs and make a living from their art full time.
These five business skills helped them do it quickly and might be the key to your success if you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking to make a living with risk-taking and business creation:
1. Cultivate your professional social media presence.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, no one cares. Your future customers need to know what you are creating, and if you are just getting started, it’s likely that you are going to be the one telling them.
A good habit we instruct tattoo artists to undertake for social media growth—and one you can follow as well—is to assign yourself 30 minutes a day to like, comment and follow other accounts that have similar interests. Keep it professional, and avoid irrelevant content, controversial subjects and TMI (too much information), unless that is your brand. Having a robust social media presence on at least one platform is essential.
2. Know your numbers from the start.
Accounting and bookkeeping may not enthuse you, yet profits probably do, so start tracking your numbers on day one to stay on top of your bills and earnings. Entrepreneurship gets old quickly if you can’t pay yourself because you’re paying interest or penalties on late or forgotten bills. You’ll also find that there are plenty of expenses to offset your income at tax time, as long as you keep track of them throughout the year. Cloud-based accounting tools like FreshBooks and Wave are great for this, yet there are dozens of free and inexpensive options. The most important thing is to choose one, on day one, and use it.
3. Always keep learning.
Those who succeed, read. Even if you prefer audiobooks, it’s essential to improve your skills and understanding of the art of entrepreneurship. If you don’t have a library, start one. Scribd is a very cost-effective way to access a huge business audiobook library. Read Richard Branson for learning through humor or Keith Cunningham for getting right to the point. Any method you use is fine, yet pulling up a chair to the table of learning for life is essential to putting food on the table at home.
4. Improve your people and networking skills.
Whether you consider your business B2B or B2C, it’s always actually P2P (people to people). Hone your communication skills. Absorb Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People or Gary Vaynerchuk’s The Thank You Economy as starting points. As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in our work environments, your emotional IQ, soft skills and leadership skills will help you stand out.
Use these skills in service of your network of friends, clients and business relationships. Seek to understand people, listen to them and connect them to others when it’s helpful to them. Always have business cards on you, even if people just take a picture of it. If you can send them an email or a text while talking to them, even better.
5. Push your pricing.
Depending on your product or service, there are many ways to set your rates. More often than not, new entrepreneurs undercharge to gain a footing in the market. While I can’t make you go back in time to change that, I can advocate that you start pushing the envelope on your pricing right now. You don’t really know what the market can bear until you test it, so be fearless, and push your pricing at least once a year.
A career is a journey, not a destination, so if you are setting out on the path to learn the art of entrepreneurship, consider taking a page from another artist’s sketchbook, and hone these five skills to enjoy a fruitful journey.
• Cultivate your social media presence; make it professional.
• Start tracking the numbers on day one.
• Always keep learning—those who succeed, read.
• Network, network, network (and then network more).
The Business Advice Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Should Know
By: Farrah Smith
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Who am I to think I can do this?” Or even worse, do you fear hearing this kind of judgement from your friends, family, and peers?
Whenever this pesky voice starts whispering in my head, I always turn my thoughts to inspirational people like Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs, and Arianna Huffington. None of them were born masters of their craft, and they didn’t build their empires in a day, a week, or even a year.
If you are facing the festering fears of self-doubt or looking imposter syndrome directly in the face, here are three tips to success that every aspiring entrepreneur should know.
1) Get comfortable starting small.
Motivation comes from momentum, even if it’s ugly and uncomfortable. –New York Times bestselling author, high-performance coach, and speaker Brendon Burchard
Brendan Burchard has coached and studied entrepreneurs and business leaders for over twenty years. He says the majority of people hesitate to embark on their dream career or the build the business they’ve always envisioned, simply because they are afraid or too embarrassed to be seen starting small.
Even the most capable individuals are held back from reaching their full potential simply because they are too consumed by what others will think at the beginning stages of their journey to greatness. He says that we must demand more of ourselves than we are comfortable with, including embracing the messy and unglamorous fledgling stages of taking those first steps. We must hold tight and persevere forward, regardless of how hard it gets, other people’s opinions of what is possible, or how long it takes to reach the top of the mountain.
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Even Tony Robbins, who is one of the most celebrated names in the motivational speaking industry, had a mere seven people show up to his first seminar. Now he fills stadiums full of professionals who flock to hear his words of wisdom, as well as owning multiple businesses and having a net worth of half a billion dollars.
As with any goal in your life, you have to start with one small step and work your way forward. Thomas Edison was urged to give up after 10,000 attempts to create the lightbulb, but rebuffed these comments with his infamous remark:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Despite what others around him thought, without tenacity and resolve, his invention may never have come to fruition.
The same can be said for the top business leaders across the globe. They are the ones who pushed past their fears and insecurities, with fierce determination, reaping bountiful rewards for their perseverance.
[Related: Take a Leap Before You Grow Wings]
2) Sell with service in mind.
If you don’t learn how to persuade, if you don’t learn how to get people to say yes, then you are doing a disservice to the world that needs you. –American entrepreneur, real estate investor, bestselling author, and coach Dean Graziosi
Dean Graziosi says that sales and persuasion are the oxygen of every successful company in the world. The problem is that many people are uncomfortable selling. He enthuses that the way to build your confidence is to stop feeling guilty for marketing your services.
Simply put, you must love what you do so fervently that you feel you are doing people a disservice if you don’t get your customers to say “yes.” You must see a lack of sales as letting your clientele down.
Graziosi was able to go from small infomercials to running a billion-dollar business by centering on the fact he is offering a service that betters people’s lives.
When you approach sales with service in mind, you will effuse authenticity and passion, inspire people to trust you, encourage people to want to work with you, and ultimately embolden people to invest in you and what you have to offer.
3) Your success does not determine your self-worth.
I learned this from both Graziosi and Burchard, and it’s the most crucial ingredient of all. You must be confident and believe in your ability, irrespective of the results you get.
In order to reach peak levels of accomplishment, your self-worth and identity cannot be inextricably tied to the outcome of any external goal you are working on. Otherwise, you will give up at the first roadblock, first failure, or first setback you encounter.
Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of work, a lot of vision, and a lot of perseverance. But anyone can have a thriving, impactful, and fulfilling career with the right mindset, passion, and determination.
Dreams do not simply happen; it is your responsibility to take them by the hand and walk them into reality.
Farrah Smith is a Director at one of the world’s top environmental charities and is an esteemed member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. She also owns Farrah Smith Coaching, where she teaches a transformational course that helps teens reach their full potential with an emphasis on mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology.
What does it take to be successful in business in the 21st century? Being born with an Einstein-sized brain and pockets as deep as a Rockefeller will certainly help, but so will a robust set of business skills. Below, we’ll take a look at the four most important business skills and how you can learn them:
You don’t need to be told the importance of leadership for business success. Leadership tends to occupy a particularly haloed space within business studies. We tend to valorize naturally charismatic leaders and develop cults of personality around them. The truth gets exaggerated, skewed, and the station of the leader-hero figure becomes ultimately unattainable. Some people are just born leaders, we say, and continue to be followers.
The truth is that leadership is more a matter of habit and training than lucky genetics. Some of the greatest leaders in the world – Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington – maintained a lifelong devotion to self-improvement. That human beings can be changed, that natural deficiencies altered – this is the basic crux of the modern field of leadership development.
Leadership development focuses on learning the concepts and qualities that make great leaders. It requires unlearning old habits and picking up new ones. The process is long and difficult, and you will require oodles of patience, determination and strength of will to go through it to emerge a leader.
“Always be closing”: it’s a maxim to lead a business by, and it can often mean the difference between billions or bust.
Sales is a thankless job. The product guys get all the credit, the finance guys get mentions in WSJ, and the marketing people win AdAge awards. Sales guys get saddled with unglamorous job descriptions and unsavoury stereotypes. No wonder few young entrepreneurs want to do sales.
Yet, sales is absolutely crucial to business success. You could have the most innovative product and a social media strategy perfected to a T, but unless you are willing to pick up the phone and make that call, you will never grow from David to Goliath.
Sales skills, fortunately, can be developed. True, extroverts and ‘natural’ sellers tend to succeed more at selling than others, but that doesn’t mean introverts and ambiverts need not try (in fact, one study considers the opposite to be true). The three key ingredients of selling: pitch, product, and persistence can be learned over time.
- Pitch: The secret to be a successful pitchman is not to pitch at all. Instead, become a friend, a trustworthy helper who understands the customers’ problems and guides them towards a viable solution (even if it involves telling them that your product isn’t right for them). That old sales pitch you found floating on the internet? Throw it out; it’s the surest way to ensure that you never hear from the customer again.
- Product: Great products sell themselves. Produce something so extraordinary that it wows the customer in the first trial, and you won’t even have to put in the effort of selling.
- Persistence: Success in sales is often about good old fashioned grit. If you can outwork your competitors, you can also out-earn them.
Of course, a complete mastery of sales requires much more than the above (as this course on sales and persuasion skills will teach you). But if you get the pitch, product and persistence right, you won’t be too far from business success.
It’s not what you know, but who you know, the old adage goes.
Business success if often built on contacts, not merit. The best leads are always the ones you get through personal references, just as the best way to raise money is to get a personal introduction to an investor.
Networking requires you to get out of your comfort zone, particularly if you aren’t a naturally social person. It also requires that you be genuine and offer something more than a pitch to a contact. Social networking platforms, especially professional networks like LinkedIn, provide a great way to stay in touch with old friends and make new acquaintances. The best way to influence this network is to be generous in sharing expertise and helping out others. Reputation spreads easily online; when people identify you for your work, the network effect kicks in and your sphere of influence grows automatically.
This doesn’t mean you should eschew traditional networking strategies such as seminars and conferences either. But instead of being a mere spectator, try being an active participant. The best way to get noticed by a crowd is to be the guy up on the stage. Plenty of events around you could use your knowledge – how about becoming a speaker, even if it is for free? You will increase your visibility and grow your network.
Marketing, it goes without saying, is a crucial component of business success. Your customers can’t pay for products they don’t even know about. Throw in aggressive competition and you can understand why the global ad spend in 2012 was $489 billion.
Marketing is a vast field that covers everything from blogging online to running a TV ad campaign. Depending on your industry, you would want to focus on a particular marketing medium. If you run a service for technology startups, for instance, you will get better results marketing on the internet and social media than through a TV spot. On the other hand, an energy drinks company might perform better with a TV ad and event sponsorship.
An increasingly larger chunk of marketing dollars is being spent online. Regardless of your industry, the internet is not something you can choose to ignore. Internet marketing consists of a wide range of activities – running blogs, engaging customers on Twitter, buying ads on Google, marketing via banner ads, etc. You can learn more about marketing through these two courses:
As a business owner, you have to don many hats at the same time. You have to be the leader, the marketer, the sales guy, the negotiator and the networker. You will often be called upon to solve a crisis, help launch a product, and lead a team. The experience can be overwhelming, but fortunately, all these business skills can be learned with a little effort and determination.