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Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur, Part 1

by Richard Uzelac

Forging your own path as an entrepreneur is difficult in any economy, but the rewards and self-satisfaction make the endeavor worthwhile. Follow our two-part guide for advice on how to start your business and aim for success.

—Tip #1: Focus Employers carry burdens such as making sure payroll is met, providing good working conditions, and maintaining strong employee morale. As an entrepreneur, these and all other concerns are your responsibility. Throughout the endeavor, stay focused; keep your eyes on your goal and never let your dedication and discipline falter.

—Tip #2: Know What Suits You, and What Does Not This advice deals with a different type of focus: knowing your strengths and weaknesses. All too often, novice entrepreneurs try to be jacks of all trades and wind up being inadequate at everything and proficient at nothing. Before you launch your business, know what it is you want to focus on, and stick to that. It is better to do one thing well than many things poorly.

—Tip #3: Brevity is Key Entrepreneurs often rely on investors to provide funding necessary to launch the business or keep it in operation. When you secure a meeting with an investor, keep your pitch short and sweet. Give them the key details, such as your objective, the services you aim to provide, and your qualifications. Once they are intrigued, other details can follow.

—Tip #4: Let Your Advisors Fill in Blanks No one person can know everything. Surround yourself with advisors and co-managers whose strengths and knowledge bases complement your own. Work as a team to tackle problems and grow the business.

—Tip #5: Spend Wisely Until your service or product takes off and makes you millions, it behooves you to remember that, as a start-up company, your resources are limited. Save your money instead of spending it on lavish company lunches, fast cars, and large expense accounts. Remember: your money is your lifeblood.

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