Chance of Successful Entrepreneurship

<p>Hey parents. First time on parents forum, I have posted on business majors and UofTexas forums and just realized how great this section is. Anyways, I just watched a clip of Donald Trump on entrepreneurship and he said that he only believes 1-2% of the general population has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. This scares me a little bit and I wanted to get others' opinions.</p>

<p>What I don't get is that it wasn't too long ago that pretty much every man had a trade and was in business for himself. I understand that the Industrial Revolution and growing global economy may have changed things pretty drastically, but I just can't imagine that 99 out of 100 of us need to rely on somebody else for our livelihoods. It scares me because I just can't imagine working for someone else my whole life, but I also need to make sure I take care of my family. I personally believe that just about every American could be a successful entrepreneur if they really wanted to and could learn to think differently. Is that completely naive? Is Trump right on this one?</p>

<p>It depends on how you define "success". If you go to Kiva.org you will find examples of people "in business" for themselves all over the world... but most are barely eking out a subsistence level existence. </p>

<p>Having a "trade" and being self-employed is probably not what Trump has in mind. </p>

<p>So I guess you have to figure out what YOU have in mind.</p>

<p>What I have in mind is getting a bachelor's degree in economics and computer science, getting some physicists and engineers together, and starting a technology company in the "new energy" industry. By new energy, I don't mean wind, solar or hydraulics. I mean truly innovative and unique energy solutions like the NIF using lasers to heat hydrogen isotopes to make energy (Ed</a> Moses : Clean Fusion Power This Decade - The Long Now). If that doesn't turn out to be so easy (sarcasm), then I wouldn't mind having a simple technology solutions company or perhaps even having my own financial services company if that ends up interesting me more. </p>

<p>And yea, I agree that our definitions are a probably a little different. When I think of the word entrepreneur I think of anyone who works for themselves. Donnie was probably thinking of venture capitalists or something.</p>

<p>I've been an entrepreneur for many years since high school. It's just extra money for me. The bulk of my income has come from EBAY, Amazon, and StubHub.</p>

<p>One thing to keep in mind is you might not make a lot of money quick and that you will lose money (sometimes more in some months). It takes a lot of work and perseverance.</p>

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I have in mind is getting a bachelor's degree in economics and computer science, getting some physicists and engineers together, and starting a technology company in the "new energy" industry. By new energy, I don't mean wind, solar or hydraulics. I mean truly innovative and unique energy solutions like the NIF using lasers to heat hydrogen isotopes to make energy (Ed Moses : Clean Fusion Power This Decade - The Long Now). If that doesn't turn out to be so easy (sarcasm), then I wouldn't mind having a simple technology solutions company or perhaps even having my own financial services company if that ends up interesting me more.

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<p>What money are you going to use to start-up your company?</p>

<p>I don't think most successful entrepreneurs let something like this statistic stop them from moving forward. The one thing most of them have is a passion for their ideas and goals and a willingness to overcome odds and obstacles or at least make a strong attempt to. </p>

<p>Since you haven't started college yet you have a ways to go and you might find your course changing - i.e. you might decide to not pursue CS or you might decide not to pursue econ or you might decide to do something altogether different. </p>

<p>I suggest keeping your enthusiasm up despite any odds, keep in mind that there are real practicalities involved in anything, like being able to fund or secure funding for a venture (or start out very small), and focusing on getting the basics under your belt - i.e. the education. Look for courses in entrepreneurship at your college and connect with profs in this area if you can. Some of the profs have a lot going on themselves and a lot of connections and at a minimum can provide a lot of insight in this area.</p>

<p>OP, I encourage you! I know many successful entrepreneurs (probably because I am one, and so are many of my colleagues.</p>

<p>I realized 22 years ago that the independent contractors I was using (as a young mid-level mgr in a business consulting firm) weren't as good as I was at doing the work, selling it, and managing it...yet were making more money.</p>

<p>I've had my own business ever since, and have never looked back. I WILL tell you that being properly capitalized, especially at the beginning is critical. It's the #1 reason new startups fail, even when they have everything else going for them.</p>

<p>My biz is relatively small, I'm the only one on-staff and I use about a half dozen subcontractors.</p>

<p>The best advice anyone ever gave me is to make sure I had enough savings to go without income for at least 6 months to a year. Being fiscally cautious, I doubled that timeframe, and am I glad I did! The past year has be
en the worst in my business's 22 years and has tested my
resources greatly.</p>

<p>Be mindful of that, but don't let it stop you. It sounds like you have a great initial concept and a dream you're willing to work hard for. That's exactly what it takes. Best of luck to you!</p>

<p>PS...I do think it's a "mindset" thing. It's no coincidence that both of my grandfathers, my father, and 2 of my sisters are all entrepreneurs. We just don't like working for the company store. We like BEING the company store. :)</p>

<p>I think if he's talking about Donald type of success, such success is quite apart from being merely happily self-employed. Many I think can make a go of self-employment, very few strike it big (and for every very wealthy entrepreneur we see going by in his or her yacht, there are likely 99 who are invisible- they either lost money, or broke even, or gave up, or simply have a very nice life running their own business). But maybe Donald wouldn't include that latter chunk of folks in his calculus. </p>

<p>I do see all the time people opening up shops, starting businesses without a clue about what they are doing. No prior analyses to know if it can possibly be viable (or even finding out if they have a need that needs fulfilled), none or too little financial backing, insufficient immersion and expertise in the chosen industry, or no sense of how much work/energy/persistence one has to pour into it. And a million so ons. Could be successful running their own business, but just didn't do their homework or even had enough wherewithall to know there was homework to be done. Because there are so few barriers to entry to 'start a business', any joe smoe can start, but just as many aren't prepared or equipped (even though they could be)...so when you look at 'success' figures, these folks skew the numbers.</p>

<p>Read "The Millionaire Next Door." Many successful business owner have a low-key lifestyle, so their considerable wealth is not so obvious. About half of my friends own their own businesses. They have done well, but even the ones who own several companies you wouldn't pick out in a crowd. Surely the percentage is higher than 2%.</p>

<p>Starting a successful tech company and happily working for yourself and making a living are very different things. But hey, many people have started successful tech companies. Though most who've tried have failed. And many who have succeeded went bust multiple times before hitting it rich. So it depends on you, your talents, your work ethic and a lot is luck and timing.</p>

<p>My wife has her own successful business. But she literally works 7 days a week with maybe a few hours each day where she MIGHT get to do other chores. She's the only business I know who is trying to take it down a notch or two, but new clients just keep showing up. Many, many days she is working at 5am and coming home at 10pm. </p>

<p>My S#1 has been an entrepreneur for years. He once had almost 20 people working for him, but it every case (except the latest), it's gone under - sometimes through no fault of his. He once described to me the business he was working on, and had worked with some engineers to create two prototype machines for his idea. I told him from the beginning that his problems would occur if he had to find capital to build the machines in response to an order. His first order was a big one... and the lack of money to get the things built killed the business.</p>

<p>S#2 has had his own business since early high school and made enough money to cover many of the non-tuition expenses during college. Now he's working on his own at that business and building up quite a decent base to grow from (doing visual effects for the film/TV business).</p>

<p>It's doable, but do something you like.... and have a product that won't drown the company on the first big order. Think about the money required not only to get the business off the ground, but to take advantage of success when it comes. But the work will be extremely hard and realize that you will be married to that business for a long time.</p>

<p>I work as a therapist, but oddly enough, the bulk of my income comes from real estate and development and stuff I started doing right out of college just because I was too cheap to buy a place that didn't need fixing up. It could never be a full time 'career' for me, though it is wildly successful. I employ a lot of people and I have a career as a therapist.</p>

<p>My H is a very successful entrepenuer, but he, too, fell into it, just because nobody was doing it the way he wanted it done, and so he just did it himself and it became successrul....that said, he was very well known already in his field and nobody really questioned why he would do what he did or why so many people would go with him.</p>

<p>So, I think you just kind of fall into it, really, mostly because you're busy with the day-to-day living of your life. Setting out to be an "entrepenuer" the way you set out to ba an "attorney", though, seems a little suspect, like setting out to "be an inventor." JMO</p>