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Veterans - 7 things every entrepreneur should know before taking the leap

Here is an informative short article by Mark Gurley, the CEO and co-founder of Rebounderz Franchise and Development. This article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle offers veterans some key points to consider when contemplating the entrepreneur path.

Gurley writes ---- Some people think that being an entrepreneur is easy because you get to be your own boss and make your own schedule.

Sometimes it is, especially when you have a passion for your work and business.

But most of the time, being an entrepreneur and business owner is easier said than done.

The entrepreneurial journey takes persistence and patience — and it often takes a lot more than someone who hasn’t taken it can imagine.

Here are my top seven things every entrepreneur needs to consider before taking the leap into business ownership.

1. It requires 10 times more work than you think.

For whatever reason, it’s always harder than you imagine. I love the quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Like raising children, being an entrepreneur is hard work and perhaps the most demanding and rewarding job you’ve ever had. In addition, the job is never really done. There’s always more work to do, and there’s always another phase in the life of your business — and your child.

2. You must be persistent.

It is okay to fail. You learn more from failure. Experiencing failure allows you to make adjustments and improve. Being determined and knowing how to fail forward — or move forward in a positive way — helps to make these failures okay.

3. It helps to tune out the negativity.

You find out that everyone has an opinion, and the more successful you are, the more people will criticize you. Develop a support system that encourages you to push yourself and encourages your ideas and your journey. You need people in your corner to silence the naysayers and the negativity.

4. You must have the ability to focus on the big picture, while still focusing on the details.

For many companies, the details matter the most in becoming successful. For example, ensuring you have clean bathrooms in your office is a small detail that can make a huge impact and will allow you to focus on the bigger picture — getting customers back in the business.

5. You need to know how to delegate.

Creating a team that can assist you in moving tasks forward and getting projects completed is important. This allows you to focus on the bigger picture items. I’m known as the visionary, while my co-founder handles operations and processes. To increase our success, I need to focus on what I do best and delegate the rest.

6. It requires knowing when to stop working in the business and start working on the business.

Learning to delegate is a critical step in this process. Once you can do that, you can then confidently focus on reaching your goals and dreams for your business.

7. You should lead by example and lead from the front.

I believe in leading from the front. While my team is working on the here and now, I’m actively working several months ahead of them and several months ahead of our company. Because I can anticipate what’s next, I’m forging ahead and making advance preparations. My team is never waiting for me to do my job. Instead, I’m anticipating future needs, providing the resources and moving quickly to pave the way for my team to be successful.

Every entrepreneur’s journey is a little different and yet we all have the same goal: to create a successful business and business model that can sustain growth and provide jobs to the American people. These tips are a resource for budding entrepreneurs as they start their journeys.

Veteran Entrepreneurs  - New crowdfunding laws to help smaller companies raise capital

In class several of you have asked about crowdingfunding and its applicability to starting a business. From the Atlanta Business Chronicle here is a good read by Charles D. Vaughn, a partner and co-chair of the Securities Practice at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Atlanta. Here he describes crowdfunding in entrepreneur terms. As veterans we need to educate ourselves on all available sources of funding. Do your research.

Next Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors Program starts January 5th!

There's still time to sign up!  VetToCEO is offering its 16th Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors Program starting on Tuesday, 5 January 2016.  This 7-week, online program is free for veterans and current members of the military. Please help us pass the word!  

Join the 16th Veteran Entrepreneurship Task Force!

VetToCEO is offering its 16th Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors Program starting on Tuesday, 5 January 2016.  This 7-week, online program is free for veterans and current members of the military. Please help us pass the word!  

Who's it for?

Tire-kickers: Those of us that are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and why we as veterans should take a hard look at it.

Hard driving/bull-in-a-china-shop types with a passion to start or buy a business that need some vigor applied to their great idea.

- The "done working for the man" types who have always wanted to learn about alternative ways of making a living.

- Those of us that think that you need a lot of money to get into entrepreneurship (not the case many times) and therefore never seriously consider it.

Find out more and sign up!

There is no cap to the number of participants we can accept, so sign up now at this  link.  You can learn more by accessing this 4- minute video at this  link


Maintain an innovator’s mindset as your startup grows

Here is a great article by Alex Friedman, Contributing Writer at the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He offers sound advice for every veteran entrepreneur. Starting a small business is a challenge any way you look at it. Vets possess the mission oriented behaviors to succeed.

Georgia entrepreneurs having to hustle to raise venture capital

Venture funding is always a potential source for veterans and vet entrepreneurs in their transition to business.  As one of many sources of capital for entrepreneurs, it is important to understand the current market in your local area and nationally. Vets must do their research to secure the funding needed to succeed. Here Urvaksh Karkaria, Staff Writer for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, discusses the current state of venture funding.

Sales of small firms heat up as revenues fall-Veterans Take Note

Here is another great article by Urvaksh Karkaria of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. This article is representative of many metropolitan areas. The teaching point is that as the market improves you see business selling prices increase. As we have discussed in class and in other articles, buying a business is one way for a veteran entrepreneur to start out. There are many successful businesses for sale. This option should be considered. It is a viable option when you separate from the service and relocate. The important thing is to ensure that you perform your due diligence.

Find a commercial banker who adds value to your business

This article from Andy Birol, Contributing Writer at the Atlanta Business Chronicle offers excellent advice for your search for a commercial banker. Here are find simple points to keep in mind if and when you enter into debt financing.

Invest Atlanta can help small businesses get funding

Lonnie A. Saboor is senior manager of small business finance for Invest Atlanta. He wrote this informative article about small business financing available in the Atlanta area. I offer this an example of the funding available in many metro areas. As a veteran entrepreneur, you need to seek out and investigate any possible funding source.  Look in your local area fro similar sources of funding.

Success through failure

Tonya Layman, Contributing Writer at the Atlanta Business Chronicle offers us this great article about learning from your mistakes as an entrepreneur. These are excellent lessons learned and advice for every entrepreneur. As an veteran and entrepreneur the key remains to endeavor to persevere.