5 Ways to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Do you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and a leader? Summerfuel’s Leadership & Innovation program at Columbia University and Social Enterprise program at Stanford University provide students with the experience and tools they need to do just that. From business finances and marketing to team-building and action plans, we cover it all.

This article from Inc. outlines what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and leader in this day and age:

Is Entrepreneurship Getting Harder? 5 Ways to Be Successful in the Digital Age

You need more than passion and dreams to reach entrepreneurial success.

Entrepreneurs aren’t a dime a dozen anymore. According to The Wall Street Journal’s research, the number of entrepreneurs is the lowest it’s been since before Y2K. It seems that for every Mark Zuckerberg or Brian Acton, thousands upon thousands of Millennials are eschewing the founder path.

Perhaps they’ve realized what Marc Fischer, CEO and founder of mobile technology studio Dogtown Media, has learned: “Startup founders have a duty to question the status quo, state a bold vision, hack the system, and disrupt everything they touch. Joining the club of entrepreneurship is easy; executing on the vision is hard.”

His words ring true for anyone who’s had a brilliant idea only to discover that breathing life into it makes Dr. Frankenstein’s job look like a piece of cake.

As Fischer learned in his time as a mobile app developer, “Graveyards are filled with founders who floundered and failed for a million and one different reasons.” Why? Most people just aren’t ready to question the status quo and disrupt en masse.

Whether you already have a revolutionary concept you want to bring to the world or you’re merely eager to write your own paycheck, you need more than passion and dreams to reach successful entrepreneurship. You must be willing to adopt true leader characteristics and integrate them into the fabric of your working philosophy.

1. Track your finances like a hawk.

You don’t have to become obsessive, but you should know as much about your balance sheets as your accountant.

“Many new businesses underestimate their operating costs and overestimate their profits, which can lead to failure pretty quickly,” says David Disiere, founder and CEO of transportation insurance agency QEO Insurance Group. “Make sure your projections are realistic and your startup is well-funded before you get started, and once you do, stay on top of your finances. Even if you use an accountant or hire an employee to manage the financial side of your business, you still need to understand your fiscal standing at all times to ensure your business stays in the black.”

Not sure how to understand all those numbers and make smart projections? Gain a basic education by doing some in-depth research online or asking for advice from a finance whiz. The more comfortable you are with your accounts, the better you’ll be able to stay afloat.

2. Just do something already.

Everyone knows someone who has tons of plans and knows a million and one useless facts yet never takes one step forward. That’s akin to planning a whirlwind trip to Europe, mapping out every step of the journey, and then shelving the itinerary. Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk took a no-holds-barred viewpoint of this mindset during a recent blog rant: “Too many of you just read and consume and make pretend. …”

Don’t be that guy or gal. Sure, it’s fine to study up on the competition, create all sorts of disruptive objectives, and brainstorm until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, all talk and no action equates to zero entrepreneurship. Allow your dreams to leverage actions. No one snagged a client by sitting on the sofa and wishing something would happen.

3. Give yourself mental and physical breaks.

If you haven’t realized it already, all work and no play really is a recipe for disaster. As an entrepreneur, you can expect to work like a dog. Hey, Elon Musk reportedly still works 80-90 hours weekly, after all. However, he’s stepped back a bit because he realizes that bodies and minds aren’t computers.

Even if you can’t do more than snag 30-minute walks or bike rides or use your favorite app to enjoy a few solid hours of REM sleep per night, you’ll be doing more than the workaholics on their way to burnout city.

4. Ask for — and take — all the advice you can get.

You don’t know everything. Neither do I. Augment your knowledge gaps with a little assistance and advice from others. Of course, be sure to implement what you learn as well. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is seeking counsel but never using it to better themselves or their processes.

At the same time, don’t forget to share what you find out. Author, coach, and speaker John Maxwell has noted: “The true measure of leadership is not how much you achieve; it is how much you inspire others to achieve.” Stop being selfish; generously spread your insights like seeds ready to burst.

5. Replace bad habits with smarter ones.

Human beings are reliably consistent. You can depend on it. Unfortunately, they’re not always consistently making good choices.

Take time to jot down your worst work habits standing in the way of you becoming a founder. Are you a procrastinator? A self-saboteur? Generally afraid of failure? Be honest with yourself. Systematically work to turn your poor habits into smarter ones, inching closer to becoming a leader who can pick up the torch and get people to eagerly follow. I’ve written a book on this topic.

Truth be told, just about anyone who’s willing to make changes and take action has the capacity for entrepreneurship. Figure out what’s standing in your way, and push it aside.

https://www.inc.com/rhett-power/is-entrepreneurship-getting-harder-5-ways-to-be-successful-in-digital-age.html

Making Summer Count

Classes are coming to a close for our Summerfuelers. Over the past two weeks, students have studied with Princeton Review tutors in over 18 hours of SAT or ACT prep as well as completed 3 diagnostic tests. Many students have seen significant jumps in their scores and we are proud of all that they have accomplished. Students are also walking away with polished and edited personal statements after working with our essay writing specialists, Nikki and Caitlin. In addition, each student has logged over 8 hours in Admissions workshops with our veteran college counselors as well as at least 2 personalized, individual meetings going over things like likely-target-reach schools, financial aid, and the general application process. Students have truly made their summer count and are ready to start their junior and senior years of high school strong.

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We also went on our final two college tours this week to the University of San Francisco and Stanford University.

USF is a medium-sized, private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. Students took a tour of their beautiful campus that had great views of the city. The motto at USF is “Change the World from Here” as the university has a strong social justice component – in fact, it has been on the Higher Ed Community Service Honor Roll for 8 years in a row. USF is also ranked in the Top 20 of entrepreneurial schools – about one third of students study something in the Business and Marketing fields. Our tour guides, both USF students, explained to us why they loved USF from the diversity to living in San Francisco to the strong Nursing program to caring faculty. As student interest went from our group, this was one of the most popular tours yet.

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During free time, some of the guys played soccer on the quad and some girls got manicures and pedicures with Sarah. There were also water gun and water balloon fights with everyone and a movie night at the local cinema – Finding Dory was a huge hit!

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Up next was Stanford. On Friday, Summerfuelers hopped on a bus to Palo Alto for a campus tour of one of the best universities in the world. Our tour guide, Lilly, did a great job giving us the history of Stanford and fun facts about the university. Students were in awe of the gorgeous campus as well as all of the opportunities available to students at Stanford. It was a great trip to round out our college tours!

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We can’t believe the program is coming to an end! This has been a great group and they have made lasting friendships. Everyone is excited to hang out tonight all together one last time during our final celebration. On the agenda is a pizza party, root beer and coke floats, and a Karaoke and dance party with a DJ.

 

 

 

 

Lift off!

Dear CAP Berkeley Summerfuel Family and Friends,

I’m happy to say that our campers have arrived safely and they have already begun to embark on what is bound to be a memorable two weeks of learning, personal growth, friendship, and fun! Classes and major activities kick off Monday.  Despite jet lag and fatigue, our campers have been in top form.  You can stay updated on all of our camp happenings on the Summerfuel snapchat and right here on the CAP Berkeley blog. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email or give us a call at 646.465.2940 between 9am and 9pm PST.

Warm Regards,

Amani, Director

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Our beautiful home for the next two weeks

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Our first arrivals! So excited to have Jackie, Isis, and Ryan with us.

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Maia, Matteo and Susanna hang in the airport while we wait for more Summerfuelers

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In route to UC Berkeley from SFO

After orientation, we played some ice breakers to get to know everyone. Jake was our winner for Human Bingo!

After orientation, we played some ice breakers to get to know everyone. Jake was our winner for Human Bingo!

Goodnight Berkeley...

Goodnight Berkeley…

Summerfuel Boston 2016

Welcome Summerfuel families!

We have had a wonderful week of getting everything prepared for the students and their arrival; we know this will be a summer to remember! We have 8 friendly RAs and 4 Senior Staff member to take care of our students for the four weeks they are here with us.

If you need to contact us, our phone number is 1 (347) 255-7631.

We are so excited for it all to begin!

 

Arrivals and Day 1

27850546752_d2765f020f_o27917804256_be76fe4f70_o27850629332_94331b8ff3_oThings have been non-stop here! Yesterday we got all 127 students here with only one lost bag. You could see the excitement, but also the jetlag, on everyone’s faces. The students met their RAs that will be looking after their safety and happiness for the summer, and the groups all started to bond.

Today we played lots of icebreakers and team-building activities, as well as went on a campus tour to see some of the main sites of Berkeley. The campus is beautiful and we are lucky to spend the summer here. Later, everyone went to their first class and met one of their teachers they will have this summer. Classes were a great success, but students can change classes through Thursday if need be, and workshops through Friday. It’s really special to see all the friendships forming, and in four short weeks they will be very attached to their Summerfuel friends. But we have plenty to do before then! Plenty more updates to come soon! Greetings from California!

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UMass Amherst Student Arrival!

It’s 11pm EST and all of the Summerfuel UMass Amherst students have arrived safely for Session 1.  Day 1 of Student Orientation begins with Breakfast in the morning followed by a campus tour, the opening Welcome Session and an orientation to their AM class.  Here’s a look back at some of our arrivals on Sunday…

Sunshine in Massachusetts!

It’s warm, sunny and gorgeous blue skies here in Amherst, Massachusetts as we await the arrival of the Summerfuel UMass students!  Staff are stationed at Logan Airport in Boston throughout the day to greet student arrivals and assist them with getting on our shuttles to campus.  For those who are driving to campus, you can pull right up to the front of our building to check-in and unload your student’s belongings.  It’s North A at 56 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA, 01003 as seen in this photo.

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Anxiously awaiting students!

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Hello Summerfuel friends and family!

Our students are all arriving here at Berkeley and we could not be more excited to finally meet them. We have had a great week with the staff, getting everything prepared for the students, and we know this summer will be another smashing success. We have 13 thoughtful RAs and 5 Senior Staff members to take care of our 128 students for the four weeks they are here with us.

We are staying in the Foothill dorms on the Berkeley campus, and we are so lucky to have such amazing views of the bay and San Francisco across the bay. We have already sampled the dining hall  food and it is so delicious and the weather has been beautiful as well.

If you need to contact us, our Summerfuel office phone number is +1 (646) 468-7462. This office will be open from 8:30am-11:oopm daily, California time. Our students can also receive mail here this summer, if sent to:

                                                           STUDENT NAME

                                                            ℅ Summerfuel

                                                           Foothill Residence Halls

                                                           2700 Hearst Ave.

                                                           Berkeley, CA 94720-2292 USA

We can’t wait for it all to begin tomorrow! We know this will be the summer of their lives!

 

Best wishes from your Senior Staff team,

Willem, Alicia, Danny, Dave, and Shaleena