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

Mock Rock 2016!

Wow – it seems like just yesterday the students stepped foot on campus, and as of today, we are about 2/3 the way through the program!!! We’re having a blast together!

Last night, the students engaged in an incredible evening activity on the Xanadu Stage (aka the lounge)! Students competed against their peers in a lip sync battle. Each team was allowed to utilize props, and add their own special dance routine to the songs performed. Students lip-synced to Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus, No by Meghan Trainor, All about that bass by Meghan Trainor, Work from home by Fifth Harmony, Jealous by Nick Jonas, Shake it off by Taylor Swift, Single Ladies by Beyoncé & Sorry by Justin Bieber.

The students enjoyed watching each group’s performance and snacking on popcorn! We had a few Summerfuel staff members serve as judges for the performances and ranked them in the following categories: Creativity, Energy, Dancing, Song Accuracy, Performance Popularity, Organization, & Uniqueness! The award for “Best Overall Performance” was given to the students who lip-synced the song, Jealous by Nick Jonas!

Welcome to Sunny California!

It’s already been a full couple of days!! 48 students arrived to the beautiful Stanford University campus last night, participated in a whole group icebreaker activity on the mall, met with their RA (Resident Advisor) group, and successfully navigated the residence hall! This morning students met for breakfast in Florence Moore (Flo Mo!), attended their first class, participated in a campus-wide scavenger hunt, completed orientation, and hung out on our basketball court for an ice cream social!

We are very happy to have all of these AMAZING students with us for 3 weeks!

Stanford Team

We’re Glad You’re Here!

All the students are here, and we’re having lots of fun getting to know each other during orientation.  The students are exploring the Yale Campus with their RA group We are looking forward an exciting 3 weeks!

 

RAs working hard during opening day and getting students settled in Davenport College!

Students getting to bond and getting to know their RA group!

Students learning more about Summerfuel at Yale!

 

Students are enjoying their first evening activity! They are playing Minute to Win it, they have one minute to complete the task and then they rotate and move on to the next station!



Countdown to Stanford 2013

Only 37 days until Summerfuel at Stanford officially begins! Until then, there are a couple of deadlines, events and updates that you should be aware of:

– JUNE 1st (Saturday): All final paperwork, travel details and payment due to the NYC office. Please upload documents directly to my.summerfuel.com or email them to info@summerfuel.com.

– JUNE 6th (Thursday) at 4PM EDT: Pre-program conference call for all families participating in Summerfuel at Yale. Common pre-program details, questions and concerns will be addressed, but if you would like to discuss something specific, please send an email to mbates@summerfuel.com with the subject line: Stanford Conference Call.

– JUNE 23rd (Sunday): Staff arrives at Stanford to start final preparations for your arrival.

– JUNE 30th (Sunday): ARRIVAL DAY!

The staff can’t wait to meet you all on June 30th! Finish the school year strong and we’ll see you this summer.

 

Marissa Bates

Program Coordinator

mbates@summerfuel.com

1.212.796.8344

Countdown to Summerfuel Yale 2013

Only 37 days until Summerfuel at Yale officially begins! Until then, there are a couple of deadlines, events and updates that you should be aware of:

–  JUNE 1st (Saturday): All final paperwork, travel details and payment due to the NYC office. Please upload documents directly to my.summerfuel.com or email them to info@summerfuel.com.

– JUNE 4th (Tuesday) at 4PM EDT: Pre-program conference call for all families participating in Summerfuel at Yale. Common pre-program details, questions and concerns will be addressed, but if you would like to discuss something specific, please send an email to mbates@summerfuel.com with the subject line: Yale Conference Call.

– JUNE 23rd (Sunday): Staff arrives at Yale to start final preparations for your arrival

– JUNE 30th (Sunday): ARRIVAL DAY!

 I can’t wait to meet you all on June 30th! Finish the school year strong and we’ll see you this summer.

 

Marissa Bates

Program Coordinator / Yale Assistant Director

mbates@summerfuel.com

1.212.796.8344