the-deuce.jpg

How You Can Become an Entrepreneur

There’s no scripted way to become an entrepreneur, but there are certainly things you can do to make your journey easier. All the time, you hear people talking about their past, saying, “Boooyyy…if I only knew then what I know now……” Of course, when you’re sitting in their rotted out double-wide while they’re waxing nostalgic, this type of statement doesn’t have much of an effect. However, when it comes from me (as it’s about to), then it oughta mean more – you know, cause at least my double-wide is shiny and new.

Learn from my mistakes

In July of 2005, I walked away from my job without a plan. I had some money saved up, but I had no plan whatsoever and absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. At the time, all I knew is that my situation blew goats, and I had to get out as fast as humanly possible because I was growing more miserable by the day.

Suffice it to say, it would have been really nice to have at least some idea where I was headed. Going from two years of steady income to no cash flow at all was really stressful, however, and I had a knee-jerk reaction to the whole thing. To make matters worse, I bought my first house just a month after quitting my job. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this is not the recommended course of action, but then again, I’ve never really cared too much for pragmatic advice of the extremely obvious kind (read: I’m a hardheaded moron sometimes).

Dumb move #1

Worried about my income (or lack thereof), I immediately set up a “temporary” retail business that I thought would provide enough cash each month to make my house payment. In my old job, I was a sales maven, so to speak, and after my experiences there, I figured I could sell just about anything. I mean, if all I had to do to make my house payment was turn over a measley $30K per year, that was gonna be sooo easy. Right?

Expect the unexpected. The road to entrepreneurial freedom is rarely paved, and generally speaking, your tires aren’t ready for the rocky terrain, either. I was utilizing both eBay and an online store to hawk my crappy wares, and at first, it looked as though eBay alone was going to send me hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales annually. That is, until they began policing the categories under which I was listing my top moneymaking items. Within a week of setting up my business, my number one stream of income was completely shut down thanks to eBay’s VeRO system. Ouch baby, very ouch. Time for plan B…

Dammit, I knew I forgot something!

Dumb move #2

If you ask me, buying and selling in large quantities really isn’t much of an intellectual game. It can be, but typically, it’s just a fancy way of shuffling money around. Oh, and did I mention that it’s also a pain in the ass? Unless you have some kind of freakish sadomasochistic desire to handle product, keep paper trails 10 miles long, and worry your ass off about your inventory, this kind of business BLOWS. That’s right – it’s so bad that it blows in uppercase.

I didn’t enjoy what I was doing – I was only there for the money. There’s absolutely no point in being an entrepreneur if you’re not going to be doing something that you really enjoy! Unless you’re just a maniacal bulldog who’s totally ruled by cash, your mind and your body will let you know that you really have no interest in your current path.

Dumb move #3

When you’re putting out more cash than you’re taking in, it’s a real challenge not to worry about money. However, I would argue that it’s essential for finding the quickest path to building a successful, sustainable business.

Of course, I listed this as dumb move #3 because I worried about money, thus wasting valuable time that I could have spent learning about my craft or developing a tool for my business. Although I began pursuing web-related ventures with fervor in October of 2005, it took me until January of 2006 to finally rid myself of the other business distractions that were preventing me from being a full time entrepreneur.

I’ve already said that your terrain was going to be rocky and that your tires weren’t ready for that type of surface…so why on earth would you allow more obstacles to get in your way? If you’re going to traverse the road of an entrepreneur, you need to play it smart by avoiding distractions and obstacles.

A smart move! Take an overview

Taking the points that I’ve outlined above and combining them with what you already know, it should be pretty clear at this point what the most efficient, least-risky, and least-stressful route to entrepreneurial freedom really is. Still not sure?

Go through college the smart way by minimizing your risk and maximizing your learning! Discover an intellectual pursuit that drives you to learn, produce, and achieve; and then use that as the foundation for your journey.

Too old for college? Here’s my advice: take the risk and start your journey anyway. If you can put yourself in a frame of mind where you don’t worry about money (regardless of your circumstances — just don’t worry about it!), then you can pursue your true “career” free of meaningless distraction. Think about it for a second. If you really boil things down, money is nothing more than an absolutely worthless, meaningless, counter-productive distraction. The point of becoming an entrepreneur is to free yourself from the mockery that is a salary, and concerning yourself with money only subjects you to more of this anti-freedom environment.

The sooner you focus your efforts and maximize your learning, the sooner you will be free…which means you’ll finally be able to read blogs all day, guilt-free!

Take the Next Step!

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57 comments… read them below or add one

Martin February 18, 2006

Hey Chris … now this is the writing I like from you – I only know you from your “the deuce” thing at joab … so it’s a pleasure to come here and read a thought-provoking look at entrepreneurship.

Keep it up, mate!

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Renee February 19, 2006

I agree. Like your take on things.

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David Adams February 20, 2006

Yep, worrying kills. Not worrying is freedom. I haven’t drawn a paycheck in fifteen years. During that time, I have thought a little bit about how things got a lot better when I just laughed at the fear.
Thanks for a good story.

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Tayo July 13, 2006

Very satisfyinf read. I’ve been contemplating setting something up and this has given me that boost. watch out for me, im in the game now. thanks.

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Francisco Moriones July 30, 2006

You say: “Go through college the smart way by minimizing your risk and maximizing your learning! Discover an intellectual pursuit that drives you to learn, produce, and achieve; and then use that as the foundation for your journey.”

I must also say that you need to make this acquired knowledge yours and design your own systems (knowledge, values, goals, etc…).

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Game Producer September 6, 2006

Very nice article. I find this piece of information very good:

“There’s absolutely no point in being an entrepreneur if you’re not going to be doing something that you really enjoy!”

And now you just need to tell us HOW you handle this advice: :)
“If you’re going to traverse the road of an entrepreneur, you need to play it smart by avoiding distractions and obstacles.”

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Charles Yang November 15, 2006

Chris, I’m now in the same boat as you were!

On Nov 1st, 2006, I walked out of my job with few hundred dollars in savings and no plan.

I did not buy a house like you, but I had pledged to give $2000 to my church within the next 6 months.

To top it up, I had no sales experience. Bummer.

The only thing I know I want to do for the long term is Internet Marketing. So for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been learning the ropes.

But I’m so distracted because I worry about money! I’m dabbling in eBay, consignment sales, affiliate marketing, forex and the like.

Chris, you are right. You hit the nail when you said “…money is nothing more than an absolutely worthless, meaningless, counter-productive distraction. The point of becoming an entrepreneur is to free yourself from the mockery that is a salary, and concerning yourself with money only subjects you to more of this anti-freedom environment.”

Words of Enlightenment… it’s like they shone on my face.

I’ll now focus my efforts and maximize my learning.

I’m so glad to have landed in your blog. And to think that I can’t even remember how I landed here!

If possible, can we be friends? I stay in Singapore, a little island in South East Asia, but other than that, we share so many similarities, it’s freaking me out!

I’m born in 1981. I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I love details. And I love dogs!

Drop me a mail will ya?

Thanks!

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scott November 15, 2006

FREEDOM !

I agree… because, it’s not all about the benjamins…
you have to rule out the
dollar to truly seek your passion(s).

I got a lot of pep out of this talk.

Thanks Chris.

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Joe November 27, 2006

Hmmm… a salty ol’ critter takes the bait & weighs in.

You can go to college and still be a brick shy of a full load. You need the fully monte, the full package.

In order of importance…
You got to have a keen nose for opportunity,
you need balls big enough to jump into the abyss and
a healthy dose of fear to keep you humble.

By far, the finest bit of advice I can offer an up and coming entrepreneur would be to follow your passion, then find the finest company that does what you love and then go work for them. You’ll receive an awesome education, get paid, learn from their mistakes and hone your business plan. This method comes with a bonus, you’ll get ‘nuf cash to rent some shelter.

This happened to me “back in the day”. I worked for free at a place of my dreams for weeks until mngt. realized I wasnt going away. I never asked for a job, I just hung out, ran errands, picked up messes and offered a hand when needed.

Fast forward, 10 yrs of employment passed, I had worked my way to the top. I had a vision, I laid a business plan on the owners desk. He made a mortal mistake, he refused it.

I left and took a small posse’ with me. In 4 years my new business had become the “goto” shop where supplier and consumer were pounding in my doors. We were ranked #1 in the Fast 100 in the local paper. My ex-boss had played every under handed trick in the book to crush us. He lost the battle and the war.

College has it’s place, but it’s not the only place to get an education.

thnx,
joe

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Chris P. November 28, 2006

Joe,

I actually think college is almost completely unnecessary. I guess I wrote the post with the idea that it’s becoming a well-accepted fact that most smart kids are going to end up going to college these days.

Once there, I think a lot of folks simply don’t get it, and I know I certainly fell into this trap.

By writing this, I had hoped to provide students with a perspective that isn’t nearly as evangelized as it ought to be.

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joe November 28, 2006

Opps… My bad. I read your blog late and double crossed this line:

Too old for college? Here’s my advice: take the risk and start your journey anyway.

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John Wesley December 13, 2006

I’m really interested in web design. Chris, how did you get your start?

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Chris P. December 13, 2006

John,

I had built a couple of Web sites from like 1997–2001, so I knew a bit about how things were constructed going in.

In October of 2005, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and in the process, I built a blog using MovableType.

Shortly thereafter, I became engrossed with the idea of content management systems in general, and everything took off from there as I began to construct designs around these CMS frameworks.

On top of that, I have always paid attention to graphic arts and design, so it was a natural transition. I learned as much as I could about Photoshop, and I began to apply this knowledge to Web design.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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John Wesley December 13, 2006

Thanks for the quick response. I will certainly look into CMS.

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Pravin February 25, 2007

Nice post there Chris and john try Joomla.
It’s THE THING! (minus the seo part :) )

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nan April 13, 2007

Love the look of your bogs/website – and your writing is great! You actually spell correctly – almost unheard of today on the web. I’m sitting at my J.O.B. reading, researching, researching so that I can make that leap outta here!
I’m just starting my first blog – have plans for several more linked somehow to a website – I don’t know what I need to know yet – but when I do I will want your help to pull it all together.

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Aaron April 29, 2007

It’s true, it ain’t easy to be an entrepreneur. I personally just started to get a real flow of profit 5 months ago. Before that I was definitely struggling.
Definitely a great post.

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dwight May 27, 2007

hey man check out mysite i really enjoy your sites do you know of any ways i can used my site to make money really need some right now appreciate it.

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David August 6, 2007

I sometimes wonder how profitable internet entrepreunership really is. Can you really give up a salary to do it? Would you really want to…

Anyway great post links in for me with the whol four hour work week thing.

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Larry November 4, 2007

Great info.

Anybody that has tried to start their own business
and gave up after their first hurdle is weak on
the commitment side. You are truly a positive man
in all your ventures. True explanation of having your priorities in order to succeed.

http://www.finestdiets.com

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Akemi - Yes to Me February 16, 2008

I came across to this post by searching “become entrepreneur” Good points. And from the note you are not for hire, I guess you’ve been thriving as entrepreneur.

Best wishes,

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Darrell Tippett March 11, 2008

Hey Chris:
I came across a wordpress blog called,” wildmoney.wordpress.com” and it was advertising a money making program called gmoneyflow. But, when i went to the site it said page cant be found I was wondering if you knew who the owner of that blog was and if the problems with his site can be fixed?

I found your name at the bottom of this person’s blog. Thats why I’m contacting you.

Please e-mail me back about this.

Thanks,Darrell Tippett

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Dave Zoekmachine May 18, 2008

I did start my internet adventure without a plan too and lucky for me , it turned out to be a good move..good enough to quit my dayjob and become ‘independent’..A few years later now and I learned that having a plan (which I still don’t like to make :o ) is just way more easy to achieve your goal..

Dave

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senthil kumar June 17, 2008

I am 27yrs male, in Chennai,India. I want to get a permanent income by starting a small scale business

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Narayanan Hariharan September 19, 2008

I’m just curious.. How did a sales maven start coding out of the world themes? :)

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Joe Mescher October 19, 2008

Following you on Twitter and poking around the Pearsonified blog on a regular basis, thank you for the tips and advice.

Currently using the Neoclassical theme for this site. How simple would it be to create more glossy content using Thesis?

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Chris October 28, 2008

Chris,

I love no BS writing like this. I have very similar points of view. I believe a salary is a complete mockery. I left my job just over a year ago and have been sustaining myself with income from several websites. Knowing that I can totally support myself gives me more pleasure than any pat on the back from some douchey manager ever could.

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John Parker October 31, 2008

Hey Chris,
What a great post. Love your perceptive words and your writing style. Great comments too. I want to thank the people who mentioned “it’s not easy” and “B.S.” It made me realize that they are just a counter-weight for the opportunities that are closer than we think and that everything you can think of – you can achieve.

Best, John

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Affiliate Marketing Guy Ron Davies November 25, 2008

I feel you Chirs.

I left a public servant job (Air Force) to do affiliate marketing full time at the age of 40 something #;>), and had a 16 year old, a wife in college, and a 5 and a 6 year old in school. Talk about worry when things went south (from time to time).

Happily, when things went north, they went north in a big way, and I am happy to say I have never looked back! Since then, I have brought Craig Beckta along with me, another ex Air Force guy.

Chin up, worries down, and stay out of the muck!

Cheers,

Ron

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Mayo December 11, 2008

Nice read…interesting over the cliff run down on selling and then not selling!

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Karen May 25, 2009

Very nice article, i like how you start with the common errors as this often help more when starting than the steps to take :)
Thanks for sharing your story, i’m sure it will help a lot of people, including me.

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MBAI June 3, 2009

Hi there chris and fellow bloggers, am in campus at the moment and while there I managed to totally relax and really think about my life (and not just how to make a quick buck/ shilling). Thanks chris, I can see am also on the right path following my passions and not just basing my business decisions on money. looking forward to really making it big in the business world.
By the way am from Africa in a country called Kenya and its nice to find that am not the only dreamer out there.

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uday June 11, 2009

hey chris,
its been really a fantastic journey reading this article.
very thanks for this inspiring article.

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Nick Tart | JuniorBiz July 5, 2009

Hey Chris,

I completely disagree with one of your previous replies, “I actually think college is almost completely unnecessary.” I realize you wrote that over 2 1/2 years ago, but I think college is becoming increasingly necessary for most people.

You’re right that there are plenty of other mediums for learning (i.e. the Internet), but young people have trouble pursuing their education if they aren’t graded on it. There are definitely people who won’t go to college and will learn just as much, if not more than their collegiate-counterparts. But these people are in the vast minority.

More than anything, I think college is used to motivate people to learn and develop as human beings. There are plenty of other ways to learn, but most people won’t find them by themselves.

Also, I like the post!

Nick Tart

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Stew Shaw July 13, 2009

Hi Chris.
Fancy being able to comment on an article you wrote over 3 years ago! Brilliant. I’ll give my take on a couple of your points.
1) About re-educating yourself. I agree the passion has to be there to sustain that sort of leap. I went back to College at age 56, got myself yet another degree (my 3rd) for my trouble and readily found employment. But now after little more than 2 years I want out.
2) Re following the next big thing. Why are we so susceptible to this? Despite the no-doubt soundness of that advice I’m not taking it tonight – am going to buy your fantastically rich Thesis WP theme anyways! It’s a must-have.
3) Thanks for the advice re the absolute worth of creating great content. This now reinforces how important it is for me to have a laser-like focus on delivering value.

Thanks for a great site.
– Stew

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Crazyhorse August 21, 2009

You can become entrepreneur regardless of age, status in life and if you are still working with your employer or not a free-lance businessman.

Everybody has the entrepreneurial skill but the only difference is how your skill been developed. I got my entrepreneurial spirit after a one time seminar from the networking company before, although I did not earn million bucks from it I did not lose hope. I have realized that if you engage yourself into your own business you will get better benefit from it than getting your fixed monthly income from your employer.
I had been motivated with the seminar and after that my plans in life had changed.
You can become entrepreneur if you know that you could make millions out of your own business than to tie yourself in a company of not your own! If you are dreaming of financial freedom then go into business. You must learn to save money for your plan of business
If before you calculated your savings as shown below:
Income – Expenses = Savings

then it is now the right time to change it to:
Income – Savings = Expenses

From your savings, put up a small business and you must calculate the risk as well. Make a conservative calculation and be contended if you could only learn small money from it which is enough to buy dog food for your Labrador or Chihuahua. Do not be afraid to explore new things and ideas. Try and try until you become successful.

You need to be motivated every moment in your life and do not lose hope. Be inspired from Abraham Lincoln’s story which he failed into business and public office for many times and yet he became the president of the United States!

To become an entrepreneur you should start it and not just dream about it!

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Counselor October 9, 2009

Well said. Stop talking about it and get out and do it!

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Gav October 16, 2009

Great article with a lot of great tips

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Amy November 16, 2009

Love your article. Inspiring!

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C. B. Osakwe November 18, 2009

This is really practical. I’m impressed. But the fact is, you cannot really do without college education because therein lies the foundation which will later help in your future endeavours. Education no matter how you look it is very very important. I’m saying this because some students might get hold of this information and decide to call off their education.

Thump up for you. I will have to sit down with your write up and put good use to it. I need it badly now.

Tnx.
Chinwe, Nigeria.

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Thobile May 10, 2010

i am realy motivated by this article and comments.i am a student who is realy passionate about being a businesswoman but problem is i don’t have an idea what kind of a business i want.when i come up with ideas,people say i must think big.so please advice me,i realy need help.

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Lexie May 19, 2010

Due to my soul-sucking corporate career, and my recent need to flee, I have been feeling very alone and out of place. It’s not like I can go to my boss and tell her I am sick of the [useless] yoke that is my job.

Thanks a bunch for sticking your story out there for all the world to read. :)

I recently realized that I have very few hobbies, and it’s because I have very little time for hobbies, because of my DAY JOB! (and college, which I am basically forced to attend because of my DAY JOB).

I agree with you completely that college is moderately unnecessary, depending on how driven of a person you are. If, in the words of NickTart – Junior Biz, people really do feel that they “have trouble pursuing their education if they aren’t graded on it”, then maybe they aren’t cut out for the freedom of running their own show. You have to be your own judge, and stop caring (to an extent) about whether or not others approve of your out-of-the-box ideas.

I have been in school, one class at a time (kicking and screaming), for years. I have a tenacious desire to learn the coursework (graphic arts, design, web publishing), but find the institutional education less than acceptable. I tend to learn more on a Saturday afternoon with a well-written book of instructions and the internet. It helps to have lots of free time for exploring software at my own pace.

Your posts (many of them) have inspired me, and encouraged me not to give up.

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Jamison Alexander July 2, 2010

Thanks for the inspiring article. This is the type of read that we all need.

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Brian Ramdhan September 3, 2010

I like the part about expect the unexpected. That is so true. Some people expect to make money overnight now and when that doesnt happen they give up.

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Jamil Carbo September 14, 2010

I’m following the same path. Just left one of my part-times (retail) and currently work at two part time jobs career related. I have free time to do “my own thing” and still have “secure” income from the part times. Best of all, weekends off, I manage my time, I do almost whatever I want and I don’t have to take crap form anybody. I have a plan and when ready, going to execute it.

F.E.A.R. = Failure to Execute Achievable Results

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aisha omy September 28, 2010

learn from my mistakes .. That’s what i should do .. :)
Thanks .. u have learned me something to do :)

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Samuel November 19, 2010

Awesome post man! I agree with you. Yeah, to be an entrepreneur is not a day job, besides entrepreneurship journey is not meant for everyone. Follow your passion, don’t let the money drive you and stick to your flow. Thanks a lot.

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Frixter January 31, 2011

Hi Chris,

You are superb in writing quality post. You are one of favorite bloggers in the whole blogosphere. This site is free from ads but how did you earn more money through blogging?

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manu April 20, 2011

Hi Chris,

Nice blog and information. However, I think the FIRST STEP is most important. TAKE THE FIRST STEP – Like every successful or failed entrepreneur did. If you dont take the first step fearing the loss, and continuing the job, you will never become a Enterpernour. I did the same, I left my job in January 2010 as a Team Leader in a Callcenter, and now I am running my own Call Center. When i quit the job, I didnt have any knowledge about how to start this business. So, I spent one month in learning about it, Created my own website, did some SEO work myself, and i had my own office with 3 employees in just 6 months, now I have 25 employees. :)

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lorna rocha May 9, 2011

Wow!this is fruitful…i have a potential in becoming an entrepreneur.

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Eva July 23, 2011

Ah, I would say that a business degree would surely help to become a good business man and its good to have some experience in the business.

Experience and good network = good thing!

What you say?

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Elle Bee August 30, 2011

AMAZING! and that was also worth the capital lettering, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would come across an article titled ‘How You Can Become an Entrepreneur’ and read the whole thing let alone laugh during the process.

Just want to thank-you for an inspiring read.

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Nimo November 4, 2011

Very nice article, i am goign to follow you man.. it should be help to become a good position in my future life. unbelive advice “go through college the smart way by minizing your risk and maximizing your learning”.
heartful thank for your article

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Hassan Mide June 3, 2012

Hello Chris your article has been very INSPIRING, I just finish my college education and searching for a job, but to be truthful to myself have always wanted to be an entreprenuer because I know I have the entreprenueral spirit right from when I was 17yrs. Pls kindly reply me.

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Satish Patel December 13, 2012

Really inspiring…All entrepreneurs go through a learning curve that makes them ready and strong for the future!!

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Chris Heinze March 18, 2013

“…In July of 2005, I walked away from my job without a plan. I had some money saved up, but I had no plan whatsoever and absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. “””

Made the same thing through the last year! Found a new job january and am super-happy that I finally know what to do!

The cut was the right thing for me to do!

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Samuel Okoli December 19, 2013

Hi Chris, what are the numerous ways of making money online.
I ve thinking about what am so passionate about. I love women fashion and computer related stuff . But how do i start .
Please help me with tips
Am from Nigeria, Africa

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Hoot and/or Holler

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