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.


Pre College Summer Programs: All the Reasons to Sign Your High Schooler Up for a Summer Program

Welcome back to our blog page here at Summerfuel! With summertime fast approaching, we’re staying as busy as ever with enrollment for our one-of-a-kind summer programs. Not only do we have fantastic pre-college summer programs here in the states, we also have plenty of opportunities for your child to study abroad. When you sign your teen up for a summer internship, trip abroad, or stateside summer program, you’re investing in their future by giving them an experience they’ll never forget. Our summer trips have been known to help teens get a better handle on where they’d like to attend college, experience different places, people, and cultures, and give them a fun, yet challenging pre-college program. Whether your high schooler has a pretty good idea of where they’d like to attend college or they’re still deciding, a summer program through Summerfuel might be exactly what they need to make that big decision. 

High school can be a tricky time for anyone. Young people are trying to navigate their way through academia, many students are tring to figure out where in society they fit in, and the ever-looming decision of where they’ll attend college is always in the back of their minds. With all of their duties, responsibilities, and expectations, it is quite possible for kids to be overwhelmed and exhausted by the time college approaches. However, when you can provide your teen with the unforgettable experience of a pre-college trip, a chance to study abroad, or another variety of summer program, you’re giving them the tools to better narrow down their search for the perfect school. In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at the many reasons to sign your teen up for one of the outstanding summer programs that Summerfuel offers high school students! Continue reading to learn more.

Choose From a Great List of Summer Programs

Find an amazing and personalized adventure with a variety of options and unique destinations for any one-of-a-kind young person.

Be a Part of a College Campus

When a college visit is what a high school student is needing, sign them up for a Summerfuel program that will give them just that.

Get Immersed in Other Cultures

Getting to meet people from other countries is such a valuable experience for anyone and the right summer program can make that happen.

See the Bigger Picture

Students who participate in summer programs can have their worldview opened up and realize how big this planet really is.

Make Lasting Friendships

Having unique experiences with peers can lead to friendships that last a lifetime. Summer programs offer that to everyone.

Have a Memorable Experience

What better time to create lasting memories than by going on an exciting Summerfuel trip in between school years?

Walk the Path of Self-Discovery

Students often find out who they are when they can see more of the world and meet different kinds of people.

Break up the Monotony

High school can be hectic, graduation is chaos, and prepping for college is stressful. A summer program can be a much-needed escape.

Travel the World

When people have a chance to travel and see different places, they’re given a greater appreciation for the world around them.

Have Fun!

A summer experience is the best way to live life to the fullest! Young people have the time of their lives with Summerfuel programs.

These are just a few of the reasons to sign your student up for a summer program here at Summerfuel! Make sure that you check out our options on our website and contact us with questions. Don’t let your teen be left behind when their peers are seeing the world this summer! Space is limited, so sign them up today!