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Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur? Important Traits, Helpful Experiences, And Keys to Startup Success
Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur?
Important Traits, Helpful Experiences,
And Keys to Startup Success
UR-F.I.R.E. Series
Presentation
Roger D. O’Brien
President - O’Brien Associates, LLC
roger@ROBrienAssociates.com
585-737-0400
Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur? Important Traits, Helpful Experiences, And Keys to Startup Success
Are You Ready To Be An
Entrepreneur?
Important Traits, Helpful Experiences,
And Keys to Startup Success
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Myths of Entrepreneurship*  Entrepreneurs are misfits, difficult to work for.  Entrepreneurs are not good
Myths of Entrepreneurship*
Entrepreneurs are misfits, difficult to work for.
Entrepreneurs are not good managers.
Most new ventures start out with OPM.
The average new venture won’t make a profit
for 3 years.
80% of ventures will fail if they don’t have a
good business plan.
You can “learn” to be an entrepreneur.
*Authors - Unknown
Important Entrepreneurial Traits  Tends to create a “vision” in his/her mind, in advance of starting
Important Entrepreneurial Traits
Tends to create a “vision” in his/her mind, in
advance of starting a task, for what it should look
like when it’s done.
Likes to keep many “balls in the air” at once,
becomes bored with singular tasks.
High energy level, enthusiastic, optimistic,
self-confident and self-reliant.
Pro-active, likes “making things happen”.
Is impatient with indecision and mediocrity.
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Important Entrepreneurial Traits (Cont’d)
Important Entrepreneurial Traits (Cont’d)
 Likes to be challenged, enjoys the “risk of failure”.  Is tenacious, not easily discouraged.
Likes to be challenged, enjoys the “risk of
failure”.
Is tenacious, not easily discouraged.
Is this you?
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Prior large-employer experience: Helpful or hurtful? + Training in how to do it “right”. - Too
Prior large-employer experience:
Helpful or hurtful?
+ Training in how to do it “right”.
- Too little training on self-reliance and
general resourcefulness.
+ Cash for new projects often available.
- Investment criteria often narrow and risk-
avoiding….
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Prior large-employer experience: Helpful or hurtful? + Support services plentiful. - Wasteful overhead, all too often.
Prior large-employer experience:
Helpful or hurtful?
+ Support services plentiful.
- Wasteful overhead, all too often.
+ Employer’s name commands respect,
facilitates getting things done.
- Often a “crutch” which supports poor
ideas/projects….
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Prior large-employer experience: Helpful or hurtful?
Prior large-employer experience:
Helpful or hurtful?
Prior large-employer experience: Helpful or hurtful? + Perks and pay are often steady and high. -

+ Perks and pay are often steady and high.

- Upside potential can be limited,
- Upside potential can be limited,
meaningful equity ownership is rare.
meaningful equity ownership is rare.

+ Career growth opportunities are often plentiful.

- Politics and empire-building often become a primary agenda. © O’Brien Associates Proprietary 2008 All Rights
- Politics and empire-building often
become a primary agenda.
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Keys to Start-Up Success 1. Financing – Make sure you obtain all you need > Sanity-check
Keys to Start-Up Success
1.
Financing – Make sure you obtain all you need
> Sanity-check your idea & business model.
> Have a realistic business plan
> Be enthusiastic in presentations !
> Ensure target audience understands
your venture’s goals and opportunities.
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d) 2. Ensure sales success > Play role of your customer …….
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d)
2. Ensure sales success
> Play role of your customer …….
“Would you buy this product or service?”
> Carefully design your value-proposition
> Use “Sales Funnel” concept to
monitor and manage your progress.
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d)
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d)
  • 3. Hire excellent people who are “venture-fit”:

> Resourceful, motivated
> Resourceful, motivated
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d) 3. Hire excellent people who are “venture - fit”: > Resourceful,
> Can grow with business
> Can grow with business
> Give them a “piece of the action.”
> Give them a “piece of the action.”
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d) 3. Hire excellent people who are “venture - fit”: > Resourceful,
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary 2008 All Rights Reserved
© O’Brien Associates Proprietary
2008 All Rights Reserved
Keys to Start-Up Success (Cont’d) 3. Hire excellent people who are “venture - fit”: > Resourceful,
Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur? Important Traits, Helpful Experiences, And Keys to Startup Success
Are You Ready To Be An Entrepreneur?
Important Traits, Helpful Experiences,
And Keys to Startup Success
Thank You
Roger D. O’Brien
President - O’Brien Associates, LLC
roger@ROBrienAssociates.com
585-737-0400