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Five steps to starting a successful business

March 05, 2012

Starting a business may feel a lot like trying to push a rock uphill. Entrepreneurs need to know that the five steps to become an entrepreneur are inspiration, perspiration, persuasion, persistence and satisfaction. 

By Cindy Hartin, ASU-SBDC Assistant Director 


SAN ANGELO, Texas — We recently conducted a seminar for ASU students to learn more about entrepreneurship and starting a business. Students learned five steps to become an entrepreneur: inspiration, perspiration, persuasion, persistence and satisfaction.

Starting a business may feel a lot like trying to push a rock uphill. It can be so challenging that having goals and a positive attitude are not just helpful, but essential.


To be an entrepreneur it helps to be creative. You are starting a new business, after all, and to be successful a new business should bring something new to its customers. It also helps to have a passion for the idea, product or service you want to sell. Without the passion, the day-to-day tasks of a business can become overwhelming and tedious. The best part of business ownership is the journey. Having passion and creativity can keep the business moving and you engaged in the process.


When I was in my 20s, I liked to mountain bike. But I also liked to compete. That meant sweat and perspiration. It also meant early morning drives to a race in the rain and mud. But it was great.

Business ownership is much like mountain biking. There may be mud and obstacles, but it is worth it when you cross that finish line. If you are running a business, you are competing, and there is no substitute for perspiration if you want to win.


When I mentioned this during our seminar for students, there were several blank stares. Being a business owner means that you have to convince the world that you are good at what you do and your idea will work. And sometimes, you may have to even convince yourself that your business will be successful. Persuasion requires a positive attitude and the passion to see your idea become reality.


Businesses fail. It happens. It is important to remember that if you are an entrepreneur, you will have some failures along the way. Even Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple, had a computer business that failed (not to mention being fired by Apple midway through his career). But, we learn from our mistakes. After his computer company failed, Steve Jobs returned to Apple with lessons learned, and the rest is history.

Business owners, I think, more than anyone learn from missteps along the way. Being persistent is just as important as the passion in a business. I was told once that not every idea is a good idea. But one really good idea is great.


Most importantly business ownership is satisfying. It is a great accomplishment to take an idea and make it a business. Business ownership can build confidence, especially when we learn from our mistakes.

It is exciting to see young people considering the entrepreneur route. My hope is that we are grooming a new generation of idea makers who will introduce new ideas for products and services. They will need support and mentorship to do great things.

“Business Tips” was written by Cindy Hartin, CEBS fellow, assistant director and certified business adviser II, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at or 325-942-2098.


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