Interview with an Entrepreneur

Topic: Exploration, Helpful Ideas, Startups|

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I was scouring my favorite small business blogs when I came across an interview with Raj Jaswa, an entrepreneur from Arizona. It was a quick interview, but packed with great advice, so I would like to share it with you. Enjoy the excerpt below:

Question: Given your experience and the entrepreneurs you’ve observed, what are the fundamental attributes of a good entrepreneur?

Answer: Entrepreneurs need to develop three skills, and they are very learnable:

First is networking. You have to learn to connect with as many people as you can. Be committed to building your Rolodex.

Second is education and learning. You have to really like learning and reading random stuff. Become knowledgeable, not in depth but on the surface, because you’re going to be working with everybody.

Third is accessing mentors and people you can learn from. The fewer bad decisions you make, the better chance your company has.

Question: What does the economic slowdown mean to entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley?

Answer: Boom times are bad because it can be hard for entrepreneurs to get access to engineering talent, space and people who will listen.

No recession lasts forever. It’s a business cycle. It cleans out bad habits and practices, and then you have a much better environment.

Question: Where do you see the emerging opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs?

Answer: Opportunities come from seeing problems around you and in your lifestyle . . . that you would like to do something about. Instead of doing it as an employee or a volunteer, do it as a company. I recommend the book Built to Last. General Electric, Sony, they all started because the founders wanted to build a company.

That’s all for today, class dismissed.

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