By: Nikita Shivdasani
Starting a business requires hard work and determination, but becoming a serial entrepreneur takes a level of determination and work-life balance that many aspiring serial entrepreneurs fail to meet.
Creating one business is already challenging enough for entrepreneurs, but how do you successfully create multiple enterprises without becoming overwhelmed or failing? I sat down with several highly successful businesswomen who carefully crafted their business empires to discuss some frequently asked questions about becoming a serial entrepreneur.
How important is formal education?
Formal education can be invaluable for aspiring entrepreneurs, and there are several ways to learn valuable skills. Universities offer classroom and internship opportunities and can offer many networking opportunities.
One of the drawbacks to university is its overall cost, but it can be an amazing opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. Free university courses are also available on platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, or Skillshare to sharpen your skills without enrolling in a university just for one course.
Experiential learning through residencies, fellowships, and apprenticeships can give you vital hands-on experience to help improve your skills. While attending university, renowned Australian plastic surgeon Dr. Anh Nguyen was a fellow at the prestigious Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She noted working among elite plastic surgeons gave her a huge advantage over other plastic surgeons.
Trade and vocational schools offer the same experience as universities for those seeking entry into that industry. They typically cost less than universities but still provide hands-on learning and networking options that are invaluable to aspiring entrepreneurs in specific industries.
The internet offers a wealth of resources to learn new skills. YouTube offers a myriad of how-to and informational videos where legal experts break down new laws or policies to help keep you up to date on the latest laws and regulations in your field.
Do I need an MBA to become a successful entrepreneur?
Dr. Nguyen believes an MBA can be extremely advantageous for your career and hireability, but is not always necessary to open your own business. Pursuing an MBA is a personal decision that may be financially inaccessible for many aspiring entrepreneurs.
You can choose to go back to school at any point in your career. She notes that experiential learning can provide just as much experience as an MBA can, depending on your field.
Chicago-based plastic surgeon Dr. Anu Antony notes the importance of a university degree regardless of what it is. Many industries now require at least a bachelor’s degree, but she encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to attend graduate school if possible.
Networking while in graduate school proved to be highly advantageous for her, as several of her current projects or positions are a direct result of attending networking events while in graduate school.
How do I pick an industry?
Choosing what you want your business to be can be extremely challenging, especially as more entrepreneurs enter the market. Your hobbies and passions can be a great starting place for starting a business.
While you shouldn’t force yourself to start a new hobby to make money, there’s also no harm in opening an Etsy store to sell your latest knitted creations. Dr. Nguyen’s passion for female empowerment inspired her to become a plastic surgeon, and that same passion inspired her beauty and clothing lines.
How do I make my business stand out?
Many industries are inundated with entrepreneurs trying to succeed, so standing out can be a challenge. Dr. Antony sought to expand into the beauty industry but realized she needed a way to stand out.
She researched common gaps in the beauty market and discovered consumers sought a direct-to-consumer option for efficacious, medical-grade luxury skincare products previously only available through prescription. She created her beauty line to address this gap in the industry and set her brand apart.
Identifying current problems in your industry can be tricky, but there are many ways to identify them. Answer the Public uses searches from Google and Bing to predict what search engine users will ask. This tool can help you find what specific questions potential customers have about your industry. BuzzSumo is a similar platform to Answer the Public, but instead of predicting what users are searching for, it displays real questions and topics discussed on blogs and discussion forums.
How do I know when it’s time to become a serial entrepreneur?
Knowing when to start your second business can be challenging. Dr. Antony and Dr. Nguyen recommend assessing your current business before deciding to open another. If your first business is running smoothly and profitably, it may be time to enter another industry so long as your finances are in order.
Exceptional circumstances may force you into another industry. When the pandemic forced Dr. Nguyen’s plastic surgery practice to close, she searched for a way to create another stream of income. She utilized her sewing and fashion design background to create her clothing line, Empower by Dr. Anh. While she already planned to move into the clothing industry eventually, the strict lockdowns in Australia jumpstarted the business.
How do I manage stress as an entrepreneur?
Running your business empire can take a toll on your body, and that constant stress can be detrimental to your overall health. Maintaining sustainable, healthy habits such as regular exercise, drinking water, sleeping at least eight hours per night, and eating nutrient-rich foods can help keep you healthy.
Relaxation is essential to reducing burnout. Taking time at the end of each day to decompress can help your stress melt away. There are endless ways to relieve stress: use essential oils, soak in an Epsom salt bath, watch your favorite movie, do yoga, meditate, and more.
Setting yourself up for success is essential as an entrepreneur. Getting the tools you need to open and run your own business successfully is pivotal. Our experts’ tips for entrepreneurs are not mutually exclusive: You can’t do just one and expect success. Apply a few of these tips, and you’ll be one step closer to being the successful business tycoon you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
Nikita Shivdasani is an experienced communications professional. Her expertise lies in helping brands communicating their USP and building their profile within the market. She is a firm believer that one must strive for excellence to bring in the right results.