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Student Insights for Entrepreneur Interviews

Entrepreneur insights and perceptions related to their businesses were obtained through interviews conducted by students. Student insights and reflections regarding the interview process are shown on this page.

Simply scroll down the page to view. They are shown with the most recent reflections appearing first.

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          The most inspiring part of this subject to me was the work ethics of small business. This florist and probably most other small businesses are working extremely hard to stay in businesses, especially in hard times today and with big corporations who offer almost everything out there but at a reduced price. People have to give it there all when doing there jobs by being fair, offering the best quality products and great customer service. Many times they have to go that extra mile to satisfy there customers to stay in business. Like the owner of this business has told me, since they are regularly closed on Tuesdays and Sundays, they often open there shop when customers order some flowers to be delivered on those days. Even if its just one order, they will open there shop just to satisfy that one customers request. Owning a business requires dedication and also a strong passion for what you do.

          I also learned that doing what you love is a very strong reason to get into that business. If you do what you love, you will not only have fun doing it, but you will do it good. If you love what your doing, you will try extra hard to make do it as best as you can because it reflects your skills and pride, so you want people to recognize you for that. It also helps you bring a good reputation to your store as a place that provides excellent products. For example if somebody asks you for something related to what you do, but you do not know how to do it and you have a passion for what you do, you will try to learn it. You will not only learn it to satisfy the customer but to satisfy yourself, knowing you learned something that you did not know before gives you a big feeling of success, and if somebody asks for it again, you will already know how to do it.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 18:44:24

Becoming an entrepreneur has always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and conducting this interview has allowed me to see what its really like to be one and get a first person perspective of owning and operating a business. The questions provided and the answers I received from the owner really opened up some interesting conversations between the owner and me. In the sound of the owners voice you could understand just how tough it is owning and operating a business.

The person I interviewed never attended college, but has worked in his industry for 30+ years; however he still felt there was so much more to know. The most meaningful thing to me about doing this project was hearing the owners emphasis on going to school. I also enjoyed seeing what its like to work at company from a owners perspective. It really helped giving me a realistic interpretation of running a business.

Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 19:00:39

This project was very enlightening and I learned a lot about the challenges that one can face as an entrepreneur. I interviewed my sister about her business and I actually learned a lot about the way she runs things in order to remain competitive in her industry. I had never bothered to ask or learn about her business but now i have a whole new perspective about what she does as a professional. I learned that graphic design is a very competitive profession because there will always be someone who has talent that cannot be replicated. I also learned that a business will always have some type of challenge, it's first years will be bumpy until it it can become stable and has built its name. It must be competitive and adapt to the change in an industry.
I hope to one day run a business and use what I have learned to become a successful owner and manager. I have learned that in order to be successful one must be open to change and welcome new technology that allows you to reach a larger client base. I feel that I will be able to use the information that I have learned and apply to the business I will one day start. I now know that I need to build a credit line and begin to network little by little in order to have access to certain resources. I now know what it takes to run a successful small business that is competitive and up to date with current trends. I really enjoyed doing this project because of the insight I got about how to create a business that allows for one to be happy.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 19:10:14

I enjoyed learning from someone who has been there and done that.  Finding out just how difficult it is to make a small business run and keep it running.  He told me just how difficult it was to deal with clients and give them the results they wanted.  They were always looking for the quick cure, the easy way out, the snap your fingers and it's done answer.  He spent three years trying to make this business work, but ultimately he had to give up.  He just wasn't getting enough of a return on his investment of time, effort, or money.  It was taking too much out of him.

The one thing he emphasised was having a passion for whatever I want to do.  That was a big thing to him.  You always hear about doing what you love.  That if you find a job that is also your hobby, passion, dream, etc. that you will never think that you're working, because you'll be enjoying yourself so much that it won't feel like work.  I've always been leery of that, because what if you get tired of working in that particular field?  I enjoy cooking for friends and family, but I don't think I'd want to do it as a job, day in and day out.  I'd start to hate cooking, and what would I do to relax and enjoy time with friends and family then??  I think it's better to find a job in something that you like, but not your true passion.  That can only lead to trouble later on in my opinion.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 19:48:04

  I am an aspiring graphic designer and having the opportunity to talk to an artist with a successful and established business was very rewarding. I learned insider secrets from someone who has been through it all. My entrepreneur has agreed to stay in contact with me for support whenever I need it and I plan to take full advantage of his advice and recommendations. I was able to visit his work studio and experience firsthand some of the day to day hassles and stress that I will someday encounter. I learned many things and I never realized how many resources were available to me on the internet and in trade magazines. Through my entrepreneur I also met other people in this industry that I hope to work with at some point.

  Although I have a strong desire to work in graphic design and art production I didn’t have a real understanding of what it might be like to actually work in this field on a day to day basis. I enjoyed seeing his work station.  It was cluttered with pictures, papers, graffiti, and sketches of his ideas but I also could see that the job has a very professional and formal aspect too. I like a laid back working environment but I also want to feel like my job is respected. The most important and meaningful experience I learned from this project was by far the information I learned and the people I met and their willingness to mentor me into this career field.  I also really enjoyed the opportunity to step into the art studio where all the ideas are put on paper. I enjoyed this project more than any other class assignment and actually found it to be very inspirational.  I plan to meet with my entrepreneur again soon.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 20:46:52

What was most meaningful to you about this project?  Why?

(Provide details - at least two strong paragraphs of 6-8 sentences each)

The most meaningful part of the project was the opportunity to see how realistic and possible it is to become whatever it is that you choose. All you have to do in order to accomplish your dreams is just be willing enough to put yourself out there beyond the normal line of duty so you can increase your chances of becoming an entrepreneur. And at the same time, go through every point of adversity or exertion that comes across your direction when trying to be an aspiring owner. Also, the interview with the CEO of the corporation allowed me to get my foot in the door with another employer who has the authority and power of both hiring and firing employees. Which means that a potential job could be in the near future. The owner in other words now knows clearly and distinctively exactly who I am and what it is that I do. So, upon completion of goals and objectives, the possibility of potentially being offered a position within the firm is highly likely. Furthermore, this opportunity to establish a new relationship
with an owner who I was completely unfamiliar with has helped me in both my networking skills, as well as realizing that it does not matter about objection as long as you have the passion, desire, as well as being motivated enough behind what your doing so that there is nothing that could stop you from reaching your dreams!

On the complete other side of what this interview did for me as far as helping me build a new relationship and the opportunity for a great experience of getting to know someone new was a more significant aspect that was gained: The great experience of interviewing an owner/CEO. That experience was far more pleasing getting to learn what it takes to be successful, than any other fantasy out imaginable. Meaning, if you cannot find ways to think creatively outside the box by taking what you learned and applying it to your own practice, then chances are being successful are going to be extremely difficult. Overall, learning that becoming a successful entrepreneur is possible is what I will take with me for years to come.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 20:58:53

This project was meaningful to me because I got a better understanding about opening your own barber shop. And also shows how some someone that least expected them to own there own business one day actually worked hard to get at where there at and with hard work and dedication you can get any where you want.  It’s also meaning full because he’s some one that migrated to the USA because his parents had a dream about having a better life and a better life style.  He was able to accomplish his parent’s dreams about him having a better life here in the USA. Many people migrated to the USA because it offers new opportunities to people that probably would have never had the chance to accomplish in there countries. For me that shows hope to myself and to others that have parents that migrated from foreign countries, that with hard work and dedication some one or anyone can become some thing better.      

This is also meaning to me because it got me a little closer to the owner of the barber shop. I got to know the way his business works and got an inside view of the stuff he had to through when he started the business. I have been a family friend to his sister for about 6 years and actually silting down with him got me knowing more about him. For many years I would go and get my hair cut there with either him or his employees with I still think they do a great job. For some reason I though he had it easy showing up at a barber shop and cutting hair. But little did I know he had to struggle for many years in order for his business to succeed and thrive to the point where he’s at now. And now I can see how some one with dedication and the need to want can go so far in life and in a business world.

Another reason why it was meaningful to was because my twin brother is one of the experienced barbers that he had hired. Many barber shops wont hire a barber that has a few months cutting but he gave him that opportunity to show him self not only to him but to customers and now he’s doing well at the barber shop. Just like how his friend pushed him to attend barber school, he had pushed my brother to attend school at the same place he attend 20 plus years ago. That shows he doesn’t just want himself to succeed but helps other succeed in life by giving them that extra push. This is why it makes it more meaning full because he took time out of his busy days to help my brother get into the school with out any trouble and actually have him attend the following day he had a meeting with the barber school. So not only is my brother thankful to him but also myself cause he helped my brother stay out of trouble and kept him busy in school.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 21:02:21

The most meaningful to me about this project is what I learned from the the insurance industry . The public sometimes views the insurance industry as an impersonal entity, dedicated insurance professionals will likely denounce professional will likely denounce the image as a major misconception and proclaim that the insurance business involves much more than working with cliam forms and actuarial data. An Insurance producer's job pertains to the development of relationships with the public and that countless professional nature such relationships every day by assisting individuals, families, businesses and varios groups in the procurement of coverage for personal, commercial and industrial needs.

A Broker should agree the without those solid relationships, consumers have little incentive to trust and insurer to protect them,their loved ones or their businesses from financial risks and that one the most reliable ways for an insurance producer to earn trust is to behave in an ethical manner toward every customer.This project helped me in my new venture in the insurance business.  Pros and cons help me to decide how to star a business in the insurance industry. I’m glad Mr. Castillo gave me tips and  some experience.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 21:22:22

I have learned that I own my a business I have the knolege to the business. Even with a strongling economy ther are still ways to open up a business. With simple research and know exactly what i want to do with my busine having a good solid plan for my business will help me be sucessful. With this interview i have learned to never give up and just take a risk even if i feel if there are second thoughts about the business.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 21:22:43

I was profoundly impacted by the drive and tenacity of this business owner; he has a real passion for his line of work.  I was also impressed with how much he actually had to work; he was very hands on in all aspects of his business.  Often times I thought the business owner was only involved in generating funds and making ethical decisions on how to run the business, but has a business manager run the actual business.  I left this interview with many more questions as I realized the diversity and enormity of the business world.  There are so many musical wholesaler, but he actually designed his own line of saxophones, currently only he is the authorized dealer for these instruments.  Even though other competitors have gotten a hold of his original designs what they don't have is the specifications, or adjustments that have to be done to make the instruments play correctly.  In this way he still has some control over who can sell his instruments because only he knows how to get them customer ready.  His marketing strategy is customer based; he tailors his business toward the needs of his specific market:  students, professional musicians and retail stores.   I was surprised to hear that his marketing strategy is mostly word of mouth, business cards and his website.  His reason behind such small scale advertisement is that he didn’t want to compete with his customers, the music stores.   He felt that the trust he had built with his customers was very important and even in a time of economic down turn he was still willing to support a retailer rather than steal their business.  In this way he has been very successful and has received business during a time when most musical wholesalers and repair shops have gone out of business.  He said you can’t make a business out of stabbing people in the back because sooner or later you run out of backs to stab.  I feel that good ethics is something I strive for, in my previous line of work I was asked to cross that line into bad ethics and once you start crossing that line it just gets easier every time you do it.  So he sort of drove home the importance of having good ethics, and building trusting relationships between you and your customers and vendors.    The connections you make in school can be just as important as the connections you make in the business world.  He reminded me the importance of keeping good relationships with my fellow students and using those networks in later times to help set up my business, to develop new business ideas, or get information.  He couldn’t stress enough how important business goals are because there were many times when he should have given up.  Even with school and extensive planning, running your own business is a struggle, but if you keep at it you will come to a time when you reap the rewards.  His first shop was in his garage at his house, and then he was able to expand and open a small shop in the middle of nowhere, now he has a small warehouse with a show room.  With each small step his business has been growing and his name is now more recognized in the musical industry.  Also as he becomes more successful he continues planning what his next step will be for the future.
Date Submitted: 2011-04-13 21:38:20

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