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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 meaningful thing about this project is that it helps us get connected to a person that is on the same journey as we are. They are a business owner that made the decision we are about to make only they are further along than we are. I feel as though now most of us have a direct mentor for running a business. This project helped me realize what I want to achieve isn’t as scary as I thought. This project gave me confidence in my small business journey and helped me realize that I have a lot of sources and people to help me along the way. That is meaningful to me because it helps me take a step and motivates me in the direction of my dream or where I want to direct my life.
This most people go to school, to get a degree, to get a job and make good money at a company. Some people don’t mind working in a cubicle for someone else to make money. Others don’t mind doing manual labor for someone else on their time for money. I just figured that’s what most people do because that’s what society tell us. I’d rather pursue what I love doing rather than work for someone else. As long as I can make enough to live, I’d rather actually live my life instead of being forced to work and have my time put into something I don’t feel as strongly for just for money. To me, that’s not living. This project encouraged me more to keep pursuing my passion. This is the most useful project I’ve ever done that pertains directly to my life. Thank you.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-22 16:52:37

I have dreams that can be accomplished. I would like to start my own construction company. I would like to go to Alaska and start a bed and breakfast. I would like to start a flying career in Alaska. I would like to start a fishing business. I would like to start a photography business. I would like to raise some dogs to sell to law enforcement. About 25 years ago, I had this interest in music. Of all the things that I would like to start, I just need to get started. I have some money saved. I am afraid of gambling with it because I am retired, but if I do not gamble it, what ever I do not do can be very lucrative. I just need to decide if I am comfortable now or if I want to start something new. If I start something new will I be able to succeed.

Date Submitted: 2017-04-23 17:43:58

The most meaningful part of the project was being able to explore a branch of owning a business in an area that I have always been interested in. My dream has always been to own a restaurant of my own, a place that will be able to grow and be successful. I was especially interested in restaurants that were family owned or small business. Although I asked many business very few were willing to talk to be when I finally found a person that gave me an opportunity to ask all my questions I was extremely excited. She was an enthusiastic person and she worked hard every single day. It was motivating to me because I’m showed me that if I continue to follow my dreams and study I will be able to own a business.
She taught me how important is to know about the products that I am selling, to have a good credit line, excellent customer services, and get more knowledge about the administration of a business. I had the opportunity to talk with a real entrepreneur and she told me about her experiences with her restaurant. Also, she explained the importance of knowing all of the good and bad things that could happen when owning a business. She showed me why it was so important to have good customer with each individual customer. For example, when I went the restaurant to ask her questions, I arrived 20 minutes early and I was able to observe the way she interacted with both her employees and customers. She was very friendly and enthusiastic with each and every single client that walked in the door. She tried to make their experience a very good one. When I began the interview and I noticed that the owner what she was very excited and happy of her restaurants and her accomplishments. She gave me her personal experiences and showed me that there will always be obstacles but if it is truly something I would like to do I have to continue to work for it.
Overall I learned through her and through her struggles it has made me want to continue to study because that will allow me to have a better understanding of how to start a business and have it continue to grow. This project has allowed me to open my to a new reality but it has motivated me even more to keep on searching for ways to learn more and how to have a successful business.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-24 10:31:01

Some meaningful things about this project was the new information I received and hints
on new opportunities. When it comes to new information, something that fell into that category
were apps that I did not know about. One example was Blinkist, based on what I was told about
it, it seems very useful to have since I can use any saved time on other matters and quickly learn
about any key terms or theories. Another piece of information that I found very useful was the
personal advice I received. I admit there is bias, but even so, I found it refreshing to know
someone else has the same belief that I do. This adds on to the most meaningful thing about this
project which is that I rarely get advice from my parents. Giving me the opportunity to take
things to a personal level was the most meaningful thing about this project and for that, I’m
Based off of the information I gained from the interview (aside from what was listed
above), I managed to gain a new perspective on business and gained hints on new opportunities.
One perspective I gained off of this interview is a perspective on customer relationships. I
learned that often times customers value their relationship with the firm they do business with
alongside the quality of the good or service they are receiving. As a result of the relationship,
customers become more loyal to the firm they do business with and spend more time with that
business. As for opportunities, one opportunity I learned about was due to the interviewee's
comments on lack of communication. Despite having both human and electronic translators,
sometimes what is said is not properly received. I learned that perhaps there’s more to
communication than just sending a message so perhaps something can be done about that.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-24 11:52:53

The most meaningful aspect of the project first and foremost is that for the first time I had enough knowledge to be able to understand the reasoning behind the decision making processes of a business owner as well as the challenges that they face that are particular to them and those that affect all business owners. Although I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of understanding the business world the interview itself was a form of gathering primary information on business operations, strategy, and technique. It was exciting to be able to ask about and understand the finance side of _____’s business because it not only further de-mystified the subject but it exposed me to Factoring and it shed light on the extent to which businesses are affected by cash flow, sources of financing and the relationships with other clients. In addition to that _____ constantly stressed the importance of dedication to working hard, often times with little to no reward.

_____ was not only very open with me about all of my questions but he demonstrated his integrity during his explanations [some of which were not included in these edited responses]. He explained to me how much energy he’s invested into his business and dealing with the challenges that come with it. He talked about how rough the first 4 years were. To start with, he took over a 50% pay cut in relation to his previous job. There were times when he only had 10 to 100 dollars in his wallet at the end of the week. In his words “the challenges only get greater as you grow.” He told me the story behind how the company finally became profitable in 2016 after 5 years of sustained effort. In addition to that his company’s revenues grew by 60% from 2016-2017. He is looking at opening up another location in Texas and expanding so that they can ultimately reach the billion dollar tier of revenue. Even though the business is now on track to sustain profitability and grow, _____ has remained humble due to his faith in God and his dedication to working hard and taking care of those around him [employees and family].

What I walk away with after this experience is confirmation that starting and running a business is a concentrated effort that must be sustained. That even though one may not be prepared for exactly the thing you set out to do, situations fall into place that steer you to other sources of information or even trials that test you and that these things contribute towards a unique experience that is cultivated by simply putting yourself out there and working hard. I will definitely remember that “If a man does not work, he should not eat.” In addition to that, one should be prepared to be invested long term in a business endeavor if they want to see and eat the real fruits of their labor.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-24 13:38:34

What was most meaningful about this project was getting the chance to learn about the business that one day i would like to have. Since i was little, i have always had and an interest in animals especially dogs. I knew that i would find a job that dealt with dogs in one way or another. Owning three dogs of my own and maintaining their health is really expensive as it is, besides that, their grooming, food, toys adds up to a lot more money. I was having trouble finding a job and one day as i was walking around the school campus one of the flyers that was hung up caught my eye because from a distance it had a paw print. I grabbed the flyer and it had said grooming school, i immediately called the number and asked for some information. I felt really excited because i immediately knew that i was going to be attending that class and soon enough become a groomer. After about two and three months i finally graduated and got my grooming certificate. After that i was quickly able to get a job as a groomer and have been there ever since.
Since becoming a groomer i decided to set up my own grooming business in my garage. It is very small but i have gotten accustomed to managing it. This project impacted me in a big way because eventually i would like to invest in a van and do mobile grooming. I feel that many people do not have the time to be taking their dogs to a grooming shop so much, that i strongly believe that going mobile would be the best way to go. After doing this interview, it made me realize that having a business is not as easy as it sounds. Being a business owner it is very important to keep up with new trends of your business. It is very important in this business to take some time to take grooming classes every so often to learn the new hair-cuts that are in style. It is also very crucial to attend the nearby expo’s and conventions to be informed of the latest technology that may help to finish dogs in a faster and safer way. Knowing that this business is growing rapidly and more and more people are getting interested in it, there will be a lot of competition. Taking the time to make business card, passing out flyers, and keeping social media up to date will make clients recognize that my business is important. Finally, the most meaningful piece of information that was most valuable to me was to have love for what i do. Once i I have become able to truly love my job, everything will come into place on its own.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-24 17:03:20

The most meaningful for me about this project, was the opportunity to have a deep conversation with a small business owner who has been very successful in her venture and is still going strong with disregard of the problems she has faced during hard times, I have learned a lot about the pros and cons that come by owning a business as well as the personal satisfactions that can be accomplished by making the difference in a community; Thus, which offers a product that helps customers to achieve their own personal needs, and the freedom that a business offers to the owner by being her/ his own boss as well as the satisfaction that can be accomplished by doing something that makes you feel fulfilled.
It is incredible how she still has a lot of enthusiasm, after many years in a business that has taken her trough times of opportunity as well as challenges, she is not only the owner, but a one person team that usually faces her problems with humor, and I admire how candid she is to admit how in the years where the economy went downhill, and her business suffered the consequences because at the same time she suffered increase in rent where her business is located, she was still working with the same enthusiasm and enjoyment that she had at the beginning when she started the business. The most relevant in her venture is that she has been learning a lot about the business by trial and error.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-24 21:16:53

Everything about this project was meaningful to me. I have seen this company grow since the beginning so it is very inspiring to see such growth in a few years. From a garage to a full on warehouse is quite inspiring. Just knowing that these type of things are possible if you apply yourself in what ever it is that you are trying to do is truly motivating. Walking throughout the warehouse and looking at everything in full function is a awesome thing to do and you get a good feeling that it is possible to start from scratch and move into bigger and better things.

If I had to pick one meaningful thing was the actual interview process because it taught me a few things on how to deal with high level employees from pretty big companies such as NBC, nickelodeon and other boxing promotions. It kind of showed me how someone who is the
“real deal” acts and conducts himself. These were some of the meaningful things I got out of this interview and is will definitely help me in the future.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-25 10:38:53

During my interview I found it very important as an entrepreneur to constantly stay prepared. As easy as that may sound after conducting this interview I believe there are five challenges that every entrepreneur will endure. One is to stay motivated, two set a goal, three write a plan, four expect contingencies, fifth and final get up every day knowing I am helping others. Insurance is a competitive business but not only that it can become time consuming which can lead to either success or failure. Choosing how an individual represents themselves in a business is one of the key elements to keeping the client or gaining a new client. Essentially becoming financially secure and stable will make it easier for my entrepreneurial business to thrive. Along the way new technologies have shown a positive correlation in a competitive nature.
Life is what you make it but in business working hard and building new relationships will lead you on a path of success. Conducting this interview gave more hindsight into the types of products and services I should create for my business. Effectiveness in communication with others will help avoid misunderstandings. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote “the four agreements” the summary of each: 1. Be applicable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best; this as an entrepreneur should be the reminder for anyone creating a business and as Al Rudolph says, his objective for high-power insurance, “towering above the rest” proves no matter how many competitors are in the business, the way you conduct business will stay at the apex of success.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-25 13:16:51

I had a lot of fun with this interview because it's a different kind of atmosphere and a different kind of business. The most meaningful thing was all the advice he gave to help me become successful in this industry. Some ideas I got out of this interview were the importance of making money now and always knowing how to hustle. Always be creative and think, how can I make an opportunity out of this, but I would have to say the most meaningful thing I learned is the Sky is the limit. I can literally do anything I want in this business as long as it benefits the artists and brings me in some money. “At the end of the day you have to remember, it's a business, your whole career is based off every thing you do and how you do it.” he explains. Efficiency just like in any other industry is also a major key in becoming successful.
Just from talking to him I can tell that he is a very creative person and how he can think outside the box which has helped him become a successful Music Manager. He has met some really cool contacts and even has made contacts with famous people because of the amount of success he has by just coming up with his own ideas to get something started. He also has a Talented artist who is half the battle. You have to have a good ear to know which talent you think is good and worth your time and energy. I understand that this is a risky business and making good money off this industry is hard, but the fact that your success is built in the amount of effort and creativeness you have can definitely be rewarding, if you can learn how to play your cards right.
Date Submitted: 2017-04-25 15:58:03

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