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John D. Rockefeller Teaches The Young Entrepreneur

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Owning a business is an uphill battle. The learning curve is steep and the competition is firmly entrenched. Only the strong stand a chance to survive to see their first stress-free, week-long vacation.

When a potential client phones in they have their client recommendations, the sales pitch that they've been around for 30 years (entirely mutually exclusive from competent), but it contains more expertise than you.

Personally, at the age of 25, these companies had the intimidation factor over me. It's almost like in the Nintendo game Mike Tyson's Punch Out where you are a 1/5 of the size of Mike Tyson...though, it's real and it's not just for money, it's for pride and a career.

However, you are not alone. The information that you need to succeed comes from the American forefathers of business. My high school history teacher once wrote in big letters on the chalkboard, "Times change, people never do."

In this instance, John D. Rockefeller has the wisdom and credentials to give you, the aspiring business owner, a place to begin - a positive mentality and view on life to gain.

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature." 
John D. Rockefeller

- Tenacity, not intelligence, is the biggest roadblock to success. In 2006, Time Magazine did a survey on where the Fortune 50 CEOs of this country went to college. It was like a Sweet 16 game, only this time Harvard got upset by the Texas college system.

Tenacity is what makes our country great today. When Americans came from Europe to the States hundreds of years ago, they did it in preparation to hustle. It wasn't the bluebloods who were rushing to take a miserable, sometimes deadly weekend trip over the Atlantic.

We were the Tired, Poor Huddled Masses that had the guts to realize that we were Tired and Poor. I would tell the young, aspiring entrepreneur that the ability to fight is in his or her blood, they simply just don't know it. At the time, I didn't.

"I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money's sake." 
John D. Rockefeller

As a young business owner, don't chase money. Doing so can lead to unhappiness, failure or even worse, a loss of ethical conduct as you will be prone to breaking your integrity. If you let it, money can snap your integrity in two.

Instead, do what you are happy doing. There's a good exercise that says if you were locked in a box forever and ever, and you were allowed to do one thing, what would it be? Yes. It is a morbid thought, albeit helpful.

You could be the best garbage man in the world and you'll make enough money to leave your car collection to one of your 7 children. At the end of the day, the one driver to compete and go through what I've seen first hand is passion.

If you want to succeed, consider yourself married to your business. Though, if you love your wife, it's not so bad, huh?

I have had many younger, aspiring entrepreneurs say, "Well, this industry is hot, I'm thinking about breaking into..."

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About Ken Sundheim: 31 year-old business owner of an executive search firm by the name of KAS Placement based in New York City. KAS Placement was started in 2005 from studio apartment by the CEO and now has clients from over 30 countries in 100 different industries . As a business writer, Ken's articles have been syndicated or published in:,,,, (more...)
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