What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
Kaci Nguyen | Liberty DECA
Brian Wysong and Jeb Matulich are two Texas native educators who share a passion for all things Texan. Together, they’ve created Tumbleweed TexStyles, a successful company that offers apparel and accessories inspired by the Texas culture.
Brian Wysong, who also founded the DECA chapter at Liberty High School, shared his insight and wisdom as an entrepreneur and Director of Business Development and Marketing with me.
Check out his awesome tips and pieces of advice below!
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting your business?
There are many things that I wish I would have known when starting Tumbleweed TexStyles. One of those things is to not let passion and emotion run the business. When selling products, it is easy to do what you want to do rather than what the logical numbers say you should do.
As an example, there might have been a shirt design that we launched that we really loved. It was one of our very first designs. Since we were emotionally attached, we continued to reorder from our manufacturer. Eventually, we got in a horrible position of overstock, that we had hundreds to thousands of tees that were no longer selling. If we were allowing the numbers drive our business, we would have seen the trend of the design not being ordered as much. That then would have not put us in an overstock position.
What are the top three skills that are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
There are many skills, characteristics and traits that help make entrepreneurs successful. One is discipline. Starting a business is not easy. You have to be disciplined to wake up every day and do what is necessary to hustle the business.
Two, communication and relational skills. Our business grew because of the people we met and the relationships we built. Business is about people. If you clearly and effectively communicate your message and manage customers, you can sell a product.
Three is drive/passion. If a person is not driven and highly passionate about the business, they will not be successful. When people think of the business world, they only see the glory and good things on TV and in books. The reality is that more than half of running a business will require the owner to do things they don’t want to do. If they are driven and passionate about the big picture, those mundane duties will only be seen as an investment to getting to the dream/goal.
How do you handle failure?
If you decide to become an entrepreneur, you have to know that you will face many failures. A part of being successful is to be a risk taker. I handle failure by trying to have a student mentality. I always take notes. If a failure takes place, I then step back and evaluate the situation. I assess what happened and then determine what things caused that failure. I then do my best to determine the next steps to minimize mistakes and maximize future success. I also consult with mentors or business partners to help evaluate the situation to gain another perspective.
What is some advice to give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A few pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs are to:
1) Develop relationships early. Even before you know what business you want to pursue, the relationships built now will eventually help your goals later.
2) Get involved so you can find something you are passionate about.
3) Once you find something you are highly passionate about, then become a student in that area. Learn absolutely everything you can. Knowledge is power.
4) Be patient. Many times an entrepreneur shadows under a mentor for a while to learn the ropes and better understand the field. Get a job. Get an internship. Get involved in organizations with people that can help you. Be willing to sacrifice now to invest in your future.
This article was written by Liberty DECA member, Kaci Nguyen. You can follow Kaci on Twitter @kaci_nguyen.