The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speaker discusses ups, downs of small business ownership

By Caroline Manausa/reporter

Passion and failure are elemental for success in business, a guest speaker told South students Nov. 6.

Toni Allison, CEO of Knowledge for Success, gave advice to entrepreneurs in Is Owning Your Own Business for You?

She began working in the family business at 16. After 25 years, she started a health store on her own. She closed the store the year because it wasn’t profitable, but she wasn’t discouraged because she knew what she wanted to do.

“If you really want to do something, make sure you write it down and believe it, so it’ll happen,” she said.

Passion is a key element in owning a business. Without passion, Allison said, owning a business is just another job.

“You want to do something that you are passionate about, especially if you own a business,” she said.

A second key element is getting past the fear of success, Allison said.

“We’re embarrassed of failure but not afraid of it,” she said.

Fear of success happens when entrepreneurs start to do something new and then realize the amount of work that goes with it.

Entrepreneurs also need to know what they can afford, Allison said. Cutbacks in personal lifestyle choices are often necessary, like letting go of a fancy car and driving a clunker instead.

“It’s not just about getting money from a bank,” she said.

Allison also explained the importance of networking.

“Networking events are where people get to know you,” she said. “If they like you, they’re going to trust you and tell other people about your business.”

LinkedIn is another important tool, Allison said. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn is to make business connections. Prospective employers can see an individual’s skills and experience. She strongly urged everyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur to sign up for the website.

“You need to be on LinkedIn if you’re going to be in any type of profession at all,” she said.

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