I spoke with Adriana Collins, founder and CEO of Block Investors, a team of wealth managers who provide business funding and business opportunities as well as financial literacy to those in the underrepresented communities. She shared the advice she learned on journey of building a business from scratch.
Get a mentor.
Having a mentor can be instrumental in your business success because you’ll have a trusted advisor in providing you with advice and guidance. The key is to find a mentor who has experience in your field so that they can provide you with specific, insider advice. Collins credits her mentor for making the process of starting up a business far easier than if she had tried doing it on her own. “It was my mentor who guided me, who helped me, and who taught me the fundamentals in starting a business as well as how to set goals and calculate financial projections,” she said.
Tap advantage of free and low-cost resources that are available for new businesses.
There are a wealth of resources available to entrepreneurs online that are either free or very low cost. Organizations such as SCORE and the SBA offer education and mentorship, and online learning platforms such as Udemy and Coursera offer low-cost certifications and skill-specific courses. But perhaps the best free way to learn is simply by reading. “Spend a lot of time researching and reading books and articles” advises Collins.
You have to apply the knowledge you’ve gained from your learning and research. “Taking action is necessary, and you also have to take risks,” says Collins. Too often you can get stuck in a trap of consuming knowledge but not acting on it, so while you’re taking a step in the right direction, you’re simply moving forward rather than upward. What separates a successful entrepreneur from one whose business never quite takes off is taking action and taking calculated risks.
“the best way to approach risk is knowing your numbers. So know your financial projections, your p&l. So know how much is know how much will you want to make, right? And then just reverse engineer, you reverse and you recalculate? I want to make a million dollars. So you have to calculate Well, what product do you have? How much does it cost you? How much will you make, you know, reverse the numbers and subtract and multiply?”
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