We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share their experiences and when they knew their ideas would work.

Have a clear vision

"While my wife and I were on our honeymoon, we met a couple who owned a well-established printing business. I remember thinking their revenues were huge and that I wouldn't hit that mark. As my company grew in sales, I started focusing more on what works and letting go of everything that wasn't producing results. Saying 'no' to clients who didn't fit my niche and dismissing ideas that were out of the scope of what my company was doing, gave me clarity. That's when I started to see my company getting to the next level."

Vladimir Gendelman, EO Detroit
CEO, Company Folders, Inc.

Realize success is not one-sided

"It wasn't when I secured my first client or reached my first annual cash flow goal that I knew I would make it. It was realizing that my success didn't have to be one sided. I knew I was fully equipped for life as a first-generation entrepreneur when I realized integration was possible. Asking for help from my team and communicating cash flow with my wife made me recognize I could have success in both my personal and professional lives. It didn't have to be one or the other."

Randall Gerber, EO Columbus
President, Gerber, LLC

Refine the scope of your business

"We began right before the dot-com boom so success came easy in our early years. When the boom turned into a bust, we had to show our mettle. It became more difficult to find work and make a profit. While most competitors perished, we figured out how to not only survive, but to thrive. We morphed our company from a simple web development outfit to a complete digital consultancy. As the industry embraced the new look, I knew we were built to last."

Michael Gellman, EO Colorado
CEO, SpireMedia

Become transparent

"As a new entrant into our industry, we felt there was a potential competitive advantage to providing a radically transparent and high quality affiliate management service, even though that went against many standard industry practices. We showed in our RFP's, where we put considerably more effort than competitors, which highlighted their complacency for potential clients. I realized we both survived and flourished in the entrepreneurial landscape when large clients started to eschew the status quo and take a chance on us. Because we were true to our values and our word, we now have many proud partnerships with companies such as adidas, Shutterfly, and Target."

Robert Glazer, EO Boston
Owner, Acceleration Partners

Published on: Nov 18, 2014