Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Gary Lynn, Professor, Author, and Chairman of Lynnovate based in Monroe Township, NJ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers? Technical Marketing Consulting. We help companies match emerging technologies with emerging markets. Customers include several Fortune 1,000 companies and eight U.S. Department of Defense Research Labs.

Tell us about yourself

I got started with entrepreneurship when I was fired from my first job... at age 14... by my father. He thought I was not working hard enough cleaning up his retail shoe store. After I got fired, I asked him if I could borrow his window washing equipment.

Then, I started my first company -- a commercial window washing company. I built the business for 74 commercial clients and then sold the business when I graduated high school to a sophomore for $500. The buyer then transferred the business to his brother, and it was still going ten years after I graduated.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a medical equipment business from $0 to $1 million in sales in one year.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Prioritizing a million things to do. Knowing what to focus on for the next five minutes.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Try NOT to be an entrepreneur. This is the advice I give to my 25 yr old son, who ignored me and started four companies.
  2. If you ignore #1 above, then try to identify your ideal customer and quantify their pain/problem.
  3. Create a draft pitch and go to that ideal customer and try to get an order. If they say, "Great idea -- just not for us," drop the idea and go back to the drawing board.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

  • Keep your day job while trying to start/build your company.
  • A study was done on what are the keys to being a successful entrepreneur. The researchers studied age, industry, and product/service. The only predictor of success they found was that the entrepreneur failed in a venture just prior to their success. Keep trying. Probe and Learn.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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