Podcast: Passion Alone Is Not Enough

What are the pillars for small business growth today?

Starting your own business is hard – no, it’s really hard.

Just ask the millions of aspiring small business owners whose “big idea” never made headway in the real world.

It’s not that these entrepreneurs didn’t care or work hard enough, argues Gene Marks, a columnist, author and small business owner who writes for The Washington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur.com and other publications.

It’s that they didn’t realize what it would really take to get their business off the ground and running.

In the launch of Season Two of Longitudes Radio, Gene provides a checklist for anybody looking to start a small business (he learned these lessons the hard way) and dispels many of the romanticized myths about entrepreneurship.

To be clear, passion is important, and failure is valuable – when channeled correctly. But you must also know whether there’s a market for your product and if you’re adding something of value to that marketplace, Gene says.

And can you really make the investment in time and money to see your idea through? Do you know how to correctly gauge risk? Are you tapping into the right technologies?

Gene answers these questions against the backdrop of National Small Business Week in the United States, an annual event designed to showcase the small businesses that create roughly two of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

He also assesses the landscape for small business today and explores how companies like UPS can help small business owners compete with more established players in their industries.

And if you have business ideas, they’re probably better than failed concepts Gene highlights … a flip-up toilet seat for men and crafts for turtles? Seriously?

Gene Marks is a columnist, author and small business owner. As a small business expert, Gene writes daily for The Washington Post, focusing on issues affecting the business community. He also writes weekly columns for Forbes Magazine, Fox Business, The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.

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