Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim runs a successful art gallery in New York City

Though the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur by starting a new business may be frightening, many people have taken the chance and found it to be one of the best decisions of their lives. Philippe Hoerle Guggenheim worked at a career in finance, as that is what he studied at Cambridge.He started going to museums with his mother from the time he was just three years of age. This developed a love of art in him which never went away. He ended up pursuing his passion and now has a successful art gallery in New York City.


Adam Braun left his corporate career to found the international nonprofit Pencils Of Promise. This organization builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. Not only is he pursuing his passion, but he finds meaning in making a difference in so many peoples’ lives.


Bruce Marchiano loved acting as a child but it was too impractical to do as a career. He got his degree in economics, went to law school and practiced law for a few years. Though a practical choice, his love for acting never left. Bruce left the law firm, took acting lessons, played several roles in television and movies, and ended up starting his own production company where he produces, directs, and acts in his own films.


Debbi Fields had no formal higher education or training in the food industry, but she started Mrs. Field’s cookies when she was barely over 20 years old. She used earnings from working as a ball girl at Oakland Athletic games to buy the ingredients she needed for her cookies and baked goods.


Richard Branson didn’t do well in school and had no formal higher education or business training, but he became a successful entrepreneur. He started Virgin Records out of a church at a young age. He started selling records through advertising in a small magazine and grew his business from there.


Although she did have some work experience, Mary Kay Ash had no formal education or business training before starting her own business, Mary Kay Cosmetics in 1963. Ash had been passed over for a promotion in favor of a man she had trained. This inspired her to write a book aimed at helping women succeed in business. The book eventually became the business plan that she used to launch Mary Kay Cosmetics. Many women now successfully work for her franchise. Her passion was to help women and that is what she did.

It would seem that starting a business would depend on having an exorbitant amount of money but that is not the case. Before you need to spend a dime, there are things you will need to do that don’t cost any money. You will need to come up with a business plan and financial model, and you will need to get a domain name, business license, and website.  Write down everything you can think of concerning your passion: On paper, write down what you love to do, what aspects you love the most, and how this can help other people.  Get other peoples’ ideas on this as well. As these things are being done, there are ways to make sure you have some money to start up with.


Keep your present job while you are fleshing out your business ideas
Determine your targeted audience: What is the need?
Explore crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter
Network with other people who share your passion and have money to invest
Get recommendations for potential investors and contact them.


Although many schools offer degrees in starting a small business, education is not a prerequisite.  Many of the people written about above had no formal education in anything.One can start a business with nothing more than personal inner qualities and a compelling reason as their foundation.


A raw desire to take charge of your own future
A desire to learn: learning from mistakes and successes
Willingness to take risks: In every conceivable way


The willingness to take risks is perhaps the most important quality to have in starting a business. The desire to do it and the personal “why” behind the desire, must be stronger than the fear of doing it.  This might seem difficult on the surface, but many people have met those qualifications and succeeded in their dreams. You just might be one of them!