Can I start a business despite having no business training?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Dear Norm,
I’m an entertainer and a tennis professional with a sports-education business, teaching tennis through on-court musical tennis shows and specialty clinics. I want to grow the company, and I have the passion and the long-term vision to do it, but I don’t have a business background. Do I have time to become a businessman, or do I need to find people to grow the business for me?

Dear David,
My guess is that you have many more business skills than you give yourself credit for. You have customers, don’t you? You must have selling ability and marketing ability, and those are two of the most important skills a businessperson can have. OK, so you may not know accounting. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn the numbers, and it’s the numbers you need to know, not the technicalities of accounting. My advice is to go ahead. There’s only one way to acquire business experience: you have go out there and take your lumps. You can’t succeed without trying. At worst, you’ll get a great education for your next business.
Yours truly, Norm

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