CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.USA; Advisory Board Member for multiple startups; ATIF Angels Selection Committee; Entrepreneur in Residence at ASU and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Published on Forbes, Gust, Young Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, and Huffington Post. With over 800 thousand followers in Twitter
'Muyiwa Osifuye: Is it possible that an investor may misread the potential of the ultimate success of a startup? What advice do you give on the overall appraisal - beyond the formal paper work, that an investor should watch out for, to avoid missing opportunities?
Marty Zwilling: Investors often misread the potential for success – especially if they look primarily at the solution and the opportunity size. I advise investors to look first at the people – do they have the skills, experience, and motivation to build a business.
'Muyiwa Osifuye: There is so much information overload - quite unprecedented in the recent years - how would a typical small business owner cherry-pick the most relevant pieces of knowledge, without missing out what the most important ones, to build a successful business?
Marty Zwilling: It’s important to first recognize the best sources of information – much information that hits everyone is not relevant or poor quality, and a waste of time. Again find the experts, people with experience, and industry influencers, and focus on information from them.
'Muyiwa Osifuye: Could the word "entrepreneurship" be regarded as a fad today or is it one of the requisites that could reduce inequality amongst everyday people in our world of today?
Marty Zwilling: In my view, entrepreneurship is a new and exciting alternative for everyday people who are rapidly being displaced from jobs taken over by automation. It is not a fad, and should be used to highlight your natural strengths in creativity, business, or background.
'Muyiwa Osifuye: We hear about the unfortunate stories of a few young startup founders who got depressed and passed on -sadly- what could be responsible and how can it be stopped?
Marty Zwilling: In my experience, more entrepreneurs are satisfied with their lifestyle and career that almost any other career. Of course, you will find a few people who are physically or mentally unhealthy in every career field. They need to take responsibility for their happiness by finding professional help and/or new living choices.
'Muyiwa Osifuye: Can it be right to say, some people are simply not carved out to be entrepreneurs despite all the available education and the need for financial independence and control of one's destiny?
Marty Zwilling: Certainly. To be an entrepreneur, you need more than education and money. You need a passion for creating something new, the confidence in yourself that you can do it, and the willingness to take the risks and time to make it happen.