Today’s graduates face the toughest job market in 10 years. Many of their peers, only a few years older, who just started their careers, are now back on the job hunt with few prospects. There is a highly competitive pool of applicants for companies that aren’t hiring. What options do these bright, young, ambitious people have? To wait for the economy to recover and recruiters to come knocking? Or to take that ambition and passion and turn it into something tangible? Now is the time to become an entrepreneur — take that drive and start realizing dreams.
In Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own (AMACOM, 2009), Tuchman shows professionals that they can start and succeed in their own business with examples of many entrepreneurs under the age of 35. He believes that there is no better time to take a chance than when people are youthful, bold and have very little to lose—and he knows from experience.
When Tuchman graduated from college, he was quickly forced to abandon his dream of becoming a sportswriter. Eventually he accepted a position as a stockbroker trainee, but soon realized that he was completely unfulfilled in his new job. There had to be something better. Tired of working at a job with little prospect of advancement, he formed his own company, Tuchman Sports Enterprises (TSE). Within two years of working out of his tiny one-bedroom Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, with one phone and a fax machine, his company was named to the annual Inc. 500 list of America's fastest growing privately held companies and as one of the top 100 promotion agencies by Promo Magazine. He started TSE with no money and no investors and ended up selling it for millions of dollars to a major firm. Last year TSE earned more than $70 million dollars in sales.
In Young Guns, Tuchman shares strategies with readers on how to get the business up and running, and staying strong for years to come:
* Ask who is the company is helping. The business needs a purpose, which means it needs a customer. Entrepreneurs need to always keep in mind that they are selling to someone.
* Start a business plan, even if not completely ready. Whether the business plan is on a napkin or a 50 page document, it needs to get started. Plans can be readjusted, but as long as the basic vision is there, the company can move forward.
* Market yourself and your company. Talk to anyone and everyone about the business because even if they are not the customer, they may meet someone who will be. Make any and all connections and cultivate a company personality as an extension of the owner's own.
* Sell light and perform heavy. Promise customers what the company can deliver (be honest!) and then strive to do more. People remember it when expectations are excceded and this will get more business in future.
* Learn from failures. The entrepreneur or someone on the team will fail occasionally. No one’s perfect. The best thing to do is step back and learn from these mistakes. The company will come back stronger each time because of them.
Tuchman also provides “reality checks” throughout the book to make sure the entrepreneur is on the right track. People may have all the training and read every business book, but it all comes down to their gut. Tuchman believes that now has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to listen to their gut and chase their dreams.