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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Samsung
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Samsung

3 minute read

Do More

The 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business

Entrepreneurial Advice from Samsung’s Do More Series Panel
Created for and commissioned by Samsung

The 5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business

The Do More Series was created as a platform for innovators to share their experience and wisdom. Not shy to talk about the tough lessons they’ve learned, the inaugural panelists at Samsung's 837 building in Manhattan detailed the entrepreneurial aptitude that’s necessary to create and maintain success. Based on their advice, here are five questions to ask yourself when launching a business.

1. Are you in it for the long haul?

"I always thought that with every milestone things were going to get easier. You get your first team, you get your first office, you raise your first round of funding—it’s going to get easier, it’s going to get easier, it’s going to get easier. The reality is that it only gets harder. You just get better at dealing with it." —Neil Parikh, co-founder, Casper

If you’re looking forward to a lighter load after the rough-and-tumble days of any launch, it’s not going to happen—especially if your business shows promise. Take pride in your successes, and welcome the additional work that inevitably comes with them.

2. Have you found the right partners?

"Surround yourself with good people. It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. Find people who complement your deficiencies." —David Fano, Chief Development Officer, WeWork

If you’re a big-picture, big ideas person, bring in partners whose strengths lie in day-to-day operations. If you’re young with fresh ideas, bring in someone who balances your energy with experience. Diverse, complementary skill sets are key drivers of any successful business.

3. Are you doing what you love?

"What would you do as a kid when no one was telling you to do anything? That should be part of your career. There’s always another mountain to climb, but if you have that initial excitement around something, it makes the journey easier." —Lauren Bush Lauren, founder, FEED

The pursuit of growth and profit isn’t what will keep you going when times get tough. The most successful businesspeople have a drive that exists outside of those measurable metrics. When you start with a genuine passion for what you’re doing, you automatically have a leg up on your competitors.

4. Can you learn to love what you’re doing?

"I was getting into the women’s fashion and luxury lifestyle space, and I had no idea about that at all. But I loved it. As long as you love what you’re doing and want to keep working hard at it, that's the starting point." —Jake Rosenberg, co-founder, The Coveteur

Plenty of successful business people don’t start with a pre-existing interest in their sector, but over time, they are able to develop that all-important excitement. Cultivating a love for what you’re doing can be work unto itself, but it’s time well spent.

5. Are you okay with failing?

"If you had told me 20 years ago that I would have a career in food, I wouldn’t have believed you. I had a business before that did quite well, but the crash happened. I owned 100% of the company and owed 100% of the bills. It was a learning experience."Padma Lakshmi, television personality and author

The next time you’re talking to an accomplished businessperson, ask them about a time when they failed. You’ll find that they’re much more eager to discuss the setbacks than they are their successes. Everyone fails in business. It’s those who learn from their failures who ultimately succeed.

For further insights into the worlds of business, technology, culture and more, check out the upcoming events at Samsung’s 837 flagship in New York.


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