A New Path to Education for Entrepreneurs

Prognosticators have been predicting the possibility of a recession ever since the Federal Reserve started adjusting interest rates. As news of a slowing economy grabs headlines, younger generations continue to weigh their options when starting their careers. For some, this requires taking control of their own destiny by starting their own business.

The application process for new businesses shows an interesting trend that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Between 2017 and 2019, the average annual number of new business applications was approximately 3.5 million. In 2020 and 2021, this number will increase to 4.38 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Also, more people search online for “how to start a business” than “how to get a job.”

Earning a business degree is expensive, and starting a business is easier said than done. It’s a challenging journey for anyone just starting out or experienced. This choice adds uncertainty when dealing with a recession or other economic and social stressors.

According to Daniel Javor, there’s nothing wrong with starting a business during a recession. “You can never go wrong with starting a business. Many of today’s successful businesses were born out of recession and chaos. The key is whether your business idea fits the market and you know how to run a business. You don’t need a formal business education And you can learn everything you need.”

Javor is a serial entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Deep Blue Ventures, a digital media holding company. He also currently runs Step By Step Business, an entrepreneurship education platform that provides in-depth education on starting an LLC, running, running and scaling a business, and other useful tips for entrepreneurs.

The reporter sat down with Javor to talk about his time as an entrepreneur and the lessons, challenges, successes and failures along the way. Additionally, Javor explores the reasons behind his decision to develop an entrepreneurship education model, as well as his advice for budding business owners.

Choose to start a business

Rodberg: Why start a business in the first place? Is this something you’ve always wanted or something more specific?

Daniel Javor: It is hereditary, if there is one. My dad was a passionate entrepreneur himself, so that carried over seamlessly. I am essentially a product of my parents. My dad is an entrepreneur and my mom is a world-traveling artist. So my point of view and personality is an amalgamation of what I’ve learned from it. I also started implementing very early, starting my first hustle when I was 13 years old.

Berg: What is a first-time startup or startup?

Jawor: At the time, we were living in Austria and I was reselling trading cards on eBay. I dabbled in a few other adventures during my teenage years and beyond. Successful or not, they have brought me to this point.

Berg: You seem to have moved around for your business venture. Expand those globetrotting trends, if you will.

Jawor: [Laughs] Maybe I learned it from my mom. I’ve never been shy about moving for a business opportunity. I was 17 when I moved to Israel and opened a retail store. I ended up starting an affiliate selling financial and insurance products.

A few years later, in 2015, I shifted the focus of my affiliate business to the solar space, providing US Solar with residential leads on an affiliate model. My current primary VCs are Deep Blue Ventures and Step By Step Business.

Deep Blue Ventures works with our managed portfolio of acquired online publications in operations and expansion. Step By Step Business is an educational center for current and future entrepreneurs.

Form an educational enterprise

Berg: Let’s talk about your educational career. Why did you decide to start a startup platform? How successful was it, especially compared to going out and getting a formal business education?

Jawor: Looking back on my journey as an entrepreneur, I feel like this is something I need to do. You can never underestimate the importance of mentoring. It would be beneficial if I could get the kind of guidance that Step By Step Business is providing now. Ultimately, this is a powerful educational opportunity for anyone looking to start a business in any niche.

The site covers everything from average startup costs to writing a business plan and industry trends by state. There are detailed knowledge blocks to help with creating a brand name, incorporating an LLC, obtaining bank accounts and insurance, applying for the correct licenses, and other services. I see it as my way of reaching out to help others behind me climb the entrepreneurial ladder.

Earning a degree from an accredited institution is by no means meant to be taken lightly. This will always have its place, but the amount of knowledge available today creates a powerful alternative to earning a formal degree. I think it is possible to learn almost everything you need without paying tuition.

mistakes and lessons

Berg: You imply that your mistakes and lessons learned challenge you to build a platform for entrepreneurship education. What was the most important lesson you learned on your journey that every aspiring entrepreneur should know?

Jawor: One of the best lessons I’ve learned is that failure is a guarantee. It will happen at some point in your journey. One of my biggest failures was my Near Field Communication (NFC) startup in 2009. NFC is today a multi-billion dollar industry representing approximately 2 billion mobile phones and devices worldwide. But back in 2009, the market wasn’t ready for that. I kept putting resources into it for two years before properly exiting the business. Many things can be taught, but some things you can only learn by failing.

My experience in the NFC space has also taught me to always follow market conditions and timing. I stuck with this business because I liked the promise of the product while being completely oblivious to what my target audience and market conditions demanded. A successful business responds to the needs of the market, not to the preferences of the business owner. You wouldn’t open a new car dealership when purchasing power falls in a recession, but a used car dealership might make sense.

Following trends and entering an already booming market does not guarantee success. Trying to ride the tide of a fashion trend or business when you can’t surf it will be a recipe for disaster if you don’t have the business fundamentals in place. Ultimately, we all need more education to do things we’ve never done before, whether it’s formal schooling or bespoke educational platforms.

never wrong time

Berg: Many young entrepreneurs are waiting for the right moment. How Does Timing Affect Entrepreneurship Conversations?

Jawor: Perhaps one of the best pieces of wisdom I can impart to young entrepreneurs is to never start the right business at the wrong time, even during a recession. Just look at big companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Square, Airbnb, etc. These businesses rose from the ashes of the dot-com bubble and the 2008 recession.

Startups tend to do well in recessionary times because they can remain financially and operationally flexible, which helps them eliminate high overhead and provide consumers with cheaper alternatives to their products or services.

It’s not about the recession, it’s about leadership choices. Good leadership makes good cash flow decisions. It keeps the business flexible, and can often find capital asset acquisition deals that outsource some of its growth responsibilities to outside sources, while other companies are trying to cut back. Also, most companies lay off workers during a recession, which means the talent pool is at its richest.

For the younger generation, flexibility is the name of the game. If they forge their own career paths, an environment that provides work-life balance and sustainable goals is part of it. Facing the uncertain market economy, more and more people consider starting their own businesses. Javor summarizes the process of deriving educational experience. As he puts it, “Business education is the first step to job security. So, if you want job security, start a business.”

Daniel Javor said education was still essential, but not everyone could afford training from formal institutions, nor did everyone need it. As a serial entrepreneur, he believes that a business school route for certain startups is not always necessary and may be redundant. A targeted entrepreneurship education platform can provide a simplified and detailed alternative to business education in the entrepreneurial process.

Even Javor argues that formal education can affect learning effort, even though entrepreneurship can be honed through external platforms. So the question becomes, how can the education and human capital management industries support the world’s Daniel Jaworth approach? Maybe combine project-based learning with professionals, including on and off ramps for those with experience, thus merging the two worlds.

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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