Entrepreneurs pen words of advice for aspiring CSUF students

by in News

At Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship, experienced business owners have been giving advice to students for years.

Now they have put that advice into a book.

The center has published “Creating New Ventures: How To Shape Concepts Into Achievement.” The softcover book is a compilation of letters from 156 company founders, executives, advisers and mentors – all offering their advice on what counts when launching new ventures.

Included are letters from alums Steven Mihaylo, for whom Mihaylo College of Business & Economics is named; Dan Black, for whom Dan Black Hall is named; and Jeffrey Van Harte, who helped establish Titan Capital Management.

Mihaylo, for example, relates how his parents’ divorce when he was 9 prompted him to take on a job as a newspaper delivery boy and salesperson. He asked his boss what the record was for subscriptions sold in a day – 50 – then set out to break it. He started at 6 a.m. that Saturday and finished at midnight, targeting apartments so he could sell more efficiently. He told his boss he sold 53 subscriptions, at which point his boss admitted the record was really just 15.

“That was a real eye-opener for me,” wrote Mihaylo, CEO of Crexendo Inc. “It proved to me that I needed to keep on setting bigger goals for myself. If I hadn’t done that then I don’t think I would have ever started my own business. You are only limited to how much your brain thinks you can accomplish.”

John B. Jackson, director of Cal State Fullerton's Center for Entrepreneurship. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
John B. Jackson, director of Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

The book – a joint project of center director John B. Jackson and center founder Michael Ames – will be presented to all entrepreneurship students.

“It’s an offline version of LinkedIn,” Jackson said. All the letter-writers are willing and able to help the aspiring entrepreneurs, he said. The book is a lesson in the importance of networking, he added, and that if you help someone, it will come back to help you later.

The book will not be marketed to the general public, but anyone interested can obtain a copy for $50 by contacting Jackson at jjackson@fullerton.edu.