3 signs you’ve got what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur

PUBLISHED: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 10:26:45 GMT

On CNBC Make It’s professional makeover series “Fix My Career,” bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch offers her no-nonsense advice to individuals looking to make a major change in their career.

In the latest episode, Welch sits down with Lisa Rachel Snyder. Snyder, 35, formerly worked in the television and film industry, and had decided to transition to entrepreneurship after her brother’s tragic death by suicide. The shock of his death inspired her to pursue a more fulfilling life, including making a career change and seeking treatment for an eating disorder she says she struggled with for 20 years.

Snyder wanted to help others build healthy relationships with food, and sought Welch’s advice on how to turn her passion into a business.

Welch says that that those looking to make it as entrepreneurs need to have three things:

  1.  “A crazy passion for an idea”
  2.  “A burning desire” to be their own boss
  3.  “A product or service that people will actually pay money for”

Right now, Welch says, “Lisa’s got two out of three, and that ain’t bad.” But in order to build her business, she’ll need a clearer idea of the exact service she plans to offer.

“Lisa is at a crucial moment for any entrepreneur defining her product and its market,” she explains. “What is she selling, exactly? Who is she selling it to, and how? How much will it cost? Who else is doing the same thing? How is she different and better than her competitors?”

To help her figure out the answer to all of these questions, Welch asked Snyder to envision what she wants her life and business to look like 10 years from now. She advised her to create a business plan, and map out precisely what it is she’s selling. She told her to start thinking about where she will get her customers who truly believe in her business.

“I think about Lisa’s life as a before-and-after story,” says Welch. “Before her brother’s untimely death, she was trying out jobs and careers and searching for some elusive concept of success. After, her grief and recovery helped her find her dream and her drive: a life of helping people heal their relationship with food.”

When Welch checked in with Snyder seven months later, she’d settled on a name for her service, Beautiful Badass Method, and created a seven-step program for individuals looking to develop intuitive eating habits and build self-love. She had completed a testing phase, offering the service for free for several months, and says 50 people signed up.

“I got wonderful feedback. I got testimonials,” says Snyder, who says she’s developed two online courses and also has a few speaking engagements lined up. “It was like my trial round.”

When asked how she thinks her brother would feel about what she’s doing now, Snyder responded confidently: “I think he’d be really really proud of me.”

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Instituteand a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at gettowork@cnbc.com.

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