Jonathan Aberman is the current Dean and Professor of Practice at the School of Business and Technology at Marymount University. Over the course of Jonathan’s life, he has experiences as a venture capitalist, lawyer, investment banker and entrepreneur. As an expert in the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship and policies, Jonathan shared with us the most important advice to anyone entering the entrepreneurial world.
From an early age, Aberman always knew that he wanted to make a difference. Against a template of wanting to make a difference, wanting to be in charge of his own destiny, Aberman has ended up where he is today as someone who has a myriad of professional expertise. While, Aberman’s life might seem like a linear progression, he is quick to assert that rather ‘life is a random walk.’ At best, there are north stars, long-term goals or things that drive you.
Aberman’s perspective on career progression:
- He believes that the 20’s and 30’s are about creating core competencies; within Aberman’s career his focus was on financial transactions, law and how businesses work.
- The next period of life, the 40’s and 50’s are about driving the core competencies to a position of prominence.
- Finally, the 60’s and 70’s are about living on and passing on all of this to another generation.
If you want to move forward in life and accomplish your goals, you must learn to develop the necessary skills.
Is there ever an age where it is too early to become an entrepreneur?
When you ask the question of what age you can become an entrepreneur, you are missing the point. Aberman states that an entrepreneur is a person who has the skills and the passion to wake up every morning and challenge the status quo. If you feel the need to ask the question, then you most likely are not an entrepreneur.
Aberman’s golden rules to becoming a successful entrepreneur
- The winning strategy → the extent to which you go to get your own way.
- A self-starter skill set that consists of resilience, courage and optimism. Self-directed
- Entrepreneurs grow through failure. People learn through adversity, this is because it forces them to confront why they are failing.
- Although most successful entrepreneurs won’t admit it, the dirty secret to anyone’s success is luck.
Entrepreneurship is all about self determination, it’s about autonomy. If you are going to do it, you have to be self-aware. This strong inner drive will help him/her succeed in every realm of life.
What piece of advice would you give to students if you could?
Figure out what makes you happy as a person. Once you master this, you will become happier and more successful.