Over 10 million women own small businesses in America. But, according to BusinessWeek, fewer than 250,000 have operations that bring in revenue of $1 million annually.
Bruce Freeman ’73, owner of a New Jersey-based public relations firm and advisor to budding entrepreneurs, wants to help women build highly-profitable firms. He’s the co-author of the new business book Birthing the Elephant (Ten Speed Press, 2008).
Freeman is quick to point out the title was not his idea. Instead, it came from the publisher’s marketing manager who noted the time needed to launch a business matched the gestation period of a pachyderm. Get past the play on words, and Freeman says the messages are every bit as unique as the title.
“I think most small business books tend to focus on money, marketing and management,” Freeman said. “What they don’t focus on is motivation. The book is really an emotional map for business. [Starting a business] is about guts, determination, taking the lead. Let’s face it. There’s a lot of fear when starting your own business.”
Having started his own public relations business after being laid off from a magazine publisher, Freeman passes along lessons learned the hard way.
“My grandmother used to say that with one tuchus, you can’t dance at two weddings,” Freeman said. “When you start out, you think you’re Superman, that you can do it all yourself. The sooner you learn that you’re good at what you’re good at, and not good at what you’re not good at – and delegate that to others – the better off you’ll be.”
The adjunct college lecturer and author of “Ask the Small Business Professor”, a column nationally syndicated by Scripps-Howard News Service, will be on campus during Homecoming 2008 to make a presentation titled “The Entrepreneurial Mind”, which will share his business and networking know-how.
“You have to eat today,” Freeman said. “And, you have to eat tomorrow. You’re doing today’s assignments to satisfy your clients, but you’re always trying to line up new business.”
Learn more about Freeman.
Last Updated: 2/16/10