I had the privilege to interview Mary, an entrepreneur for a paper I had to write for my new venture class. When she saw my post on Facebook, she originally offered to help me find someone to interview. But out of all the entrepreneurs I spoke to she turned out to be the perfect fit. I was rather surprised by the things I learned and I’m here to share what they are.

Her Background

She grew up from a family that had a restaurant business. She first started out with real estate as her first business with her husband (boyfriend at the time) and has expanded to now 7 businesses. Besides managing her business, Auntie Mary spends her time managing the YES (Young Entrepreneur Society), a nonprofit organization advising high school students on how to be a strong individual and be able to start their own business regardless of a college education.

Below are the top things I learned from the interview.

Takeaways

1 – Whatever it takes, just go for it. ?

Do what you can and just go for it. Many people overthink and are scared of starting a business because they‘re not sure if it will work. Get help. Get advice. And just how Nike says, Just Do It.

2 – A background in business helps, but don’t let that stop you from starting a business ?

Auntie Mary is one of the few entrepreneurs out there who have successful business despite not having the educational background. How is that so? Well, she knows where to look when she needs help in something, and her pleasant personality makes her approachable.

3 – Be with people who are into business ?

Auntie Mary may have been lucky to have business oriented family members. But because her husband is also a business-oriented person she has more strength in running her business and they both work together as a team.

4 – Network with the right people ?

I asked her what the types of people she was looking for when networking, and she mentioned that she was looking for servant leaders. These are the people who not only care about themselves but others. I started participating in networking as it is advised to us business students and wasn’t very happy with who I was meeting. I didn’t like wasting time and often made connections with people who only cared about themselves.

Auntie Mary’s Latest Project

Right now her latest project is Letters to Me, Life lessons I wish I knew, a book that compiles letters from people giving advice she wishes she knew when she was young.

Come get a copy and learn from all the business owners with interesting businesses. I know I will after I publish this post.