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Local entrepreneurs share tips for success in the business world

Senior Ali Lee, co-founder of Indigo Clothing Co., talks about her accidental journey to starting a popular clothing brand with her sister. (Photo by Ian Dickerman)

Business owners gave advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and spoke to students about starting a company during Entrepreneurship Day Friday, Nov. 22.

Megan Mcelroy Rzeszutko, CEO and co-founder of Rhymella, spoke during b-block. (Photo by Ian Dickerman)

North’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) sponsored Entrepreneurship Day. FBLA head co-president and organizer of the event, Christina Zhao, says she hopes all students are motivated by the presentations, whether or not they go into business.

“As high school students I feel that very few of us are exposed to what entrepreneurship really is and we don’t know how to start a business or where we even start,” she said. “I hope that listening to the speakers inspired them to not just work hard at being an entrepreneur but at all aspects of life.”

Throughout the day, speakers gave advice to students on starting successful businesses. Lisa Sacchetti, CEO and founder of the Renaissance Network and c-block speaker said having a “strong stomach” and focusing on clients helped her business to reach goals and thrive. 

“You need to be able to overcome negative thoughts from other people,” she said. “Always ask your client what can we do better.”

Ali Lee, co-Founder of Indigo Clothing and f-block speaker, said starting her business was a matter of trial-and-error, and encouraged students to embrace uncertainty.

Many speakers also discussed the importance of maintaining past relationships. Founder of Boston’s Tigerway SAT Prep and e-block speaker Larry Cheung recommended investing in the community to garner support from locals. Fei Wu, founder of Feisworld LLC and g-block speaker, said looking for support from the right people is essential in business.

Nick Fofana, entrepreneur and product manager at the State Street Global Exchange, spoke during a-block.

“Reaching out to people is really important when you want to find mentors or establish any other kinds of relationships,” she added. “Sometimes you may be rejected, but don’t be discouraged by a “no”, because it doesn’t mean no forever, just for the moment.”

The speakers also stressed staying current. Wu added that her podcast and community encouraged her to keep growing her business. Nick Fofana, entrepreneur, product manager at the State Street Global Exchange and a-block speaker, said entrepreneurs should “subscribe to podcasts and newsletters to help understand what’s going on in markets.” 

Each speaker said owning a business requires constant effort. According to Wu, entrepreneurship is a difficult and grueling process.

“There is no overnight success, you have to put in the work and show up for the work. If you show up for your work, you’ve already beaten 99 percent of the population,” said Wu.

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