10 Lessons for Beginning Entrepreneurs

Successful entrepreneur’s advice for next generation of risk takers

unnamedIn honor of National Entrepreneurs Month, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr., one of the nation’s most versatile and widely respected businessmen, offers advice to those who are thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship.

“I’ve worked tirelessly, made difficult decisions, learned from mistakes and experienced great success as an entrepreneur,” said Dr. Pamplin. “Whether someone is just beginning their journey as an entrepreneur, or has already begun reaping the rewards of success, I’d hope the wisdom I’ve amassed over my lifetime can provide enlightenment and guidance.”

Dr. Pamplin, who is chairman, president and CEO of R.B. Pamplin Corporation, a $600 million family-owned business with interests in construction, communications, manufacturing, agriculture, and food and wine, embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship. He inspires not only by example, but also by committing to active involvement in nurturing aspiring entrepreneurs. He shares his knowledge with students at higher education institutions and serves as a resource to businesses and nonprofit organizations, lending his financial, accounting and business expertise to help organizations thrive.

He offers the following 10 lessons to prospective entrepreneurs:

  1. There are two things that can never be taken away from you: education and your character. For once you have them, they are with you always.
  2. Make sure it is your work and you have done your best. No one could ask for more.
  3. Don’t rely completely on another’s advice; inquire for yourself. You are the one who has to live with the decision.
  4. Do what you think is right. Then forget about it.
  5. The worst thing you can do is not make a decision. If someone wants a decision today, give it today.
  6. No one is an expert in everything. Be wise enough to admit your shortcomings. People will admire your vision and humility. Then hire experts to fill the gaps.
  7. Don’t have someone do something you are not willing to do.
  8. A disappointment should only be temporary. Character is not built by accepting defeat, but by snatching success from the jaws of defeat. Plan how to overcome the setbacks and move ahead with confidence.
  9. Keep your options open. A treed squirrel only has one way to go. Don’t close any door because of pride.
  10. Share your rewardswith those who have helped you. It will return to you tenfold.


To learn more about Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr., and his journey to become the nation’s foremost diversified entrepreneur, visit www.pamplin.org.


About Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. has earned eight degrees – including two doctorates – in business, economics, accounting, education and theology. He has been honored nationally as a businessman, philanthropist, ordained minister, educator, historical preservationist and author of 23 books and comic books, including two book-of-the-month club selections. Pamplin’s business interests include media (the Portland Tribune and 25 community newspapers), textiles, construction and agriculture. He has been awarded many honorary degrees and featured in national magazines, in newspapers and on television. He has served on presidential and state commissions, and he has been chairman of the board of trustees of three colleges. Pamplin is widely recognized as America’s leading historical preservationist and foremost diversified entrepreneur. For more information, visit www.pamplin.org. For more information about Pamplin’s preservation efforts, visit www.pamplincollection.org.