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Career Advice on Starting Your Own Business from Chris Gardner - AARP The Mag... Skip to content

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Can I Really Start My Own Business?

A dispatcher hopes to own her own company

Dear Chris,

I worked as a dispatcher for 30 years and dreamed of owning my own transit company. Now I want to build the greatest one ever! But how can someone with no education and no backing start a company? I can see it in my head and feel it in my heart, but I don't know if it is my reality.

— Anna B., 55, New York, New York

Chris Gardner

Art Streiber

Entrepreneur and best-selling author Chris Gardner

Dear Anna,

It sounds to me as if you already have all the elements to make a successful plan. I call them the C-5 complex: A plan must be clear, concise, compelling, consistent, and committed to. These five things have been crucial to anything I've accomplished, and I see them in your vision and your energy. Your 30 years of experience in the industry are invaluable! Just apply your talent and expertise to endeavors you feel passionate about.

I understand your worry about what you don't have. But you have what you really need — a goal you can see and feel. Many have forged a path to greatness lit only by a vision in their minds.

Entrepreneur and author Chris Gardner is AARP's Pursuit and Happyness ambassador. Got a question? Ask Chris.

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