NFTE Alumni Profiles

July 2, 2012  |  0 comments

What are some of NFTE’s most accomplished young entrepreneurs doing today? 25 years after Steve Mariotti founded NFTE there are literally thousands of stories to tell. We are in the process of collecting these stories of personal and business success. During the next year NFTE will share the stories of young entrepreneurs who have gone on to accomplish more than they could have expected.

Each Monday in July, we will highlight select responses from some of these NFTE graduates.

Today’s response comes from Cody Chang of New York. He completed the NFTE program in 2006 and will soon graduate from college. Cody is developing a new business concept, CHXBAO.com. In this excerpt he reveals how he dealt with uncertainty and change when it comes to some of the challenges of running a business.

“Entrepreneur’ really is a personality more than a title or profession.”

Dealing with Uncertainty. I was always very enthusiastic once I found a market niche. But I was never an exact PHD level expert in all fields. I’d have to learn about that specific industry a lot. Even then, it was hard to convince myself that I had adequate knowledge to tackle the market problems. I was uncertain of what exactly I would need to deal with. I dealt with this by pretending that I was giving a seminar on the topic. I would repeat it over and over in my head to myself until I had convinced myself that I successfully created parameters from which no uncertainty would come.

Dealing with Change. When I did technology consulting, it was hard work, particularly our first customer. Nothing we built seemed to satisfy him. It’s pretty demoralizing for a first customer to give you that much difficulty. We would spend hours on software but he’d reject all of them. When we finally decided to approach him instead of his problem, we found that the solution was hardware oriented, not software. He was just too old for new software. So we changed the business to serve that niche. It was difficult during that phase of change, especially since we didn’t even know it was going to happen. But we overcame it by using a newer perspective.

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