Years ago, Michael Cummings wanted to start his own company. But he was not confident and unsure about the future — he was wavering.
Hearing this, his wife handed him a slip of paper with a quote from Mark Twain.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones that you did do,” it read. “So, throw off the bow lines. Sail away from safe harbors. Catch the trade winds in your sills. Explore, dream, discover.”
Cummings still carried that message in his pocket Tuesday evening at Via Vita in Bellevue as he shared his best entrepreneurial tips to members of the local non-profit entrepreneurial network TiE. That Twain quote, he said, is still the most important piece of advice he’s received over the years.
Cummings, a professor at prestigious Massachusetts business school Babson, is certainly worthy of providing some help for budding startup hopefuls. He is the founder of LTC Group, a Massachusetts corporation that owns and operates long-term care facilities. Cummings also founded Health Force of Fall River, a provider of in-home nursing services, and Image Scan, a manufacturer of industrial bar code labels and related identification products.
Now, he’s teaching the next generation of startup stars at Babson as the MBA Faculty Director and shared a wealth of knowledge to a group of over 50 people Tuesday night.
Here are his 10 tips for anyone looking to start a business:
1. Stop thinking about it and start doing it. “You can’t think your way to success,” he said. “If you have an inclination, act on it. You won’t regret the business, even if you blow it. As painful as it gets, it will be something you won’t regret.”