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Achieve small business success: Roll up your sleeves and get dirty

June 6, 2012

As chief executive of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, Howard Tullman works 80 to 100 hours each week to prepare digital media students for the real world.

It’s the million dollar question that every small business owner wants to know: what makes you a successful entrepreneur?

Howard Tullman is no stranger when it comes to successful startups and with over 40 years experience Tullman is what some would call a serial entrepreneur. While starting your own business can be rewarding, it’s not all fun and games. Tullman says it’s essential for entrepreneurs to be willing to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work too – it’s also a great example to set for your employees. As an entrepreneur you have to model the behavior that leads to success.

Over the past 40 years, the common theme of Tullman’s businesses is fundamentally around process improvement. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re always trying to find better ways to do things, better systems, and better approaches and that’s an everyday iterative process that you bring to your own business and offer to your clients.

At the end of the day, it comes down to hard work. As an entrepreneur you have to put in the hours and no one knows that as well as Tullman. If his employees are working 60 hours, they can be sure Tullman is working 100 hours.

This video is part of the Trep Life series on inc.com, sponsored by Hiscox.