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Sluggish Economy Isn't Slowing Down Cuyahoga Falls Entrepreneur

The American dream failed Brent VanFossen, so he recently decided to create a new one.

There are roughly and Brent VanFossen isn't one of them.

VanFossen, 37, of , suffered two layoffs in the last four years due to economic factors beyond his control, and just recently, he decided it was time to restart his American dream.

He's gone into business for himself and is building it client by client.

To find out more about his venture, Patch corresponded with VanFossen to gain insight on his business plan and how others may be able to follow in his footsteps.

Patch: Choosing the entrepreneurial career path is often considered the American way, but it can be hit or miss. What made you take the risk and go into business for yourself?

VanFossen: We are lucky to live in a country where you have the freedom to start your own business. After being downsized twice in four years due to economic factors out of my control, I decided to exercise that freedom and become the one in control of my destiny. In the end, I can't downsize myself!

Patch: What's your business all about?

VanFossen: My company is Virtue Business Services. Right now I am a one-man show and working to pick up clients through LinkedIn and networking events. My goal is to work with small and small to mid-sized business owners to help them grow, by providing executive-level services. Many owners, while experts in their industry, don't have the time or sometimes, the experience, to develop and maintain Profit & Loss statements, labor management systems, employee performance analysis, key performance indicator analysis, and so on. These are the services I aim to provide. My ability to provide these services can help small business owners buy back time, and focus their efforts on growing their business. And since I am not an employee, it is much more cost effective than hiring.

Patch: There are many who are trying to adapt to the sluggish economy. What steps are you willing to take to help ensure success?

VanFossen: The most important thing I have learned so far is that I still have a lot to learn. I have talked with many people who have been forging their own way for much longer than I have, and have learned a great deal from them. I constantly remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Patch: Is failure an option?

VanFossen: It's always a possibility, but as one door closes, another always opens.

Patch: What can others who have struggled with similar circumstances (layoffs, pay reductions) learn from what you're trying to accomplish?

VanFossen: You don't have to be the smartest or most talented person to be an entrepreneur. You just need to have the right mindset, be determined and as I'm finding, patient. Most of all, put yourself in control. If you have a dream to own a business, then go for it. You don't want to look back one day and wonder, "What if..."

Adam C. Miller July 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM
atta boy Brent!
Melissa Bellar Morehart July 11, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Way to go Brent!
Betsy July 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Awesome! Congrats and good luck!
David Basler July 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Well said, Brent. Having been there I really appreciated this article. There really is nothing like being your own boss. Very proud of you. Best of luck.
Stacie skully July 13, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Congratulations on your new business venture! If I can help in any way, let me know!
Laura Darby July 17, 2012 at 01:01 PM
This sounds so exciting and innovative. Congratulations and best wishes

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