Today, many MBAs and aspiring MBAs want to join start-ups or launch their own new ventures. But is entrepreneurship as exciting as it seems? And is it really for you? mbaMission Founder Jeremy Shinewald has teamed up with Venture for America and CBS Interactive to launch the Smart People Should Build Things: The Venture for America Podcast. Each week, Shinewald interviews another entrepreneur so you can hear the gritty stories of their ups and downs on the road to success.
In the third podcast episode, Shinewald again welcomes guest host Miles Lasater for an interview with Shara Mendelson, the founder of entertainment perks provider Plum Benefits, which she spent 13 years building from scratch before selling it in 2012. Mendelson discusses her journey, which has included
- Getting that first entrepreneurial spark by helping out a nonprofit theater company while simultaneously working at her first job—Mendelson felt inspired by the theater members’ passion and saw an opportunity to help
- Launching Plum Benefits from her apartment and her parents’ offices, with fax machines whirring and beeping nonstop (“All I would hear all night were the [fax noises]… But it was a wonderful sound,” she says in the podcast.)
- Being threatened over the phone by a successful entertainment executive after a cold call early in the company’s history (“Wow,” Mendelson tells Shinewald she thought at the time,“I must be doing something really great if he’s that worried about it.”)
- Taking a leap into the unknown by deciding to sell her “baby” after building it for 13 years
Subscribe to the podcast to hear Mendelson’s complete story and many more to come—each offering a unique peek behind the glitz of entrepreneurship.