West Bloomfield native Matthew Fenster’s How To Start A Business was inspired by challenges he faced while starting his own company.
After seven years of working for a real estate company, Matthew Fenster decided it was time to become his own boss.
While working hard on a proposal to sell to an insurance company, he was pleasantly surprised to see that same proposal being used by his boss to get a different client.
So, in 1998 he founded his own company, Paragon. Based in Royal Oak, it has grown into more than just real estate in the last 20 years.
Now with Paragon’s success, Fenster is releasing a book filled with plenty of entrepreneurial tips called How To Start A Business.
“My cousin was a home builder, and during the summer when I was in college he offered me a job as a laborer on the job site,” Fenster says. “I was looking at the sites and I thought it would be really interesting to learn how to put this whole thing together.”
Once he discovered his path in life, he pursued a career as a real estate broker after graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 1991.
Throughout his time as a broker, he learned the ins-and-outs of the real estate business. As his own boss, he had to learn the way owning a business worked as well, which came with some growing pains.
Fenster, 51, describes his book as an “easy, step-by-step guide for budding entrepreneurs.” The West Bloomfield native hopes the book can help people start a business like he did, without having to go through as much adversity.
“The challenges were figuring out where am I going to work from, where will my office be and how will I retain my clients,” Fenster says. “I had to figure out how I was going to keep this going and not lose income.”
The plan to grow his business took a few years to formulate, and once it got started, he learned how to operate through trial-and-error.
Fenster kept notes of things he learned as an entrepeneur dating as far back as 2011. He began the process of a book, working on it intermittently and eventually consulting writer Sabrina Must to help him finish it.
“The book is a good guide that walks people through not only the process, but I also have my experience, advice and anecdotes in there as well,” Fenster says.”I put anecdotes in there to help bring it in to real life, so people can connect with it and understand.”
Fenster’s mother died five years ago, but he and his father Irwin remain close. Throughout his business endeavors, Fenster makes sure his father has an office space so he can come and go as he pleases. They also attend services at Temple Israel together.
“I have an older sister that I’m very close with as well,” he says. “The unconditional support is something you can never replace.”
Join Fenster on Thursday, Oct. 3 for a launch party for How to Start a Business at Bistro 82 in Royal Oak at 6:30 p.m.