An entrepreneurial consultant told a group of potential business owners that owning their own business could lead to financial freedom but noted "it is very stressful to be an entrepreneur and a lot of people don't realize that."

Phillip Russo spoke Wednesday during a session put on by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on how people can design plans and gain funding needed to start their own small business.

"I always ask, 'Do you want financial independence and financial freedom, but can you handle the pressure?'" he said. "I'm not here to tell you if your business concept is going to work or not. It's not to me to tell you what's going to work. It's up to me to help you get everything together for you to go forward with the concept if you feel comfortable with it."

Russo offered advice on how to get started, including contacting LUS to find out the average electric bill of a similar-sized business and how agencies such as Lafayette Economic Development Authority offer tax and employee incentives and market research.

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