Entrepreneurs are risk takers following dreams and desires from within, says the founder of Diet Center Inc.

Sybil Ferguson said becoming an entrepreneur is not for the fainthearted or the uncertain. "Risk takers are born, not made. If you are a risk taker, you're usually born to follow a dream," she said during a lecture to business and management students in BYU's Tanner Building.In addition to being director of American Health Companies Inc. and Diet Center Inc., she is the author of two best-selling books, "The Diet Center Program" and "The Diet Center Cookbook."

Ferguson, whose topic was success in franchising, is a member of both the International Franchise and American Entrepreneur associations and has been ranked among the top 60 business women by a national publication for business women.

After compiling successful personal weight-loss and weight-control programs that became popular with friends, doctors and dieters in Rexburg, Idaho, Ferguson started the Diet Center business 18 years ago as a family business while expecting that, "you can't sell a diet."

The growth of the corporation relied on word of mouth, with 1,800 centers open before the business ever advertised, she said.

While there are some 2,300 Diet Centers internationally located primarily in office buildings and shopping malls, Ferguson calls the corporation flow chart simple, with no company-owned stock, no regional offices and no warehouses. Headquarters are in Rexburg, featuring extensive researching and information facilities, shipping operations, pharmaceutical labs and printing presses.