I have recently made some major changes in my life. The most significant of which is my change in motivation and my job. A few months ago, I started to dive deeper into the Startup World to test the waters and see if it was something I could take on and would actually enjoy. This month, I made the full leap and am putting my full effort into my new business. As I do so, I continue to surround myself with the Startup World as much as possible.
When I first had the idea for my new product, I did what anyone would do; I Googled the idea to see if any other companies have developed this product. This research also included some initial searches on competition and the industry. This was my preliminary step into my exciting venture into the Startup World. Since that initial search I have done three things that have helped me realize that I would love to be a serial entrepreneur.
To immerse myself in the startup world, I started:
1. Increasing the number of blogs I read
Blogs are an incredible wealth of knowledge. There is so much information out there that it is impossible to catch everything that is pertinent to you. That’s why blogs and even more specifically, RSS feeds are so helpful to me. I follow a handful of entrepreneurs that I have either heard good things about, I am friends with, or work in the same industry as me. These minds have already done at least once what I want to do. Why not learn from the best? I am already entering a world that fails WAY more often that it succeeds, so any help I can get I’ll take. A few years ago, to be able to see into the minds of these top tier people, you would have had to know them personally, or had a chance meeting through a friend somehow. Now, they all offer their thoughts…for free and to anyone who wants to read them! It’s great and there are blogs out there about any industry: technology, fashion, pastry/food, you name it. So no matter what industry you are in or what your job is, you can more than likely learn something from reading a blog or two.
2. Following successful entrepreneurs/friends who are entrepreneurs on Twitter
Twitter is a great way to get quick updates on your industry. I have very few tweets update to my phone – it’s annoying and interrupts my life. However, what I do enjoy is signing onto Twitter and being to quickly update myself on new startups people are talking about, big news I should know about, or even a chance meeting by someone I follow. Because each tweet is only 140 characters, it takes so little time to scan through them. I also use Twitter at conferences I go to. Every conference now has a hashtag that people use to help identify their tweets. I not only lock in on that hashtag at the conference, but if I hear a speaker that I enjoy and think can provide me with useful info in the future, I follow their Twitter account. This exact thing happened in October when I saw David Kidder at the RIT entrepreneur conference. He started Clickable.com, a successful advertising web platform helping to make advertising simple. When I was at the conference, he had some interesting things to say and so I started following him.
3. Just Doing Things
I realized that if I was ever going to create a successful startup (or fail trying), I just needed to start. That has been my new attitude towards things with this venture. I’m going to make mistakes along the way, it’s inevitable. All I can do is research a bit, then just do it and not get bogged down by research paralysis. If I am too worried about not having all of the information or not making the correct decision, then this world isn’t going to be for me. Mistakes will be made – BIG mistakes, money will be lost or misused only to find out afterward, and I will fail. But you know what? Better now than never! So I will just do what I think I need to. When the path takes me to failure, I will retrace my steps, learn from it and make sure I change what I need to for next time. But if I’m constantly testing the water with my toe, I won’t ever get to enjoy the pleasure of being completely surrounded by the water below.
I have ramped up and added these three things to my life and I have already noticed a difference. I think it is smart for anyone looking to get into a business, or is already in a business to surround them with the industry. How do you make sure you are completely immersed in what you want/need to be?