People often throw around the entrepreneur title, now more than ever in the midst of the startup frenzy. That being said, you don’t often hear how a person does it. How do they make the leap from businessman or businesswoman to entrepreneur with their first major venture? Sure, every launch process is a little different based on what you are trying to do or who you work with. All that aside though, past entrepreneurs offer plenty of helpful hints to at least get you started.
Use Your (Limited) Tool Kit
It’s easy to underestimate the value and tools at your disposal when working for a big company. Consider that doors may open for you because of the clout your company has rather than your own clout. When you find yourself thrown into the entrepreneur pool, you realize quickly that you don’t have access to those same assets. That’s why you need to use what you have at your disposal, which in most cases isn’t a whole lot.
Want to know the key to opening doors for yourself? Passion and drive. Enthusiasm is infectious, and you need people to believe in your product or plan just as much as you do, especially when seeking investments. As Amit Ashwini says, “Passion is your most precious asset, especially in the beginning. Your energy will make people believe in you and your project when there’s still not much to believe in.”
Practicality is a Necessity
Remember that as an entrepreneur, everything counts; every dollar, every potential investor, every bit of help you can secure. Because everything is so invaluable, it becomes increasingly important for you to keep things practical. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Don’t announce a launch you can’t make. These oversights could cost you your business. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “I’m blown away by all the “entrepreneurs” who start businesses and at launch, don’t realize the importance of generating money and how to manage profits. Instead of focusing on the present financial needs and building an actual company, they are too busy thinking about how much money they’ll be making four years from now.” As a best practice, avoid spending too much time thinking about the future and not enough time planning for the present.
It’s Never Too Late to Network
As an entrepreneur, you can never have too many friends or mentors. You also never know when you might find your next investor. A major part of launching a business is hustling from networking event to networking event because you need to create a buzz about your project and oftentimes word of mouth will be one of the only approaches you can afford. That doesn’t mean it won’t payoff though. As Raja Chakraborty reminds, “Networking is a valuable tool as it can help you land a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or even a great mentor. It is therefore, essential to attend industry and start-up events, to scope out new talents and opportunities.”