Welcome to the ranks of the newly entrepreneurial. While many people think you’re crazy to pursue this lifestyle, others are ready and willing to offer their support. Here’s how to take advantage of your new position.
If you’ve decided to set out on an entrepreneurial adventure, congratulations. Welcome to the club. Deciding to go after your dreams, pursue your passion, and put your work out in the world is a decision that you didn’t take lightly. There are probably a handful of people who think you’re nuts and another handful who will support you in this adventure. Have you patted yourself on the back for making it this far? Excellent.
However, making this choice is just the first step to living your new dream. If you want to start out on this journey with your best foot forward, let’s talk about five ways to rock your newbie entrepreneur status.
- Join an entrepreneurship group. For me, it’s the Young Entrepreneur Council. Joining any organization of like-minded people can help you get things squared away. Chances are that not everyone in the group will be newbie, which means there are seasoned entrepreneurs available to share their stories of what works and what doesn’t and answer the crazy questions you’ll have as you get started.
- Get a mentor. Entrepreneurs, no matter their industry, are incredibly supportive of people starting out. If you see someone doing something you admire, shoot them a note introducing yourself and your vision, and then just ask them if they have time to answer some questions over coffee. Don’t abuse this, obviously, because there is a difference between mentoring and consulting. It should be pretty clear which role the person on the other end would like to play.
- Don’t beat yourself up. When I started my company 3Ring Media, I solemnly swore to myself that I would network my face off and meet people who need help boosting their businesses in this crazy online world. And my first client came through an opportunity to serve as the director of marketing and event planner for the drop zone where I learned to skydive. However, come July, I realized that I had done nothing to help build 3Ring because I was working so much with that first client. I freaked out at first, but then I remembered that 3Ring is my business; I run this show. Sure, I hadn’t come as far as I had hoped, but I did learn a lot while working with that first client.
- Make time for yourself. Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of actually getting work (or selling products or whatever you’re doing) that you forget why you got the work in the first place. Take time to keep growing. Attend a conference. Go to a networking event. Grab coffee with an entrepreneur you admire.
- Keep going—really. I panicked that I hadn’t marketed myself well enough; nobody had heard about 3Ring Media since I had initially gotten all hyped up on quitting my last job to start this whole “living the dream” thing full-time. I was convinced I was going to fail as an entrepreneur. Then I snapped out of it and got back to hustling. It really was that simple: Keep going.