In your twenties you have limited access to resources and very little experience, and that’s exactly why you can be incredibly successful! Our lack of resources helped us improvise and build the impossible with the GenJuice Tour. With just big dreams, we attracted sponsors, gained media coverage, received event venue donations and will touch over 1.2MM young people this summer. So, here are ten steps we used to build GenJuice and that you can use to make your own national or global impact:
1. Got an idea? Pitch it immediately and don’t “protect” your ideas
February 16, 2010: Arielle didn’t wait longer than two days before she pitched the idea to friends and family to get feedback. She didn’t think about someone stealing the idea. She knew sharing it was the only way to make it a success.
2. Be a victim of peer pressure
February 20, 2010: After soliciting feedback and finding a few team members to support the movement, we told everyone we knew about our plans. By telling everyone, we put our personal reputations on the line and people expected to see us make the tour happen.
3. Go to events to find your team members
February 27, 2010: Arielle, Gleb & Danielle had already been good friends, but with all of them working full-time or in school, there was no way they could do it alone. Virgilia joined immediately after meeting Arielle at a Women 2.0 workshop and the core team was secured. You can check out some other cool networking events like Startup Weekend, BarCamp, Founder Dating, and Co-Founders Meetup to find your own team.
4. Partner with people who are in the early stages of their own ventures
March 1, 2010: After you’ve built your team, you’re going to need external help in the areas you have limited experience. We immediately teamed up with Brenton of Convospark as our social media consultant and Ingrid Stabb of “The Career Within You” as our formal adviser. They not only believed in our vision, but they were in the early stages of their projects and found some unique ways to benefit from GenJuice. So, recruit extended members of your team by finding other early stage projects to trade resources with.
5. Join an existing community or network
April 3, 2010: Working with Brenton & the Convospark guys, we found incredible support within the Gen Y blogging communities. All it took were some introductions and suddenly we made great friends and found GenJuice supporters who were ready to help us make this Gen Y innovation tour a success. You can find communities to join at Meetup.com and virtual communities at Ning.com.
6. Make Websites, Not Babies
May 1, 2010: This will make a little more sense with this video. We learned two things around this time. The first is that design is incredibly important when it comes to establishing credibility! The second is if you want to do something, it should not take you 9 months or longer to make it happen. We redesigned and relaunched a new GenJuice website in less than a week, with our awesome designer Gleb.
7. Always always have a test run for anything you plan to do!
May 8, 2010: We held GenJuice Berkeley with just one goal: to test out all of our assumptions. Regardless of what you’re working on, always have a test run with a small group of your target demographic first. Make them an official group, club or board within your project to give them some ownership in the end result.
8. Get Organized, Get Google Docs
May 10, 2010: We recognized how important organization was, not only for our team, but for the hundreds of people we wanted to connect during the GenJuice tour. We made Google Docs the sixth official member of our team. Why? Because we use it for nearly everything! From internal collaboration to the way our attendees meet each other before our events.
9. If you love it, why don’t you marry it?
May 18, 2010: You can see a quick video post from both Virgilia (Why I Quit My Job), Arielle (Importance of Going Full-Time) and Brenton (When To Go Full-Time) to see the excitement of working full-time on a venture. The reason this is pivotal is at that point you no longer have any excuses or hindrances that will prevent you from making your project a success. Now it’s go-time!
10. Get out there!
June 19 & 20, 2010: We’ve told you our story by sharing some of our downfalls & major breakthroughs. Use the above nine steps to get ready, but make sure you just do it! You can start off by joining us during the tour, which kicks off on June 20th or attending our launch event in San Francisco on June 19th.
We wanted to share our experiences and the milestones we achieved in building the GenJuice movement for two reasons. The first was to show how quickly you can have an idea and bring it to reality by just believing in it. The second was to show you that despite a lack of resources for GenJuice, we never once used that as an excuse to quit. By taking advantage of every opportunity in front of you and learning from your mistakes, you will always end up in the right direction.
Who is Danielle Leslie?
Danielle Leslie left her Sales and Business Development role at social gaming startup RockYou to take a risk on a fast-moving project called GenJuice. Danielle will be evangelizing innovation and youth entrepreneurship in Summer 2010 during The GenJuice Tour. You can get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Startup Advice