And no more “I don’t have time to be an entrepreneur” or “it’s too risky”.
Success in life is about action: about working hard and working slowly towards accomplishing great goals. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you can work towards getting rid of your stuck-up corporate job and start making money doing something you love.
To help you, I’ve compiled five resources you can use right now to be an entrepreneur. In the comments below, let me know how these helped you, and what else you still need to start embracing entrepreneurship:
1. Go to entrepreneurship Meetup groups
Meetup.com is God’s gift to entrepreneurs, verteran entrepreneur and new ones alike. Simply join Meetup.com, and search startup groups in your area. Here, you’ll meet all sorts of entrepreneur-types that would be hard to locate otherwise.
Prominent examples of Meetup groups include the NYC Tech Meetup and the Silicon Valley Tech Meetup. Unless you live in the tiniest city on the planet, I guarantee you there’s going to be something around where you live. For example, I live in Hartford—a relatively small city—and there’s a ton of entrepreneur groups within driving distance.
Starting to meet other like-minded people is the best way to become an entrepreneur.
Action Item: sign up for Meetup.com and join 5 entrepreneurship Meetup groups around you. Attend a meeting for each in the next month.
2. Go to Startup Weekend
What if there was a way you could go through the entire process of developing and validating a business idea—all with the help of trained mentors and over the course of one weekend…all for only ~$75?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Startup Weekend.
Startup Weekend is an entrepreneurship-demystifying event that happens usually once-per-year in localities all over the world. People show up, pitch business ideas, form teams, and validate the idea all on the fly.
At the end of 2 grueling days, the teams give presentations. The top 2 teams win tons of prizes, ranging from free legal services to press coverage…and most importantly, an awesome platform to launch a business.
Startup Weekend teaches entrepreneurs stuff that would take you a year to figure out on your own in just 2 days.
Why not give yourself a jumpstart?
Action Item: Figure out when Startup Weekend is going on in your area, and sign up now!
3. Use local university or chamber of commerce resources
Municipalities, chambers of commerce, and universities are practically begging people to become entrepreneurs.
Free classes and resources run rampant in even smaller cities…for example, in Phoenix, AZ, Arizona State University actively encourages entrepreneurship amongst its students and the public. In Hartford, CT, the University of Hartford offers classes for entrepreneurs. And nationally, the Small Business Association offers resources for entrepreneurs to use, including loans and classes. Some universities even have their students do programming for entrepreneurs as part of their student’s class projects.
I have met a wealth of talent at local universities and chambers of commerce. Folks I’ve met there have been instrumental to the success of my ventures. Why not take some of that for yourself?
Action Item: Check every university in your area and see what resources they offer entrepreneurs. Check all of the chambers of commerce and do the same. Do a Google search of “entrepreneurship <your city>” and see what other organizations offer resources for entrepreneurs.
4. Read awesome pro-entrepreneur blogs (ones that contain actually useful info)
Believe it or not, there are some excellent blogs about entrepreneurship out there. The advantage of hooking onto a high-quality blog is learning from proven experts, usually for free (no cost for the blog’s content). A couple I frequent and find especially useful:
Teaches young professionals how to manage their money, make $ on the side, and negotiate.
Interviews with proven entrepreneurs.
Writer who successfully went into freelancing fulltime. Very open about his failures and successes, and what he learned the hard way.
Action Item: Spend an hour a day this week researching blogs about entrepreneurship. Take the ones I listed above as a starting point. Find 3-5 that you particularly enjoy, and get involved with the community there. Use these blogs to learn faster.
5. Crush your excuses
Still got latent worries or excuses floating around in that brain of yours? Never fear. At my site Decoding Startups, I compiled 8 of the most common excuses people make for not pursuing entrepreneurship, and wrote a fact-based refutation of each.
Go check it out here, crush your excuse, and come out a new, bolder man! (or woman!).
Action Item: Check it out champ! The Excuse Crusher.
R.C. Thornton teaches would-be entrepreneurs how to go from excuses to launch at his blog, Decoding Startups. He is currently working on 2 startups; one for academic research, and the other developing a smart phone accessory.
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