First, the Rules (if you're in a rush, read the bold):
Get out of the bathroom. i.e. stop hiding.
I’m a huge introvert, which in the business world has a funny, sort of negative connotation to it (you don’t want to meet people all day every day?!) Ehh. Meeting new and interesting people is great, but it isn’t my sole mission. What I’ve learned is that being subconsciously scared of meeting people will screw you. In my graduate Philosophy work, there’s a theory that talks about why we like to be alone or not really mix with people, and it’s because people have the ability to mirror ourselves—and we hate that—especially if we don’t like what we see in them. [Interesting right?! Let me know if you want more on that].
Don't underestimate what people want.
The point is to see what floats
. You can gauge interest by sharing your ideas with others (see The Body Language Handbook
) or even playing with it online. This is the biggest mistake I think I’ve made thus far. If I don’t pay for something, it doesn’t mean that somebody else wouldn’t pay for it. If I’m a Squarespace pro, I’m not gonna buy a book on learning Squarespace—but some people will! Because they’re not pros! You’re a master at some things and not others; understand that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and see where you can help.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment—don’t’ feel like you have to sell now or die.
If Seth Godin says ship, Ship! But not on blind faith. If there’s one thing I’ve learned (the hard way), it’s that you need to find a balance between research and ready-to-launch. There are so many ways to experiment nowadays to see if your product or service is even viable. If you’re not sure, experiment. Don’t throw your life savings at it and say “I command you to work!” Experiment, scientist.
Be Humorous and a Good Person. I know I’m asking a lot of you here (not) and you’re probably an amazing person anyway (reading this blog, right?) but it’s just a reminder. No matter how ridiculous the rest of the world feels around you at times, there’s no reason to give in to the fact that you can be an asshole. You’re well above that my friend.
Now the 15 Best Places on the Web for Entrepreneurs (categorized):
Market Research: Google Trends or Google Insights, Facebook ads (create it for free and just delete it at the end),
Keywords and SEO: Google Adwords (Google "adwords promo" and get $75 bucks free)
Motivation: Seth Godin’s Blog, Hugh Macleod’s Cartoons, FourHourBlog.com
Interviews: Mixergy.com, Foundation.bz (these are a bit long but check out ones you like)
Web Design: Squarespace.com (I use this to test out many, many sites), Unbounce.com (professional i.e. not-cheesy landing pages)
Fun Downtime: Diggnation.com (new episodes every Wednesday)
Learn something: Mahalo.com (AMAZING for fun guitar songs and learning all kinds of stuff), DailyGrape.com (Guy Vaynerchuck is a great guy and wine is the shiznit), TheNewBoston.com (best coding tutorials on the web—if you’re into that sort of thing)
That's it! Those are my top sites for new and established Entrepreneurs. Now go kick ass.
Got something to add? Feel free to share it in the comments below.