I had the pleasure of spending my Columbus Day at a local startup event, getting my entrepreneurial "booty" in shape. It was wonderful to step back and look at the whole startup scene while being inspired by smart, successful entrepreneurs.
MIT Startlabs' Startup Bootcamp is designed for students to jump in and get sweaty with startups. The one day event featured speakers such as young CEO's to tech world big wigs – and they all proved just as dynamic as the last. Since Daily Grommet works to elevate entrepreneurs and products, I knew their advice would come in handy for our employees, the partners we service and anyone with entrepreneurial potential!
Everyone should be empowered to create successful livelihoods doing what they love. Startup Bootcamp inspired me to do just that –and I hope these notes and quotes help to inspire you too.
Getting started can be easy, says Brett van Zuiden, MIT 2012 graduate and CEO of Filepicker.io. “Start. Get out there and just do something.” He says it doesn’t matter your skill set, age, or experience – there’s no better opportunity than right now to go for what you want! Starting a project doesn’t have to be perfect. What matters is that you're building and creating SOMETHING.
Blank on ideas? Christine Corbett, creator of the Circleof6, suggests “mastering a certain set of tools” first. Like taking pictures? Sign up for a class, take a camera out and learn as much as you can. Talk to great photographers. Look for great images. You need the ability to inspire yourself.
Remember, just start...
...And don’t stop.
You’ve got the idea, now take it to the next level. Share your ideas and your skill set with someone who can help. Hold yourself accountable to the people you’ve shared with. Crashlytics’ Co-Founder, Jeff Seibert, says that going to networking events should be about “finding someone who’s in love with your idea and building a so-called ‘tribe’ of people who love your concept.” That 'tribe' at Daily Grommet was a team of employees, who then became a group of entrepreneurs with great products and it now extends to our customers. We call it the “ripple effect”. Never underestimate how powerful that can be.
Finding a great mentor can strengthen your resolve when you question your potential. Leah Busque of TaskRabbit was inspired by her mentor with a simple statement: “I think you’re onto something. I think you should see how far you can take it.” Since then, she’s woken up with the intention of using the day to push her idea a little bit farther. She’s now collected $38 million to achieve her vision of “revolutionizing the world’s labor force.”
Growing smart as your business grows
Growth means hard decisions. Preparing for and knowing how you'll handle them is key. Know your values, and think of those hard questions you’ll inevitably encounter such as, ‘What am I prepared to sacrifice? Am I willing to fire a friend? What kind of businesses do I want to align with?’
Lee Hower was a part of the founding teams at both PayPal and LinkedIn. He spoke at length about how to scale a business. Self awareness is key, he says. "You need to know your style and know others’ as you build your team.”
Possibility of Failure
As if one could forget about failure when talking risky business ventures, Jim Psota of Panjiva reminds us that, “If you’re not failing enough, you’re not taking enough risks.” A perceived ‘failure’ for Jim was an unrealized goal yet it became valuable information that made his company a leader in global trade intelligence.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating something today! Who knows, you just might have the next Grommet idea.
Want to see which potential Grommets are being suggested? Check out our Citizens Gallery!