3 Lessons From Entrepreneurs (and their Fears) at TechWeek NYC
Entrepreneurship is jumping off a building and attempting to build a plane quick enough before you hit the ground!
Aptly stated by Susan Lindner of Emerging Media PR, it is a courageous career move, and one that required a vast array of skills that could often only be learned via experience. Well themed along the lines of being on the eve of Halloween season, the collaboration of Tech Week NYC with the fascinating entrepreneurial workspace Cowork.rs was a solid pedestal to shared insights on what four disparate entrepreneurs feared the most in their journeys.
The startup gurus themselves were from Floor Hacker, Sure Done, Rent Share and Different Hunger. Many shared their backgrounds on how they came to being entrepreneurs, from the fears of quitting a full time job to teaching themselves previously unknown skills. 3 common themes that resonated and shed light on aspiring entrepreneurs were as follows.
Relationships with Investors
Two key things were learned here: have stamina for endurance, and have a reserve after your first investment. There were many stories of bootstrapping, to hearing constant rejections from investors (which some paralleled with online dating!). However the most informative lesson was that entrepreneurs must secure a reserve for any unprecedented things that may go wrong with the startup – a smart competitor, a major loophole, or truly, anything.
Growing a Team
With a humungous freelancer world at one’s disposal, there was much talk on hiring full time employees versus freelancers, and how to evaluate them. Most agreed that at least for your first employees as a small/lean startup, they relied more on proven results than on gut and intuition when it came to hiring. Which explains why several startups have employees and freelancers in various time zones, which mandates apt time management and measurement of results.
Just Do It
Whether one has an idea, a spark of something that can make a difference, the goal is to always just do it. Some of these guys saw a need on the market, others just wanted to make a difference. And the best part was, even after overcoming setbacks or seeming failures, they didn’t just languish, but continued to strive to do something.
A quotable quote that ended the evening was that it’s okay to admit that you don’t know something. “The admission of ignorance” is thus completely okay.