I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.
What are the main issues that newly minted entrepreneurs encounter?
I have a podcast, Neil Thompson Speaks! On the podcast, I speak with people who left their corporate lives for entrepreneurial ones. During our chats, I found three main issues that most of my entrepreneur guests have faced.
I often ask the entrepreneurs on the podcast if they dealt with fear of being on their own. Almost all said yes. How did they deal with the fear? They pushed through it. They accepted that they didn’t know how their business would fare, but went for it anyway. They made sure that they had reserves for the lean times. They approached former colleagues who had moved on to other companies to drum up business. They got repeat business. They persevered. Eventually the fear subsided.
Avoiding costly mistakes
Many entrepreneurs worry about making mistakes that will negatively impact their business. I spoke with an entrepreneur who was an early adopter of YouTube. He had 10 YouTube channels at one point. He didn’t see immediate results with the channels, though, so he shuttered them. Years later, he’s kicking himself for making that decision. He probably could have had over 1 million subscribers by now if he had kept the channels going. Subscribers equal money! He mentioned the importance of having a mentor. If he had had one back then, perhaps he wouldn’t have been so hasty to get rid of his YouTube channels. I think having a mentor is crucial. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. Mentors have been there, done that. A mentor can be the difference between years of struggle and success right off the bat.
Getting new clients
Almost all the entrepreneurs that have appeared on my podcast get the bulk of their clients from existing ones. Word of mouth and referrals fuel them. But what happens when that isn’t enough? For the ones that spend time marketing their business, social media has been key. I recently started doing Facebook ads to get my name out there. It’s too early to tell whether it’s been a success, but, outside of networking, I don’t see any other way of building a business these days. Seriously, if you’re not tweeting, you don’t exist!
On the podcast, we cover these issues and much more. It’s inspiring to hear how entrepreneurs got to where they are and their strategies for success. To tune in, go to www.blogtalkradio.com/neilthompsonspeaks. We broadcast on Mondays at 2 pm Pacific. See you there!