Monday, November 28, 2011

Entrepreneur Power

There are many times that I become disappointed with my outlook on the job market for young graduates.  It almost seems criminal that people can spend thousands of dollars on an education only to find that no one is hiring.  In times like these I think that everyone regardless of their degree, needs to channel their inner entrepreneur and create their own path.  Great ideas come from unexpected places but here are some starting points for marketing them that are simple but effective.

1) Find a problem:  It can be a small issue or something that is world changing.  The key to success is finding a lot of people with the same problem and finding a way to fix it.

2) Get a mentor:  This is the time where I harp about it's not what you know it's who you know that matters.  I'm not talking about getting into the coolest clubs or meeting celebrities but rather greatly increasing your chances of success.  By having someone who knows their stuff you will avoid some of the most costly mistakes.

3) Take notes:  I don't yet have a photographic memory or a tape recorder for a brain so keep either a digital recorder or pen and paper by your side at all times.  You can't force creativity but you can be prepared to capture it when it shows itself.

4) Ask questions: By finding out more about the problem you are looking to solve, the better the fit your product will be to the customer.  Think of any sales call as a counseling session and your job is to put the customer on the couch and find out what bugs them.  The results will surprise you

5) Be dumb:  This might seem to go against the grain of everything I've been talking about but make sure you are constantly trying to raise the bar on who you interact with and how you learn.  If you constantly stay in the same environment and hang out with the same people you aren't learning anything new.  I encourage you to constantly be the dumbest person in the room and remember to take notes.  When you start to feel awkward, you know you've found the right place.   



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