Entrepreneurial

The entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours”

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on his blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

50 coffee meetings. It should stick in your head as a metaphor for networking. For getting outside of your comfort zone. For starting relationships today that won’t pay off for a year. It’s the entrepreneur’s equivalent of “10,000 hours.”

Anybody who has spent any time with me in person will be tired of this advice because I give it so frequently. It’s a piece of actionable advice that if you put into practice starting next week, will start paying dividends in the near future. There’s a direct correlation to your future success.

5 meetings/week = 250/year.

Imagine the human progress you could make with 250 short, relationship-focused meetings.

Here’s why it’s critical:

1. Recruiting. Are you looking for great engineers? Talented brand sales people? A smart young marketing exec? If you wait until you need to fill somebody in a roll, you’re losing valuable time as an entrepreneur. You should always have a steady stream of “friend of the firm” hanging around your company. You invite them to cocktail parties. You send them update emails. You don’t have a budget for them – not yet. But when you do, you’re ready to go.

7 business mistakes you ought to avoid

– Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur who blogs about business at Quick Sprout and is the co-founder of KISSmetrics. This article originally appeared here. The views expressed are his own. –

After 10 years of being an entrepreneur, you probably think that I have everything figured out, right? Sadly, I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, to a large extent I know what I’m doing, but just like my first day as an entrepreneur I’m still making mistakes.

The mistakes aren’t the same rookie ones I’ve made before, but instead they are bigger mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes I’ve made over the last few years that you should avoid:

Networks promise recession victims entrepreneurial edge

USA/“So you’ve been laid off. That sucks. But it doesn’t have to.” Those are the first words of encouragement offered up to visitors upon landing at the website for The Runway Project, a new venture that helps recently laid-off individuals start their own companies. Call it small-business networking, recession-style.

The project’s more than just a virtual affair, though. Since launching the group in March, founder Tony Bacigalupo and his affiliates have been busy hosting free get-togethers in New York City for would-be entrepreneurs on everything from the mechanics of starting a business to tips on building a personal brand. Another upcoming session promises a crash course on bookkeeping for startups.

The meetings are also a forum for brainstorming with other like-minded people and small-business experts. “Insanely helpful! Having a group of people to brainstorm with is priceless,” wrote one woman, who attended an April session, in a comment on the group’s website. And other comments suggest some are eager to get branches up and running in other U.S. cities, too.

Is it time to get Twitter-fied?

twitterYou know something has buzz when it makes the leap from noun to verb. Like Google before it, Twitter — a social networking site that lets users follow and communicate with each other via 140 character messages, known as “tweets” — is raising the eyebrows from the big business gurus at Starbucks to small businesses like the local bakery.

Can 140 characters revolutionize your business?  If that possibility isn’t already on the mind of every marketing whiz across the globe, then maybe it should be.

Twitter aims to keep people connected by asking one basic question: What are you doing? Naturally, this invites an avalanche of answers of the banal “clipping-my-toenails-on-the-couch” variety.  On the flipside, businesses are starting to recognize it can be a free, highly-effective tool for communicating with customers. (Emphasis on free.)

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