Here’s How Entrepreneurs Can Get Answers From Someone Who’s Been There
How do you take your startup to the next level?
That’s the most important question asked by one entrepreneur to another. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time starting a company or your 10th, the question rarely changes.
Answers are what we entrepreneurs need. They’re the fuel that gets us from idea to viability, from viability to sustainability, and from sustainability to growth.
The answers you need are out there. Getting to them is the hard part, because before you can ask any question, let alone the most important question, you have to find the time to answer these questions first.
How do you build a network of experienced, knowledgable entrepreneurs?
The answers you can trust are going to come from entrepreneurs who have been in the position you’re in, preferably those who are still going through the struggles you’re going through. The problem is that the entrepreneurs you can trust are hard to reach, and the entrepreneurs you can reach are hard to trust.
How do you formulate the right question for the right entrepreneur?
I’m always surprised that more entrepreneurs don’t reach out to other entrepreneurs for help. When I ask them what their hesitation is, more often than not their response is that they’re not sure what questions they need to be asking.
This is true of first-time entrepreneurs and grizzled veteran entrepreneurs alike. You need an environment where questions and answers can flow freely.
How do you make the time to chase answers down?
The most valuable resource for an entrepreneur isn’t money or connections, it’s time. Taking the time to research who might be able to answer your question, how you get ahold of them, what’s the right messaging to ask for help, and then the whole schedule puzzle. That’s a ton of time spent not building your company.
And if time is scarce on your end, you can only imagine how scarce time is for the person you’re asking for help.
How do you afford real help?
The second most popular answer to why more entrepreneurs don’t ask for more help is that they (probably) can’t afford it.
This is totally understandable. I do a lot of startup advising, and it’s expensive, and not for everyone. I can totally empathize with the concerns that you’re going to spend 25 of your 30 minutes making small talk or explaining every detail of your company and product history for context.
I can tell you, as an advisor, I worry about that too. See the last section about entrepreneurs not knowing the right questions to ask.
All of this is why I founded Teaching Startup
Teaching Startup solves almost all these problems. It’s a product built out of the service of entrepreneurs asking other entrepreneurs questions about how to take their startup the next level.
We’ve got experienced, knowledgable, working entrepreneurs who know how to shape answers and deliver them in a way that helps everyone, not just the person who asked.
They’re versed in ideation and vision, product and build, sales and marketing, operations and structure, and funding and growth.
Tomorrow’s issue has a Q&A with an answer from Mike Evans, cofounder of GrubHub and current founder and CEO of Fixer. That next issue is our 22nd, and we’ve answered close to 100 questions so far.
Join now and you’ll get Mike’s Q&A tomorrow. You can also get up to 30 days free and access to all the questions and answers we’ve tackled. Use promo code EXPERTS and get your first month after trial for just $5. It’s only $10 a month after that.
It isn’t what you’re used to and it isn’t what you might imagine, but it works. You’ll get answers, on your time, for about 3% of the cost of a formal advisor session.