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Are You Ready to Chase Your Entrepreneurial Dream? 5 Questions to Help You Decide

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As a techie in your 30s, you may feel you’re past the age for your entrepreneurial adventure. Perhaps sometimes you debate if  you should give it a shot after all – for if not now, then when? But are you ready to give up the stability offered by your high-paying tech job? How do you know if the time is right? 

Here are 5 questions which will help you answer if you are truly ready to be an entrepreneur?

1. Every Thanksgiving, ask yourself:  “Am I excited about next year?”

Leaving a fat, stable paycheck to jump into the unpredictable, unknown world of entrepreneurship is hard! So, when do you know it’s time? Make it a rule to ask yourself every thanksgiving – in my current role, am I truly looking forward to next year? Am I excited?

If your answer is anything other than “Hell, yeah”. You need to move. You are ready for a change. And its probably time you seriously consider your entrepreneurial dream. Follow Jeff Bezos’s famous regret-minimization-framework which begs the simple question – In X years, will I regret not doing it?

As Bezos himself puts it: “I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried.”

2. Do you have financial and emotional support?

We often think that if we get married, we may not be able to accomplish our entrepreneurial dream. The truth is the opposite. A partner can be the biggest support you can have in the lonely journey of an entrepreneur. Not to mention how much of a financial support they can be during the tough times.

Your closest friends are not to be underestimated either. When nothing goes your way, all you want is a shoulder to lean on and someone to motivate you. Make sure you have your social-support system. Network with other entrepreneurs. Only they truly understand what you are going through.

3. Are you ready to put your money at stake and maybe lose it all?

Scroll through LinkedIn and you will constantly read about startups getting funded with millions of dollars. You start to believe that all you need is an idea and you will raise money. But, speak to any entrepreneur who has raised money and they will tell you about the time and money they poured into the business to get traction before they got any attention from investors. So, are you ready to put your hard-earned money at stake and in the worst case, lose it all? 

4. Are you ready to get your hands dirty?

As an entrepreneur, you will be a one-person-army. And for a long time! As a tech entrepreneur, you may very well be an engineer one day and a salesperson making cold calls the next. If you are a food entrepreneur, then you are the cook, the manager, the server, and the dishwasher. Whatever your venture is, you need to get your hands dirty. You own your business and you may need to do it all. You may eventually find help and build a team but when push comes to shove, you don’t say – that’s not my job. Do you envision yourself doing it all?

5. Do you have an exit plan?

On your entrepreneurial journey, you could lose sight and forget to evaluate when it’s time to cut your losses. Remember, a startup is both highly rewarding and risky. Have an exit plan before you jump in and each thanksgiving, re-evaluate if its time to change direction or call it quits.

There is absolutely no shame in changing direction or quitting if the data suggests so. Remember how Netflix used to be a DVD Rental service before they pioneered to online streaming? Sprig, a meal-kit business, called it quits after 5  years of business. Their business model wasn’t sustainable.

Moral of the story – listen to your data and be ready to make major changes if need be.

Did you answer yes to all five? Congratulations, you are now all set to jump onto the entrepreneurial boat. Meet you at sea! It’s going to be a one, fun, bumpy exciting ride. 

Shilpi Gupta is the founder of Edizeven - a job portal for restaurants.  She is a self proclaimed startup addict. After spending nearly a decade at Amazon, she ran a food business called Kukree before launching her current venture Edizeven.

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Entrepreneurs

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How You Can Start Networking in Style in 2023

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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