Lessons from talking to young entrepreneurs

I love working young entrepreneurs. They tend to have so much enthusiasm for their ideas. Plus, they tend to teach you as much as you teach them. This week I was fortunate to spend a little bit of time with two young entrepreneurs from Nepal. They had found my Youtube channel and reached out to see if I could spend some time with them talking about their idea.

I was only able to spend about fifteen minutes with them. But we had a good discussion about what they were trying to accomplish. There are a few things that I personally took away from the discussion and a reminder of the biggest mistake I think young entrepreneur make.

We live in a global economy.

I have known this for some time but I was reminded of how modern technology has enabled entrepreneurs like me to run global businesses. This wasn’t the first time that I have worked with entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs or experienced ones, from another country. In fact, a fair amount of the people I work with come from outside the United States.

I was also reminded that…

Content marketing is a great way to expand the reach of your business.

But the biggest lesson I took away was that these entrepreneurs were missing a step in the process.

These young entrepreneurs had not done enough research.

Rushing head first into your business is a mistake. I’m not pointing fingers. In fact, I’ve done the same thing in the past myself. Instead you need to be spending a lot of time on research.

That includes researching things like:

  • who are the key competitors in the space?
  • what do they do well?
  • what don’t they do well?

There are a lot of other questions you need to consider. Yet, even just answering those three will improve your chances of success.

In the case of the Nepalese entrepreneurs they were looking to offer a service that is quite common around the world. Particularly in those countries and cities that are already use to supporting startups. Still, I encouraged them to keep pressing forward. But only after they had done enough research.

Going fast has its place. Especially for startups that know they have their product or service dialed in. But jumping too far ahead is a recipe for failure.

I’m a former C-level banking exec. and 3x startup founder leading a corporate innovation/product team and have helped companies raise over $500M in funding.