Getting Experience or Advice Before Starting

One of the greatest words of advice I got from a successful female entrepreneur (my mother) was: before starting a company, get some experience in that area or at the minimum, have a mentor to ask advice.

Getting Experience

The reason that getting experience is so great is that you will learn on someone else’s dollar and not your own.

I wish I could have interned with a company to learn all about markets. It could have saved me a lot of money and I would have gotten paid to learn instead of working for free for so many years and accruing debt.

Once, I volunteered with Unique Markets in Los Angeles and I had such a great time learning how they operate. It made me better. But one thing I did was I was upfront with them on who I was and why I wanted to volunteer.

It’s never a good idea to be sneaky about it, or anything at all for that matter.

If You Have Experience

Some may already be in a company where they see ways they could improve the product and decide to leave. This is perfectly fine, but you may want to be sure you look at your contracts to see if there is a non-compete clause.

Some non-compete clauses include not starting companies within a certain distance of the original country, or within the country. People have moved, even out of the country, to start a successful business. It is done!

Interview

Whenever you have the opportunity, try to get experience or at least interview other people in your industry.

I find that if the person isn’t physically near you and you’re a start-up, they are more open to talking to you. But there are other times where some won’t help you no matter what, so just keep asking people. Some of the most successful people are happy to tell their secrets to success. The reason being is because they know the time and effort it takes to create a successful company. It’s not just the product but the hustle that makes someone successful.

I find that it can be quite easy to ask someone to tell you about themselves and give advice. They may not disclose where they get all of their materials but you can still get valuable advice.

I mentioned this in other articles but www.Score.org is a free consulting website. This website connects people with retired professionals that wish to donate their time. It’s one area to check out!

The Two Key Interview Questions

When interviewing another person, I find it useful to ask two key questions:

  1. What worked well when starting your company and continues to give you success?
  2. What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?

Those two questions will give a lot of insight into the industry and from there you may have more questions, but those two are key.

Bottom Line

Don’t go putting a lot of money into an industry blindly. Watch YouTube videos, start small, talk to people, try your products at markets and you’ll do well!

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