Support Your Local Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur is fun, if you're crazy.

When you're an entrepreneur, you get to make your own hours, push your ideas forward, and attempt to solve problems from a new and unique point of view.

When you're an entrepreneur, you also lose a lot of sleep.

When you're an entrepreneur, you get to mold a team that will work with you to blaze a trail into paths unseen and you get to reap the rewards of your labor.

When you're an entrepreneur, you also have to deal with investors.

You can also read the marketplace. You can deconstruct what you do, rebuild things from the ground up and become the master of your own destiny, reworking products and services to meet the demands of the marketplace.

When you're an entrepreneur, you also have to pay rent or a mortgage.

It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur, and not everyone is cut out for it. It can be a mentally draining experience to be responsible for the paths (and income) of so many other people.



It's like the difference between being single and being a parent. When you're single, you can do what you want, you can live where you want, you can follow your dreams and see where the proverbial seas will take you. When you're a parent, you have to consider the needs of your family and especially of your kids. You need to plan for the long term and make sure you create an infrastructure that will thrive when you're there, but could succeed if you were gone.

Of course that last applies to your business as well. The goal of any entrepreneur is to create a product or service that scales beyond their individual talents. That's the difference between an entrepreneur and a consultant. Both can be visionary and both can have amazing ideas, but an entrepreneur will try to see them through and grow and expand a business to meet the needs of the marketplace -- whereas a consultant will do enough to get by, making a healthy living, and will rarely grow beyond those parameters. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a consultant. It's kind of an "entrepreneur-light"!

The thing about being an entrepreneur is that you always need help. You need mentorship and you need guidance. You need to learn from the mistakes of the past in order to be successful in the future, and there are only limited resources available.

That is something we need to fix, and this column today is a plea for your help. If you've started a business in the past, you should remember that somewhere along the way someone helped you. Someone was at least a little bit selfless in lending you some time, and that helped you to succeed.

We are living in an age where we need more jobs, and we need to foster creativity and more entrepreneurial ventures. There are lots of ideas in the world, and plenty of people who can see these ideas through to success. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a resource for these people and to foster an environment of creativity and innovation. If you can help by providing a desk, making investments, or taking a lunch meeting with someone who wants to pick your brain... all of these are invaluable to someone who's trying to get a start. That meeting may only be 30 minutes to you, but it could spur infinite possibilities for the person on the other side of the table.

So remember that when you're an entrepreneur, things aren't always so easy.

But when you're an entrepreneur, things are almost always exciting and definitely worth the pain. At least, they are if you're a little bit crazy.

7 comments about "Support Your Local Entrepreneurs ".
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  1. Joe Kutchera, August 18, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.

    Good reminder to support the start-ups.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 18, 2010 at 12:07 p.m.

    A person who is single actually takes on more risk. One income. One person to save for the taking care of themselves when they can't do it anymore. Self reliance, self supporting and self dependence. It is not easy for anyone at any status. And much harder for those who do not plan.

  3. Mike Patterson from WIP, Inc., August 18, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.

    Hi Cory - Great points all around and yes, you DO have to be a little crazy.

    It's a bit frustrating as an entrepreneur looking at a government that is dumping millions into repaving roads to create new jobs when any rational individual knows that new jobs come from new, successful companies - so why not put money towards those companies (like the state of New York is trying to do on a limited basis)

    That being said, I'll take any help that anyone is willing to lend! Investors, developer connections, contacts. I'm new to the SF Bay Area and have a fantastic product that's about 3-4 months from launch focused on a huge market and am looking to push it over the finish line to get to a Minimal Viable Product. I came here to finish the dream and am dedicated to seeing it through. Shameless plug but this is probably a prefect forum for soliciting that help.

    I can be contacted at or @mpattyfly.

    Thanks and great on!

  4. Tom Troja from Social Sympony, August 18, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

    Right on Cory... Hire the Hungry.

  5. Thyaga V from WizioTec Corp., August 18, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.

    It is an helpful article to read.

    I wish it is much easier to get a meet with a successful entrepreneurs. Majority of the local entrepreneurs whose advice matters to me the most, have a busy schedule. They get so many such requests and they are busy with ton of fire-fighting tasks at their company. Things like 'helping another aspiring entrepreneur' may carry the least priority.

  6. Todd Ulise from iMarket Services, August 18, 2010 at 7:07 p.m.

    Great post- Starting a business is the hardest thing I think one can ever do. Not for the faint of heart. Local entrepreneurs need some love. Good article Cory

  7. Bill Kaplan from FreshAddress, Inc., August 19, 2010 at 4 p.m.

    Great article, Cory. I'm sure every entrepreneur would echo your sentiments and most are willing to share their insights and act as a resource to others starting on a similar path. Starting a new business is a scary proposition, particularly when everyone around you is saying you're crazy.

    I can't tell you how many times I heard the statement "If you could beat the casinos at their own game, why do they all make so much money?" That was before I started the MIT Blackjack Team.

    Similarly in starting FreshAddress, one of the industry's leading email database services providers, people said to us "How could you ever update a company's bouncing or inactive email address files if all they gave you was their old email addresses?" We called it ECOA (Email Change of Address), modeled after the USPS's NCOA updating service for postal addresses, and now update tens of millions of email addresses for the nations' leading companies and nonprofits.

    If you've got an idea with potential and you've figured out a way to mitigate the myriad of risks involved in launching any new enterprise, go for it and you'll have the time of your life. It won't be easy but "if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it" and there wouldn't be any opportunity left.

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