As I grew up, I was pushed to keep my options open, taking on various sports, staying fluent in two languages, and going to a liberal arts school to study Economics.
My studies focused on finance and leadership, and I always knew entrepreneurship and business made sense to study, because I could choose any industry I wanted to get into.
I’m a hands on guy, and I like knowing how things work. So as I worked on my first startup, then my consulting business, then other startups I’ve consulted, I’ve continued to pick up new skills.
I figured that learning how to learn was the best skill one could have.
I quickly taught myself to write PHP and MySQL (I’d written some HTML and CSS in college), developed my graphic design skills (also, took 4 weeks of Photoshop in college), read up on UI/UX, and learned the basic principles and strategies of SEO, social media, marketing, and PR.
Having taught myself, I found it easy to teach others how each of these worked.
I’ve start speaking at graduate level courses as a guest lecturer. Even as the same professors continue to invite me back to speak, it’s difficult not to be humble about the opportunity. The StartupHen blog quickly reached a few hundred unique monthly visitors that spend an average of over 7 minutes per visit (the site has no images or videos).
I’m excited about startups and entrepreneurship. I love that it’s getting easier for people to start companies or “side projects that turn into companies”. I know school teachers who make bank on eBay, stay-at-home-moms who make six figures off what used to be their blog, and random inventions that make millions.
Building a website, getting a prototype designed, finding manufacturers, fulfillment services, etc. All of that is pretty easy these days, especially with a little guidance. Mentorship exists everywhere: online, at events, co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators.
I know what it is I want to do, which is to help people make money doing what they love.
Whether it be in the form of entrepreneurship, high growth tech startups, boutique consulting firms, mom and pop shops, or collaborative consumption.
Since so many others provide so many of the necessary pieces to this big puzzle, I’m leaning toward taking a role that puts the puzzle pieces together. Orienting new comers to existing resources.
I’m not trying to be a mentor, but a connector. I want to continue researching existing resources, find patterns in successful businesses, and share this information in an understandable way.
I still need focus. Feeling dazed and enthused.