An intrinsic part of the startup ecosystem is to keep ourselves updated with the latest in the community. It isn’t surprising that we don’t shy away from signing up for numerous newsletters, strut ourselves on various social media platform & events in order to satiate our entrepreneurial appetite!
Life of an entrepreneur is busy and as one of them, I feel your pain. Given that the startup ecosystem is changing adversely, one needs a systematic approach of “consuming such content”, without getting inundated.
In other words, as entrepreneurs we need platforms/methods and micro-communities that not only add value, but are also updated and have the ability to lead meaningful discussions with others entrepreneurs. This also means quality content which is available on the go!
Here’s a list of 9 unique ways in which entrepreneurs can enrich themselves-everyday!
If you are on Twitter, chances are that you are already mingling with the right set of people through day-to-day interactions. However over time, this approach may get diluted. This may happen due to a cluttered timeline or too many followers, leading to a shift in focus from the ones that matter.
An excellent way to dive into the right conversation at the right time is by breaking down your contacts through Twitter lists. Twitter lists can be either private or public, depending upon how you want to use them. A few options for entrepreneurs includes, lists of clients, other entrepreneurs with shared interests, staff lists, competitor list, etc.
A pro-tip here is to also reach out to mutual favorites via a direct message, in case you want a more private conversation. Using Twitter is the first step in acquainting oneself with high energy and opinionated platform.
Slack It Out!
Slack has become the startup community’s go-to tool. While most startups use it for internal team conversations, a lot of entrepreneurs have leveraged this platform to breed “restricted”, “invite-only” or “like-minded” communities. Being a part of such communities, keeps one closer to the latest developments and meaningful conversation. Considering that the premise of such communities on Slack is to constantly support each other, exchange tips and network, it is highly advised to be its part.
Given the fact that Slack can get highly addictive, it is advised to test the right community for yourself and exit out from the ones that do not add value to you. Here’s a list of Slack communities that may come in handy.
Participate In An AMA (Ask Me Anything)
AMA’s are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean that one hops on every single one that passes by. I’ve always believed that AMA’s are the best way to seek unadulterated feedback from experts in your domain or entrepreneurs who have already “unicorned” themselves. As entrepreneurs, we need to continually validate ourselves and in times of lows, there isn’t a better way than AMA’s to seek clarity. While AMA is a very Reddit concept, I personally enjoy participating/reading AMA’s on noteworthy platforms such as Growthhackers and Inbound.org.
Listen To A Podcast
Devoid of ideas or need inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs? What better way than listening to them on a podcast. In a time when every entrepreneur craves for 36 hours a day, these podcasts can provide the right content in an easy to gulp down format! Here’s an epic collection of podcasts for startup founders.
Indulge In A Community Initiative
Growthhackers.com is a highly engaging and revered community for me. It is a platform that I observe and participate on quite frequently. This platform always strives to add more value to its loyalists via content, AMA’s, case studies and other innovative mediums. Very recently they’ve introduced a community initiative named office hours where followers can meet the Growthhackers team via Skype!
Anuj Adhiya, dons many hats. He is the Co-founder of PlanitWide, Director of engagement and analytics at Qualaroo as well as the the care-taker of Growthhackers community! As a fellow entrepreneur, Anuj states that:
“A common perception may be that more famous/successful startups have it all figured out – after all, that’s why they have that level of name recognition. At the same time, when you are struggling yourself, to make “simple” things happen, can get pretty frustrating.
One way to get around this is to just talk to others, whether that’s taking advantage of something like office hours or other kinds of meetups. You’ll find that every team, including those with more experience, go through the same (kinds of) struggles.
The net result is that you’ll come away feeling like it’s not just you (which is a really big relief!). You’ll also come away with new ideas on how to approach, and maybe even resolve issues that might’ve seemed insurmountable before such conversation.”
Look Out For Founder Specific Content
I’ve said it often. Getting drowned in generic content is easy, and therefore, it is better to stick to content sources that cover trending topics and are more relevant. This will benefit both you and your team. Here’s a look at 7 platforms that I visit on almost every given day:
- Zapier blog
- Buffer Open Blog
- Foundcy Newsletter
- Andreessen Horowitz
- Seth Godin’s Blog
- Foundr Magazine
Embrace Product Hunt
Product Hunt is yet another community that should be on every entrepreneur’s list. It is an engaging platform with new products, conversations and a lot more every day. It also serves as a great mood board for your next big idea! Product Hunt also hosts various meetups across the globe which is a great pitstop for entrepreneurs.
Host A Private Dinner
Informal discussions via a dinner or lunch are the best way to build a camaraderie, especially in the entrepreneur circuits. However, there’s a lot one can do here. I recently stumbled upon this tweet from Sujan Patel– a well known Content Marketer and entrepreneur who travelled across the US to meet fellow users and entrepreneurs. Here’s the webpage that discusses the purpose of such dinners. In my opinion, it is also an intelligent way to seek honest and expert feedback on your product.
Invest In Good Old Conversation
Good old banter lets you connect with a person in a much better way as compared to virtual means. As a Microsoft Venture alumni, I’m blessed to have a close and private group of well-wishers who regularly support and advice each other on all levels of entrepreneurship. Being a funded company also helps us to be mentored by investors, which in itself is an enriching experience.
Over To You!
What are the platforms that you look up to enrich yourself as an entrepreneur? Are there any unique platforms that you would want to add to this repository? Do share your feedback in the comments below!