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Starting a New Business? Take Someone To Lunch First

As seen on Forbes.

Yes, lunch. Would you gladly fork over the price of a meal in exchange for missing out on years of heartache and thousands of dollars lost? Happy to buy lunch for another who is willing to share untold treasures of wisdom with you?

Good. You’re a wise one indeed.

Every day, all across America, entrepreneurs like you are taking the plunge. Right into the deep end of business ownership. And yes — I hope you know how to swim.

Now if you don’t know how to swim, what is the best way to learn? Should you just jump in and go for it? Maybe; maybe not. While it’s true there is a time for action, there is also a time for prudence, because goodness — you might drown.

So here’s what you do instead: Go find the best instructor possible, a person who rocks at swimming, and have them teach you. Or even better, find a stable of instructors. Rockstars who have been swimming forever. The Michael Phelps’ of the world. And ask each one for their best advice on swimming.

How does this relate to your startup business? Same concept. Just apply it to your business and the field or industry you want to compete in.

For example, if you’re going to start a donut shop — scour the earth until you find the all time greatest donut entrepreneurs and get their advice. Maybe donuts aren’t your style and a consulting business is. Same thing. Seek out the best in your industry and perk your ears up. And yes, even if you plan to compete against them.

If you find someone you won’t be in direct competition with, all the better. For example, say you’re opening a string of drive-thru coffee stands in Colorado, and you find a guru doing it in California with no plans to compete in Colorado; bingo, you’ve just increased your chances of getting his help in a huge way.

The main point is this:

Ask every entrepreneur in your field how to be successful in your business.

And hey, if you can, take every one of the “top dog” entrepreneurs to lunch. Yes, these are the entrepreneurs you want to dine with and start building relationships.

Will every successful entrepreneur be willing to have lunch and help? No, not even close. But so what? A lot of them will. And that’s the point. You can tap into those willing to help you.

So when you get them on the phone; hook up with them over email; or sit down face to face for lunch, do this at a minimum:

Strive to learn all you can in these 3 areas:

Business Plan. – Get wisdom, experience and insight on your business plan and how best to execute it. What do the kings of your industry think? How did they do it? What do they suggest? Ask them! Why start from scratch if you can leverage the wisdom of others?

Strategic relationship and partnership opportunities. – Maybe one of these gurus is willing to partner with you? Or do a deal with you? Don’t be afraid to look at all possibilities. Tons of opportunities when your viewpoint shifts to Joint Ventures and Strategic Partnerships.

Connections. – Surely there are vendors, resources and other connections a smart entrepreneur might hook you up with. Why go through the loss of time trying to figure these things out? It doesn’t hurt to ask and you never know what might come of it.

Trust me, one of the keys to success starting a new business lies in tapping the wisdom, connections and influence of successful business owners in the same field.

So get to it. You can do this. Go find the most successful people in the industry doing what you want to do, and get their input, wisdom and advice. Build a relationship with these folks. Not just a one-time deal. If you do it right, you’ll prosper from their input for years and years to come. Even top entrepreneur guru Richard Branson agrees on this point.

Who are you going to invite to lunch next week?

NOTE: If you don’t know me, I’m Eric. Husband, father & life-long entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur, let’s hook up.  Seriously.  Here’s a killer formula:

Your Wisdom + My Wisdom = More Success

My email is: eric at mightywisemedia dot com.  Let’s you and I connect right here, okay? Together we can really nail this thing.

(You can find me hanging out on Twitter too: @MightyWiseMedia.)

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About the Author: Eric T. Wagner is a husband, father and life-long entrepreneur. After starting multiple businesses, Eric is now focused on helping other entrepreneurs find the path to success in business and life. You can also catch his gig on Forbes or connect with him on Google+.

Comments

  1. This is such great advice! Networking is so important, and a lot of people fail to utilize it. And it’s fun! Thanks for posting this, I missed it on Forbes.

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