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How to Gain Startup Experience as an Aspiring Entrepreneur

How to Gain Startup Experience as an Aspiring Entrepreneur

Just about anybody who has any sort of entrepreneurial spirit dreams of being the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. It’s an intoxicating thought to start a business that transforms an industry and makes you rich in the process.  The problem is that for every Elon Musk there are thousands of failed entrepreneurs.

There is no set road map to reaching your goal which makes it even more difficult to achieve the success that you’re dreaming about. However, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you are gaining the right kind of experience.

Should you go to university, for example? Some entrepreneurs have built an empire without having a higher education degree. Should you relocate to someplace where there is a startup culture happening?

There are a lot of things to think about, so in this article I will go over some ideas to help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

Go Where the Action Is

Many startups happen in what are called incubators. These are essentially communities of entrepreneurs that all work out of a similar space. The reason they are grouped together is basically right there in the name. They act as a virtual incubator of ideas that come about because you have a group of like-minded people to bounce ideas off of.

With this in mind, it makes sense to relocate to an area where there is something happening. Certain areas are attracting some of the brightest minds in business and technology. Relocating to some place like Berlin, Germany or the San Francisco Bay Area in California will help you to meet the right people who can help you put your plan into action.

If you are not in the US, then you should look into a guide on Moving to the USA as this is where the action is. The US is renowned for its culture of risk taking and thinking outside of the box. There are lots of industries that have their heart in the US, so it pays off to move there no matter what field you find yourself in.

The most logical start is to go to university here. It’s there that you’ll learn about business ideas as a student that have been started in the US so you know they work. Networking in university will also put you in contact with the right people that will help you along the way.

Work in the Field

Knowledge is power, as they say. So, when you work in a particular field you will gain a vast amount of knowledge about how that industry works. It may seem antithetical to your principles to work for somebody else when you are champing at the bit to start your own path to greatness. After all, your work is going to be used to make somebody else’s dreams a reality.

However, this should be considered a positive and something that can help you jump start your entrepreneurial journey. There are a lot of positives that come from working for somebody else.

For starters, you may find that your idea for your business is not as solid as you had thought, or you may find a different problem that you could find a solution for. After all, this is what a successful business is all about. When you understand all the aspects of a certain industry then you will find out the pain points that people are having and you could come up with a perfect solution to those problems.

You’ll also be paid to learn all of these things. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a university education, you will actually be getting paid to learn while on the job.

Start Consulting

Before actually creating a startup, you can dip your toes into working for yourself by starting with consulting. The experience you’ll gain will go a long way towards helping you focus on the most important aspects of your business later on.

Working for somebody else, you will see firsthand what the pain points of your clients are. This insight will help you out later when you need to find a solution to these problems. If you come up with a solution to the problems your clients are facing then you can get immediate feedback on the viability of your business.

This is firsthand knowledge that people would gladly pay for your services or product and you are getting paid by your clients to do market research.

You can even work within multiple industries and get even more ideas as you go forward. These are the building blocks of getting started as an entrepreneur that will give you a good chance at success.

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.