1. What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Being an entrepreneur is really popular these days. We see them on the cover of magazines and on TV series glorifying the life of startups, hustling, and raising money from investors. It’s hip to say you want to own your own business and it is the aspiration many hold but never accomplish. The truth is that being a true entrepreneur isn’t about raising money, getting fame or becoming extremely wealthy. It’s about one thing: do you have a problem you really want to solve? It can be a service or a product. It can be for-profit or non-profit. What matters is that you can’t NOT solve this problem. You just know you have to go after it!
2. What was your first entrepreneurial venture?
My first venture was outside the U.S., a project called Kalu Yala, We built a new community in a Panamanian river valley to bring together entrepreneurs, artists, scientists. Today, students from around the world come to Kalu Yala to work, live, and study. It was a magical experience being an expat entrepreneur and I highly encourage anyone wanting to start their own initiative to take time to live and travel abroad. It helps you learn to approach problems and business challenges from ways you never knew were possible.
3. What are 3 tips for new entrepreneurs ?
#1 – Start something.
#2 – Really, Start something.
#3 – Stop looking for the perfect company, business, or idea. Stop buying into your resistance. Stop worrying about what you are going to lose and just start something! You will learn, you will fail, you will pick yourself back up, and you will create more and learn along the way. Have you ever lost an entire term paper for a school class and had to re-write your work from scratch? Notice how the second draft is always better? Entrepreneurship is like that! Be tough and stop worrying about being comfortable. It’s uncomfortable and it’s awesome. Keep building.
4. Do you have any recommendations for resources that could help young entrepreneurs?
There are a lot of great resources out there that have tips for new entrepreneurs. Some of the best to followare: kauffman.org, sethgodin.com, inc.com, thephatstartup.com, entrepreneur.com, techstars.com.
But besides reading and always learning, some of the best practices for young entrepreneurs can be the personal habits you cultivate for yourself:
#1 – Find leaders at companies you admire. Follow them on their blogs and on LinkedIn. You can learn a lot from what they will share and you will also find they help you stay on-track with what is going on in the market and areas you are interested in.
#2 – Keep a contact list. Create this list in Google or a Word document. Put on this list everyone you meet that you want to keep up with. Check in with them every 3-4 months. Don’t write anything long - it can be one sentence. Send them an article you think they’d like reading or send them a congratulations message on a new project they are working on. Stay relevant and ask how you can be helpful!
#3 – Know your space. Whether you are into health apps, sports, or fashion, take 15 minutes each day to catch up on the industry news. Create Google alerts with key words and follow leaders and news sources in your industry on social media. Be in the know in your space! It always moves you forward.
5. What’s your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
Knowing that if you can dream it you can build it. Life is short and if we aren’t out there trying to make the world around us better then what are we here for?
About Kimberly Kyle Hall
Kimberly Kyle Hall is the Cofounder of InPlatform, a B2B events company that is part of the Interplay Ventures foundry. Her mastery is ecosystem-building and launching new, never-been-done-before initiatives. She is also the Cofounder of Create Invest, a business development firm in Latin America that works with international businesses on strategic partnerships and financial launch strategies. She is extremely active in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem, a Lead Organizer at Startup Weekend NYC, and a Cofounder of the Central America Entrepreneurship Forum. She loves mentoring entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors. Kimberly graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University.
Entrepreneur Q&A by Jacqueline Jensen is a regular column that seeks out successful entrepreneurs who are doing really cool things and asks the 5 questions we’re all dying to know about the startup life.