The #1 Piece of Business Knowledge Entrepreneurs Wish They Knew – Part 3

February 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm 5 comments

yef-logoThis is the third part of a series  fueled by a single question asked to successful entrepreneurs:

“What is the #1 piece of business information you wish you had known when you were younger?”

Today’s answer: Give it away for free  & build your network

Free? Huh? Doesn’t that go against everything we learn about business models and capitalism? Not according to network marketer Leo Sararceni:

“I’m 23, and I’m still constantly learning about business. I’d say the fundamental piece of information I wish I’d known before was that giving FREE stuff is the best way to do business. I  invest a good amount of time just answering questions, offering guidance, and sharing as much as I can, to assist others in the best way possible.”

Saraceni’s second point about building a network is important. Many entrepreneurs believe, and research shows, a network of mentors is perhaps THE most important factor in entreprenerial success outside of basic managerial competence. Saraceni comments:

“Creating a powerful network is something I could’ve done earlier. I was able to find amazing professionals by forcing myself to interact. Because I’m not a native (i’m Brazilian), and I carry an accent, I had become used to doing things on my own. But once I realized how powerful it is when you’re open to offer your time for free to assist people, I noticed I was able to form relationships mutually beneficial, because I too could benefit from them.”

Suggested readings and discussion questions for the classroom to the boardroom:“Wish you knew” Module #3.

1. What is a network entrepreneur?

2. Do you agree that giving things away for free will ultimately help benefit you? Find two examples: One product oriented, and one service oriented.

3. Find an article on the importance of mentors. Write down your top 3 takeaways from the article, as well as action steps for yourself.

4. List your most influential mentors. Do you have a mentor now? If not, where would you go to find one?  Who would you approach? Discuss in a small group.

For follow-up learning points about entrepreneurship, see the free EITC curriculum (registration required).

Tip: Also see the EITC “Entrepreneur in a Day” curriculum and alternative exercises for another on-ramp to entrepreneurship.

Part 1 in this series

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

More information

Know a Young Entrepreneur? Nominate them here.

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

Related links:

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Follow NFIB on Twitter

Follow blog author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter

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Entry filed under: Curriculum, Free, NFIB, Young Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur Foundation. Tags: , , .

The #1 Piece of Business Knowledge Entrepreneurs Wish They Knew – Part 2 The #1 Piece of Business Knowledge Entrepreneurs Wish They Knew – Part 4

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