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