Seven Reasons Start-up Programs Are Not Just for Start-ups

start-up weekendStart-up events and programs are the perfect place for those wanting to test their business idea or take their existing start-up to the next level. However – the inspiration and toolkit of skills they provide are not only applicable to start-ups. If you’re feeling stale about where you are at and you want to explore a new mindset – start-ups could be the answer.

In Adelaide, South Australia we are blessed with a range of existing and new start-up support initiatives which  include; Start-Up WeekendMEGAVenture Dorm,
e-Challenge and SAYES – to name just a few (check out Startup Adelaide for the complete “explorer’s guide”).  If you are not fortunate enough to live in Adelaide, a quick Eventbrite search using terms such as “entrepreneur” or “start-up” should point you to the right programs in your city.

The rewards for getting involved are many, either through attending a pitch day, enrolling in a program or volunteering to contribute as a mentor. Here are seven to whet your appetite.

1.Being pushed to get things done 
Start-ups are all about speed and getting things done. Has over planning ever sapped your energy for a project? Start-ups just get into it, using a process of trial and error, learning and adjusting along the way as to what works.  As Australian business leader, Amanda Rose, says “Just start in the middle and work your way out”.

2.Getting comfortable with failing until you succeed  
Start-ups have to get over a fear of failure pretty quickly because chances are they will (and countless times before they get it right). And guess what – that is OK. Are you afraid to start something new because you might be judged if it fails? Get over it and go for it. What is the worst that can happen? You learn what not to do for next time.

3.Meeting great people
Now this is a huge one. Entrepreneurs are great to be around.  They want to change the world.  They work hard.  They take risks. They ride the ups and downs and keep going. Having some of these attributes rub off on you can only be a good thing – plus your faith in humanity is restored!

4.Having your ideas challenged
One thing I’ve noted in the start-up community is that they don’t have time for BS and they are comfortable with calling it out. This is refreshing, challenging and immensely useful.

5.Getting out of the building (and your head!)
For a start-up to succeed they don’t just assume that they know what their users want, they get out there and ask them, seeking constant feedback to deliver an awesome product or service.  Do you sometimes fall into the trap of working away on your own, relying solely on your own experiences and thoughts? Trusting you will deliver the desired outcome? Take a leaf out of a start-up’s book and seek regular feedback and input along the way. Sure, you have to make the judgement call as to whether it is useful, but you may be surprised what value and time saving suggestions your colleagues, customers and advisors can add.

6.Reconnecting with fun
Innovating, experimenting, thinking big and creatively is not only of high value but incredibly fun and energising.  Do it often – make it a daily goal to ‘have a laugh’ and don’t take yourself too seriously.

7.Discovering the best tools for achieving your outcomes quickly and cheaply
Entrepreneurs, techies and creatives are great at knowing the most useful apps, techniques, platforms and websites to go to for information and tools.  If you are thinking of doing something chances are they know a better, cheaper, faster way to do it.  Get connected!  If you’re open and willing to share your passion and expertise, chances are others will return the favour.

Do you have an experience to share regarding attending a start-up event or program? I would love to hear about them so post a comment or share them with me on Twitter.

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