Seek Out Your Personal Yoda

Written by Chris Ivey on May 23rd, 2011. Posted in Quick Tips

If you’re a new entrepreneur, or even a seasoned pro who’s addressing a new market, it helps to find your own personal Yoda. Canvas your contacts for mentors and advisors – Maybe you don’t know any CEOs, and you don’t rub elbows with board chairs, but it’s possible that you’re only a couple of degrees of separation away from people who can be tremendously helpful in advising you. Reach out to the people you know and ask them to exercise their contacts on your behalf.

Eat All the Free Lunches You Can Find

Written by Chris Ivey on May 18th, 2011. Posted in Quick Tips

Eat all the free lunches you can find.

I don’t necessarily mean that literally, (though I always scam free food when I can), but exploit every free service and opportunity you can find. Make use of local entrepreneur’s groups and meet-ups, and make use of free local mentoring programs for start-ups like those offered in Ottawa by OCRI.

Every city will have some kind of similar economic development entity or local incubator.

Since most municipal economic development centers are staffed primarily by public sector employees, it’s tempting to dismiss them as a real resource. However, they’re a good place to start looking for contacts, and the better organizations will host regular symposia and events where business people gather. (Plus there’s usually food.) Sometimes free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it, but free is the only deal where you can get more than you paid for.