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The 10 Commandments For Entrepreneurs Everywhere


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1. Seven days thou shalt labour + do all thy work, for the startup life knows no sabbath.

That includes holy days. All-night coding sessions, missed meals + triple espressos are the order of the day.

2. Thou shalt not torture thy customers with an endless beta.

To a customer, the “beta testing” label doesn’t mean much. If you keep making mistakes + your buttons don’t work + their password gets leaked, saying that you were “in beta” isn’t going to make them feel better – or stick around.

3. Thou shalt not take thy competitors’ names in vain.

Badmouthing competitors sounds a little too much like gossip. “We’re very careful: we don’t talk about competitors, we don’t slag them, we don’t throw them under the bus,” says Dave Olson, VP Community at HootSuite. The point is to focus on building a better product. “We don’t compete against people; we compete against ourselves,” he explains.

4. Thou shalt practice humility + not compare thyself to Mark Zuckerberg.

If you have to compare yourself to Mark Zuckerberg, you probably shouldn’t be compared to Mark Zuckerberg. Brian Wong, the 21-year-old founder of Kiip, complains about this phenomenon: “This is giving birth to a generation, unfortunately, of extremely cocky, ego-driven young entrepreneurs that think that just because they’re young, they should be paid attention to,” he says.

“I am my own person, I am my own class of entrepreneur, and I will build a company without anybody asking me how I built it compared to someone else. I’m going to build it my way.”

5. Thou shalt confess thy sins with true contrition + then fix the problem.

Otherwise, your customers will be vengeful rather than forgiving masters. Social media has made business more + more transparent, so it’s hard to get away with apologies that don’t admit wrongdoing – “We are sorry if some were offended” – or apologies that skew the facts.

6. Honour thy investors, that their purse-strings may be loosened.

Zvi Band, the CEO of Contactually, recommends keeping in touch with current investors every 2 weeks + potential investors every week.

And while you may not always follow investors’ advice, show some respect + actually take it seriously. Even if they didn’t create your startup, they are helping it grow.

7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s acquisition.

Holding out your hopes for a $1 billion acquisition like Instagram’s is foolhardy, to say the least. And even profit-hungry investors don’t want to hear about your acquisition fantasies. “If you show me a slide as an early-stage company that mentions your exit opportunities, and in 3 years you’ll sell to Google for that return to me, I’ll just laugh at you – but the laughing means you’re dead,” says Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC.

8. Thou shalt not steal thy startup’s contact list.

In a recent scandal, one of WakeMate’s cofounders used the startup’s email list and Twitter account to promote his new product, MiLife+, and raise funds on Indiegogo. He claimed it was affiliated with WakeMate, but the other cofounder didn’t know anything about it. Here’s the full story. The Indiegogo project was eventually taken down due to the drama.

9. Thou shalt kill thy startup if thy money is gone + thy customers are few + thy website is ugly.

Closing down a startup may be a painful process + an admission of failure, but it frees you up to move on to the next exciting thing. “You got a lot of good guys running companies that are not doing well, when they could be joining forces and building a lot more value,” says Mohan Belani, the founder of Asian tech blog e27. “I call it a zombie. People don’t want to kill themselves.”

10. Thou shalt practice generosity if thou becomest a gazillionaire.

Virtuous choices including being a mentor or investor, opening an accelerator + donating pizzas to hungry entrepreneurs in your  your community.

And that’s the way to startup heaven.

Thanks for this awesome article Tech.Co!

All

Like The Sound of Freelance Blogging?


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A lot of people are asking whether it’s possible to make good money offering freelance blogging services.

The answer in one short word is – yes.

But it’s important to remember that most of the successful freelance bloggers who have gone down this path, have only started making money after putting in a lot of effort + tons of hard work!

You can’t start blogging today + make money tomorrow – unless you’re a celebrity or have major connections in the blogging industry that will back you + make sure you get noticed.

A lot of freelance bloggers are sharing their success stories all over the web.

For instance, Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind did this post recently at Daily Blog Tips aptly tiled ‘7 Lessons from a Full Time Freelance Blogger’. Not to be outdone, Oni of Young Prepro followed up with his story ‘4 Smart Ways to Get Freelance Clients from Your Blog’.

Another post that caught the eye; the post on Freelance Switch with the title ‘How to Become a Freelance Blogger’ by Leo Babauta. The Leo Babauta. I was still scratching my head until I noticed the words that the post originally appeared in 2007.

The Question is: why do you want to become a freelance blogger?

Ask yourself why you want to become a freelance blogger? Why not other forms of freelance writing?

+ You choose books or blogs over magazines and newspapers

+ You enjoy helping people market their services

+ You enjoy writing with a personal tone

What you need to become a successful freelance blogger

+ Your own blog

+ To have spent some time – months – developing content worth referring your potential clients and readers to.

+ A niche. What sort of topics will you write about? If you intend to write for businesses in the health care sector, you could identify a niche and write about that. If you want to go after companies that sell software, your blog will naturally focus around those sorts of topics.

+ Some sort of a testimonials page. This could initially include a list of influential blogs where you have guest posted on. You could quote what the bloggers have said about you. By doing this, you’re not only providing clips (samples) for your work, you’re also establishing yourself as an expert. You’re saying to companies that you have the industry knowledge and you know what you are talking about.

+ Mentors.

+ An understanding of why businesses need blogs so you could offer consultancy service on top of your regular services.

How to find companies that will hire you

You’ve done all the ground work, you’ve been blogging at a professional level for a while, you have your niche + great content on your site, you have guest posted on a few A-list blogs + you’ve set up a Hire Me/Contact me page with the necessary information. Now is the time to start approaching businesses.

Remember:

+ The only kind of business that can pay you well will have substantial marketing budget. Mom + pop operations, start-ups, one-person shows generally can’t afford to hire serious freelance bloggers.

+ You can demand higher rates if you’re a subject matter expert.  Your niche will help here – tremendously.

+ Understand blogging as a marketing tool for businesses. Be prepared to educate them about thebenefits of blogging for business, if necessary. However, it works better if they already have a blog that needs regular content.

The steps are simple really:

  1. Identify companies that meet the two criteria detailed above.
  2. Get in touch with them + enquire if they hire any freelance bloggers.
  3. Highlight your experience, qualifications + what you bring to the table.
  4. Make the pitch about them, how you can help them attract more traffic, leads + convert them into paying customers. Spell out all the benefits.

Want us to help you out with setting up your blog? Get a quote now.