Can I Pick Your Brain?
I just moved back to Chicago after four years of undergrad in Atlanta. Now that I had to create a whole new friend circle from scratch, I quickly began trying to meet as many people here as I could. This led to my nightly routine of hanging out in my building’s lobby from 12am to 3am.
Initially, my intent was to befriend my neighbors as they were passing through. Then I realized two things. Unlike in my college dorms, my neighbors are way older than me and hence not interested in hanging out…BUT, the majority of them are crazy successful business people and they love talking shop. And so it began. You wouldn’t believe how much I’ve learned after three weeks of this.
My point is that entrepreneurs don’t really get a blueprint to success because what we build is, for the most part, something no one’s done before. However, learning what did and didn’t work for other entrepreneurs has really opened my eyes and helped me maneuver my own strategy.
The best piece of advice I can give to fellow young entrepreneurs is to go talk to as many successful entrepreneurs as you can find and pick their brains. Ask about their entire process from A to Z and apply that to what you’re trying to do. And if you can, get their contact info and follow up with them afterwards.
You just never know how someone can be of help down the road.
* * *
“You are not an entrepreneur” is what one Shark told then 20-year-old inventor Kaeya Majmundar on the season finale of ABC’s television show, Shark Tank. Two years later, with several patent applications filed, Kaeya is developing her products full time after graduating from Emory University this past May. She set out to redesign the cardboard box after a chaotic moving experience in 2012, and has crafted many inventions since. Kaeya aspires to build a robust brand and to inspire other young women in business.
Kaeya is the founder of ZipTank, a patented jersey that doubles as a bag. The inspiration for the product came when Kaeya noticed that plastic grocery bags look a lot like tank tops. She immediately thought to put a zipper at the bottom of a tank top and brand it as “ZipTank.” Made in Chicago, ZipTank has been making a splash at summer music festivals from Coachella to Lollapalooza. Kaeya is currently in the process of working out collaborations with several street wear brands and securing retail distribution to sustain the momentum from summer sales.
Ready to get involved?
Join our newsletter for updates