Resources for Entrepreneurs
With the democratization of information, there is valuable, worthwhile and free content everywhere on the Internet (though there are plenty of good, paid options as well). Of course separating the wheat from the chaff is a challenge, as is finding the time to consume all that information. Well, I can’t do anything to give you more time but I can give you a starting point for your own entrepreneurial self-education. If you already have your bookmarks set, then perhaps this list will give you some new resources that will spark some new ideas.
The below are sources of information I’ve personally found to be valuable. Each one of the below links I have bookmarked, have subscribed to in iTunes, monitor in my Facebook Groups app or download on a regular basis. I don’t get to everything, ever, but it is information I keep at my fingerprints when I find myself in the car or going for a run…or using the bathroom. I will keep this updated as I find new material. At the end, please leave in the comments other resources you would suggest…or just offer feedback on what I have listed.
If I am alone in a vehicle or running I guarantee you I am listening to a podcast. With so much free, quality content available I find it hard not to take advantage of every opportunity I have to listen to one of the below and better myself in the process. Below is what is on my current iTunes playlist in the rough order of priority.
Three times a week Andrew Warner will provide you with over an hour’s worth of prying into the life of some entrepreneur, how they built their business and are keeping it going. His typical interviewee is normally someone from the tech field, frequently a millionaire, who is or was backed by venture capital- though he does make occasional forays into the world of physical goods and bootstrapped businesses. I’m not sure I even like Andrew but he is a fantastic interviewer and I always walk away impressed with the story I hear. Mixergy is free and I think the three most recent episodes are available from iTunes anytime. The full transcripts and the full video interviews are available on the Mixergy website as well. Mixergy does have a premium membership ($200/yr) which offers access to every interview (over 1200), video courses on subjects like social media marketing, contact management and website optimization as well as access to a recently begun community group. I have not subscribed to this yet but likely will do so soon.
This 15 minute NPR-produced show explores topics from the financial or business world twice a week. The rotating lineup of hosts delves into stories like the life of a T-shirt (from Alabama cotton to a thread spinner in Indonesia to a garment factory in Bangladesh to a U.S. store shelf to an afterlife in Kenya), the rise of computer-generated news articles (computers are writing news) and the economics of trash. Always entertaining and normally fun, this is short enough to listen to during almost any commute.
From the website by the same name, Bigger Pocket is all about successful real estate investing. This is an absolute must listen for anyone involved in or interested in real estate…even if you are an accidental landlord like me. Weekly 60-minute episodes.
Smart Passive Income
No list would be complete without Pat Flynn. I wish I knew how many businesses this man has inspired but he is everywhere, it seems, in the Internet content marketing / tech startup world. This was one of the first podcasts I stumbled upon when I began my entrepreneurial education in 2014 and this was, and still is, an absolute gold mine of information. He is primarily focused on all things digital but is an absolute must-listen for anyone seeking entrepreneurial inspiration.
From the Dave Ramsey empire comes a weekly, 30 minute show specifically focused on leadership in the business arena. I’ve heard it said that until you have people working for you you are a “wantrapreneur”, not an entrepreneur, which means that at some point you’ll need to be capable of leading people if you have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit. Also, as a military man I frequently recommend this to other leaders in my organization as well. Though sometimes self-promoting, you will definitely walk away smarter from listening to this podcast; past guests have included Seth Godin, John Maxwell, Mike Rowe, John Collins and Mark Cuban.
The Shark Tank Podcast
If you are a fan of the ABC network show “The Shark Tank” you will enjoy this weekly, 60-minute podcast from a Shark Tank “insider”; the podcast normally has an interview with someone who has appeared on the television show who shares both the story of his business and how he got to the show. Much less analytical than Mixergy and oftentimes focused on offering tips on how to get a Shark Tank appearance, this podcast nevertheless does offer insights into a wider variety of businessmen and businesswomen than many of the other resources listed here.
The Eventual Millionaire
A weekly, 60-minute interview with a bonafide millionaire. Not much more to say really. The guests come from a wide variety of backgrounds, business experiences and ages which can sometimes make relating difficult. But, you are listening to a very personal conversation with a millionaire. As the host, Jamie Tardy, says on a regular basis, “if you want to become a millionaire, you have to do what millionaires do.”
Thrifting for Profit
This very informal, irregularly released podcast focuses primarily on eCommerce (Amazon sellers for the most part). For anyone getting started in selling physical products online through Amazon and eBay I recommend going through this show’s archives. I rarely listen to the current episodes but this is a good resource to have bookmarked.
Blogs, websites and magazines
I do not take a lot of time to sit in front of the computer and focus on reading blogs (though I sure hope everyone takes time to read this!) or consuming video content. (Okay, editorial note here: for all you video creators, please include either a transcript or a podcast with your content; I do not sit in front of my desktop all day on a high-speed internet connection waiting to watch your video. Not only do I have a job where I cannot play videos anytime I want, I frequently travel and need to be able to listen or read content while off-line. Editorial over.) Following is short list of resources I’ve found helpful to read on a regular basis and have subscribed to the related newsletter, subscribed to using an RSS reader or have bookmarked.
I heard about this from a Mixergy interview with the creator. This is a digital magazine for purchase from the iTunes newsstand. It is the self proclaimed “magazine for the young entrepreneur”. I definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to start a business, build a brand online or get involved in social media marketing. And, after subscribing, go ahead and purchase the back issues, it is worth it.
This blog, written by my friend Pete, is exclusively aimed at the early startups, the young entrepreneurs, those who haven’t found their way and don’t have a team of advisors or investors or experts on whom they can rely. That’s where I am and Pete has been a tremendous help to me and I know his blog will be a help for you.
Online Selling Experiment
This blog follows the author’s journey as he builds an Amazon business. Though I would have difficulty relying on a single outlet for my income (multiple streams, right?), Ryan Grant does show in a systematic, and repeatable, way how he built a very profitable Amazon business. You may also notice some similarities between his blog and this one.
The Social Sales Girls
Tremendous resource with dozens of videos, tips, blog entries and more to help you promote yourself and your service or business better. After reviewing it just now I realize how much content they have and that I really need to spend some time on the site.
As mentioned above in podcasts, this is an absolute must for real estate investors. I wish I had more time to spend in the forums. This site is free but does offer some very interesting upgrades and tools for paying members. If I decide to expand my real estate ventures I will be purchasing a membership here.
Financial news and analysis website. Sure, most of the articles are written by amateur investors but the comments section for each article or news post is the real gold mine. Absolute must reference if you are intent on investing in the financial market.
I’m sure some of you would say there is no room for Facebook in the life of the serious entrepreneur. But you know what? Every major businessman, woman, brand and most of the world is on Facebook. You can find a niche group for anything (and I mean anything) on Facebook. And this includes resources for aspiring entrepreneurs too.
The Social Sales Girls Support Community for Brands & Retail
This is a very small (less than 500 members at this point) group but an absolute gold mine to learn about eCommerce marketing and branding. Check out the informational website run by the moderators as well (also mentioned under website above).
Entrepreneurs Future Millionaires
Primarily made up of small startups run by individuals, this is not a very active group but a good place to post ideas and ask business questions.
Shark Tank Entrepreneurs
Like the above only more active and polished. Seems to have more members who have actually built a successful business. Many past, successful “Shark Tank” entrepreneurs participate as well.
Amazon/eBay/eCommerce seller groups: while are dozens of sellers groups on Facebook, they all do the same thing- offer online sellers a place to talk about their business and the latest news out of the various online selling platforms. Here are three to get you started:
From Wantrapreneur to Entrepreneur
So you won’t find this group by searching because it is a “secret” group which means you can’t see it or join until invited. This is different from every other resource I’ve listed here because it is a paid membership. You gain access to the group through by purchasing the “How to Make a Your First Dollar” course from the AppSumo guys. In short, I’ll say the course was not worth it but I believe I more than made my money back by having access to the Facebook group and the support the good community there provides.