John Wechsler is the founder of the Indiana IoT Lab. He sat down with TechRepublic’s Alison DeNisco Rayome at the lab in Fishers, Indiana, to share his advice for young entrepreneurs. You can watch the video above, or read the transcript below.
John Wechsler: The challenges are many when you look at starting a business. I would say what I’ve learned in my experience over the last couple decades of starting and founding companies is, that it always takes longer than you think and it’s always going to cost more. So, when you do the budgets, when you do the timelines, add a factor to it and just know that it’s going to cost a little bit more and take a little bit longer than you expect.
I think one of the most important things for entrepreneurs, especially younger entrepreneurs that are doing this for the first time, or early in their career, is to find a mentor. And put people around you that are willing to coach you and share from a position of experience to help you not have to make those same mistakes.
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There are a lot of ways to find mentors, right? I mean, you look at your investors, people that are advising you already informally. It’s really important to have a sit down and a discussion and formally establish that mentorship relationship for your most important mentors. I think you find mentors in successful companies in your community. So, reading the local blogs, local newspapers, business papers, and finding people that have done it before and just reaching out. My experience is most successful entrepreneurs are more than happy to pay it forward a little bit by spending time with the next generation of entrepreneurs.
You know, I think we’ve landed on the it takes more time and it costs more money. But, most importantly is to I think, maintain a positive mental attitude through the experience. You’ll find as an entrepreneur that the highs are the highest and the lows are the lowest. It’s really important to live in that middle ground as an entrepreneur. Never believe your press clippings, because you’re never as good as they say and you’re never as bad. So, it’s really important to live in the middle when you’re an entrepreneur because you’re going to experience extremes.