Last Wednesday I attended my first Entrepreneurs Anonymous meeting. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s the entrepreneur version of alcoholics anonymous. No, before the smart-alecs comments, we’re not addicted to being entrepreneurs. Nor do we indeed suffer from any addictions. But we do suffer. One of the hardest things about trying to start your own business is not only being the boss, but also not having others to go to for answers, or to bounce ideas off of, or even just for support.
Poor us I know!
Entrepreneurs Anonymous, or just Anon as I like to refer to it (let’s admit it’s a bit of a mouthful), is the brainchild of two Campus residents that allows entrepreneurs to get together and share problems. Keeping with the theme of it being Anonymous I guess I can’t really tell you their names – but if they give me permission I might update this with that info (and I’m sure they will).
So the meeting takes place on Wednesday mornings at 8.30am. Now I currently live in Sipson (you know they keep speaking about the additional runway at Heathrow? Yeh, Sipson is the village they want to build the runway over) and hadn’t gone to bed until 3am the night before(/morning of) so I was running on zero energy by the time I dragged myself to Old Street. In spite of this, the session was amazing! First each person introduces themselves and then they have 5~6 minutes to outline their problem and get advice. Everyone starts with the line
“My start-up sucks because…”
and there are only two rules:
- Check your ego at the door… be open to being proved wrong and learning…
- Bring whatever insights or issues you’re dealing with and collectively we’ll pitch in ways around it from the experiences and power in the group 🙂
We discussed a variety of issues ranging from disruptive marketing and growth hackers to office space and making sales. My personal problem was how to convert the great press we’ve had into tangible sales. One of the things I had thought about before but was unsure about was an initial free box on signing up and this idea was put forward, among others, that gave me the confidence to move forward with this decision. What was scheduled to only last 30 minutes ended up lasting over 2 hours with connections and potential partnerships being developed!
I don’t know that ordinary Anonymous attendees look forward to their meetings, I suppose they do if it’s the thing that stops them from relapsing. I’m certainly looking forward to the 8.30 meeting tomorrow morning as I have a whole new host of problems that I need to share. I’m not going to lie I’m also looking forward to helping out where I can, it’s nice to feel like you have some knowledge you can share to help others, especially when you’re floundering yourself 😉