If anyone has a right to advise young entrepreneurs, it’s Vancouver’s Brian Wong. According to TechCrunch, this guy might as well be the Doogie Howser of the startup world. After skipping four grades of school, he finished college at 18, and at age 19 became the youngest entrepreneur to ever receive a round of venture funding, $200,000 from True Ventures for his venture kiip.me.
And on the True Ventures website, Wong has some advice for entrepreneurs who may be just where he was last year when he received his funding in August. He’s got five points for young entrepreneurs to keep in mind, but for my money, his fifth point is the most insightful:
5. Build relationships, don’t acquire them.
There is a lot of focus in the entrepreneurial world around meeting and networking with people. It’s great to acquire contacts, but I think its even more valuable to build relationships. Can you step away from the transactional model of meeting people and move towards a relationship model? A relationship needs to be mutual to be fruitful and healthy. As a result, the context in which you acquire a new relationship may actually affect the way you build that relationship. I like to spend more one-on-one time during lunches and breakfasts without stretching my social capital with too many casual get-togethers. It’s great to be around a lot of people who may help to open a new door, but you may find that there are certain people who become like a relational “node” or “hub”, who can help you navigate a more relevant relationship tree and point you to others who share your passion and can truly help you grow.
You can read Wong’s full list of tips here.