A letter to my younger self: Colin Horsford, CurbGenie

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Work with the willing young “Colin-son.” People will waste your time. You don’t realize it yet because you have yet to become an entrepreneur. You’re used to corporate life where meetings are critical, everyone is straight to the point and always on time. There’s comfort in the fact that when you get emails or meet with someone, there is a clear expectation and it’s usually met.

Well, unfortunately, life as an entrepreneur isn’t that way. 

People will waste your time and you will compound that by chasing them. That’s why I say, work with willing and excited “young grasshoppers.” Wax on, wax off. If they don’t want to work with you, then cut’em off.

You will come across people who seem to have good intentions. They will sound incredibly interested in you and your product or offering. They will love what you are building. They will set up time to meet you, and even promise you the world. Then, as quickly as you piqued their interest, they’ll just as quickly avoid writing that check. Money talks. Bull poopie walks. Going even further, I’ll tell you not to get excited until the ink dries on the check or contract. It’s normal for you to get excited when you get some positive feedback or when you think you’ve closed a deal. That’s alright, because it is exciting, but I’m telling you as your older self, wait until the ink dries. See, it’s easy for people to say yes. Wanna know why? Because talk is cheap. Heck, it’s free. So people will say yes until it’s time to bust out their wallet or put their John Hancock on a contract. This is why I tell you to wait until the sale or contract is completed.

Meetings are different as an entrepreneur.

Most of the meetings you will attend in the beginning will be a waste of time. People will invite you to hear themselves talk. You will leave feeling like it was a big waste but it will build character and also sharpen your intuition. You will learn who is serious and who wants to waste your time. You will learn how to pre-empt and intercept wasteful interactions. But here’s why it’s good that you go through this. It will also help you practice. People will pepper you with questions and the more you hear them, the more comfortable you are answering them. This is great because by the time you step into a meaningful meeting, you’ll be so well-versed that you instill confidence in your counterparts. You’ll know when they’re serious. You will start to feel a rush. Just remember though, wait ‘til the ink dries and work with the willing young blood.