As a young entrepreneur the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was being shy. I had to force myself to get my ideas out there and showcase them in public. Not being afraid to publish your ideas for others to see and even critique, will be your superpower. Because without visibility, the funding and the support won’t be there. Here are a couple of outreach ideas taken from my adventures last year.
Go into a classroom:
Heading into classrooms of any age is really fun. First the students are always younger than you so that’s a plus. But also finding engaged classrooms can bring the best new ideas or motivation. Two combinations that have worked for me was a middle school science classroom at a charter school and preschool class.
Attending fairs that attract a lot of people is one of the best ways to gain experience in talking with people. So if you are shy start here. Better yet come out to Boise State and let me coach you. There are so many people passing through it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake with one person because you can make it up with the next and they are not going to remember your few mistakes. Good combinations for me is club rush at the beginning of the semester and big science and engineering fairs.
Using your network to get opportunities is really valuable. And being a part of a private event might lead to more conversations once they see what you can do. Offering to provide entertainment or information in this setting is a lot like a Tupperware party, you show your stuff, gain popularity and hopefully get more opportunities. Some events that worked for me in the past was lunch with the President of my university and a presentation on stage in the Student Union.
Feel comfortable about putting yourself and your ideas out there. By getting out there I learn much about my different audiences, and the feedback I receive makes me better for the next time. Later I reap the benefits of being known at other events, which facilitates conversations about new opportunities.