5 inspiring tips for (aspiring) entrepreneurs

Who better to get tips from, than a guy who is only 29 years old and set up 5 successful companies? Roderik Hageman is the founder of The Talent Institute – one of the top schools BSSA has teamed up with. Roderik eats, breathes and sleeps entrepreneurship. Together with a friend, not even old enough to get his driver’s license (17!) he started his own chauffeur company. In college, he founded his own health insurance label, later another and next a health insurance comparison website – which he sold after two years. With his own eyes, he saw how hard it is for a company of today, to attract people with the right skills. So currently, Roderik is the proud owner of an institute that teaches Digital Content Creation and Growth Hacking to young talent.

This list contains tips for every stage a company owner goes through: starting up, growing and rally the best team ever. The last two are to feed you with some enthusiasm, but also showing that entrepreneurship is not all roses!

Lean Startup by Eric Ries

1) Read: The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

‘Your 10 pages’ business plan: toss it in the trash! Why? It’s full of assumptions. Setting up your company Lean-style means you test your ideas – how little they might be – directly with your aimed customer. Before putting a lot of money and time in your business idea, it tells you to experiment and validate first, to really know if there’s a market for your product out there. I read this book when I was in my third company and it was a huge eye-opener. Looking back, we made a lot of mistakes. For example, by starting with building up a website first based on our own ideas and opinions, before even talking to any customers. A must-read!

Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis

2) Read: Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest Growing Companies Drive Breakout, Sean Ellis

‘Sean Ellis is one of the founders of Growth Hacking itself and he’s the owner of growthhackers.com – a blog with lots of great information on the subject. And now (whoohoo!) he also just released a book about it! How do you scale up your company? How do you keep making sure customers are coming in and stay forever? This book encompasses a lot of practical tips and up-to-date information on how to test and iterate for an ultimate growth of your business.’

Work rules by Laszlo Bock

3) Read: Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead, Laszlo Bock

‘How did Google get the best people working for them? Always hire people smarter than you, as they compensate you! Written by the former head of People Operations he knows where he’s talking about. When your company is growing, and you want to stay on top of your game – so: working as efficient as possible plus staying innovative – and must deal with selecting people for making the most awesome team: this book is for you!’

4) Watch: The Founder (2016)

‘Why is it the greatest feeling on earth to build something from square one? This Hollywood blockbuster film will give any aspiring entrepreneur a shot of great energy! It tells the story of Ray Crock who turned McDonalds from a single hamburger joint to a huge scalable franchise model. A rough road: because at first no-one shared his vision of this revolutionary kind of operating a business. Also, it goes over many other downs any entrepreneur must overcome. But look where it got him! Not so nice: backstabbing your business partner – as Crock does – I would not recommend anyone.’

Print the legend

5) Watch: Print the Legend (2014)

‘Outstanding documentary about the commercialization of 3D-printing. Very much about what’s going on in tech and the current movement looking for ‘disruptive innovations’ – not meeting customer’s current needs but anticipating on future needs. In the film two startups are in competition of bringing this product on the market trying to keep their open-source ideology… Which is hard for some smelling the big money. Again: not only milk and honey, but 100 minutes of interesting stuff for eager beavers on entrepreneurship!’

Want to learn more from Roderik? He teaches Lean Start-up at the Digital Content Creation and Growth Hacking course!