Harry Stebbings was a teenager who was interested in venture capital. But there was one big problem. He had no connections and wasn’t qualified by a long shot. He didn’t even live in the US where some of the biggest VCs in the world are based.
For some background, to enter into venture capital you should either be a serial entrepreneur or come from tech-oriented investment banking. There are other paths but these two are most common. Then also in most cases you start as an associate and it might be some time before you reach the partner level.
Harry did what any smart person looking to enter into a new field should do but almost no one does. He started reaching out to VCs for advice.
He didn’t just ask for advice. He created a show, a podcast called The Twenty Minute VC and reached out to VCs to interview them on his podcast. And, it wasn’t long before he started getting some of the biggest VCs on his podcast which eventually turned into the world’s largest independent venture capital podcast.
It didn’t stop here. His platform gave him opportunity to expand with partnerships and eventually to a point where he started his own VC firm Stride.VC that raised a £50 million fund to invest in UK startups, all within 4 years of starting his podcast as a teenager.
You don’t need to start a podcast to find the right way to do what you want to do. But you need to reach out for advice for sure, as the first step.
1. Reach Out For Advice
Google is usually the first place where people start in the journey of exploration. Many explore but get frustrated by the challenges and lack of clarity and leave the pursuit.
If you are serious about what you are after you need to go beyond.
Identify those who are doing what you want to do. Don’t just list your idols in the space but cast a wider net and list 25-50 people who are in different stages of their journey on the path you want to take. Reach out to them and ask for advice. This can’t get any simpler that this.
If you want to take this a step further then you can interview the people who you want to get advice from like Harry did. It is not tough to start a podcast or YouTube channel these days.
2. Implement The Advice You Get
Without putting the advice you get into practice you won’t understand how it works. When you take action you get ahead and also come across challenges. At this point you should take the next step.
3. Report Back To People Who Gave You Advice
Smart people get a lot of people who come to them for advice. People take advice and never return. If you become the kind of person who implements their advice and returns back with success and challenges, you will stand out. You will get more advice, plus you will also create a bond that will help you at some point.
If you take the above steps, within next 6-12 months you will be way ahead of anyone who started with you but just explored and did not reach out for advice, experimented and connected back like you did.
In case you are interested in learning more about Harry, here is an old but interesting article about him.