I was worried my week-long training program at USC, called News Entrepreneur Boot Camp, would bomb after I set such lofty goals (at one point I referred to it as a one-week MBA). But so far the program has exceeded my expectations in every way.
The schedule is very well organized and the speakers are amazing. My fellow participants have a tremendous variety of experience and expertise. The hotel is quite swanky and in addition to meals the drinks are included. Score!
A few things I have learned so far:
- Online journalists need to keep the principles of print but toss (many of) the rules.
- An entrepreneur is not a risk taker but a risk manager.
- Upbeat folks like myself need to be a loudspeaker for successful journalism paths.
- I must meet 250 strangers and talk to them about my business.
- On the Web no one knows you’re a newspaper (a take off on a cartoon of a dog sitting at a computer with the caption “On the Web no one knows you’re a dog.”)
- Before I sell an ad I need to know how the advertiser measures success.
- Decide how I want people to interact with my site and take steps to reach those goals.
- Do more marketing to broaden my exposure (which means more gift card giveaways are coming!)
- Be willing to change course.
- Dream big but take small steps.
All this in just the first two days! Everything I am learning is working toward the culminating event at boot camp: Thursday morning we each have five minutes to pitch our businesses to four big wigs (one venture capitalist, two bankers, and one “angel”). Holy $*&#^@!
Aside from THAT surprise, the biggest thing that has happened to me at boot camp is that I walked in identifying myself as a blogger, but now I know I am an entrepreneur. And I am at the beginning of something very exciting. Doh! I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.