Business Ideas, Coworking, Entrepreneurship, News, Projects

Launching at Least One Project Every Month: My Entrepreneurship Learning Challenge

After the sale of my coworking space I took a few months of vacation to charge up and care for my family. I needed to spend time with myself and to get ready for my next entrepreneurial challenge. There’s no doubt in my mind that my next step is as an entrepreneur: I want to create a business, buy one, or join one as a partner, not get a job.

From all the experience I’ve gained through the years one of the best things I got is increased confidence, plus a much better educated gut instinct. I know I don’t know and it does not bother me: it drives me to learn!

Learning

Ramon Suarez as a kid

From the moment I was born I’ve been learning and changing. Not only kids learn and change (yes, that’s a pic of mini-me to give you an idea of how much I’ve changed at least physically), adults keep on learning and changing their whole life.

Challenges and learning do a lot more than keep me alive, they make me thrive. Looking for new businesses has added more wood to the fire and is pushing me to learn more. Whatever business I end up doing, what drives me are the learning are the challenge, so I’ve learned to roll with it.

Thinking

Thinking Idea

In the past few months I’ve done a lot of thinking trying to come up with business ideas and also on how to come up with those ideas. I’ve gotten a list of over 160 ideas so far thanks to the business idea generation framework I’ve come up with (more on that later) and have much clearer priorities and knowledge of myself. But the inaction was killing me.

Taking Action

After a couple lunches with entrepreneurs friends I figured that I could not wait any more to find the perfect project. I have to take action on some projects to be able to learn what I need to learn. Getting things done and working drive my motivation up and allow me to confront situations that may end up becoming a good business opportunity and along the way. I need to learn a lot more about many things to do what I want to do, and the only way to get the knowledge I need is through practice.

Business Idea Generation Framework

When I started looking for business ideas I was a bit lost. There’s tons of info on how to validate ideas and work with them to product-market fit heavens, but all I found about generating ideas was for corporation working with their teams. I did read a lot of it, but could not find anything that was fit for entrepreneurs working by themselves. So I decided to apply some common sense and brain grease to come up with my own.

Thanks to this effort I generated a list of 145 ideas in my first sprint, and I keep on adding ideas regularly. I’ve reduced the list to 10 businesses opportunities or projects with a very delicate methodology.

Jack Nicholson hitting a door with an ax

The definitive business idea is not there yet, or at least I cannot see it clearly, but I cannot sit around only thinking. My brain slows down if I don’t get more done! I have good lists of ideas to launch businesses, to invest, and to learn. I also want to have multiple projects running at the same time, to gain more freedom from them and also more financial freedom/independence.

After a couple lunches with entrepreneur friends I noticed exactly that: I’m thinking too slow and complicating things too much. So I went and launched a first project with a domain that I love: coworking.space (more about it below). I also run an artificial intelligence experiment with the help of my brother.

This is not enough, but it has lead me to the next thing (or things, actually).

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My Entrepreneurship Challenge: Launch at Least One Project a Month

I’ve decided on setting up a learning and practicing challenge before I go on and do another idea sprint.

This is an exercise in entrepreneurship learning that will bring many rewards. From talking to friends and all the stuff I read and listen to, I’ve decided to launch at least one project a month. Some of then may be a bit longer, others may be shorter and some are ongoing (like revamping this blog).

I’m looking for a main business and side hustles to coexist. I’ll keep on launching projects at this pace until I fill my days. Those that do not thrive will be set aside to free time for more projects.

Sign up here to follow up on the subjects you care about

Monthly Projects

So far I’ve got the following projects in the list:

  1. coworking.space : free directory listings and websites for coworking spaces. The aim is to drive coworkers to them. I’ve launched it publicly today. You can sign up and add your coworking space here. I set up the site and early adopters are adding their spaces. One more week to promote it and then I will move on to the next project. I’m sure there are many more things to do here. Looking forward to hear from you.
  2. Email segmenting: One of the under-utilized assets that I have is email addresses. With all the events and initiatives I’ve organized I have a few thousand email addresses. I will send an email to each of them in batches to catch up and move them to different email lists based on their interests. Setting this up and getting it running should take less than a week, although the emails will be rolling out for months. Add your interests here.
  3. Business Idea Generation Framework: I already have the structure and the framework. Write the content, promote it, get feed back, tweak it. This will be my first dip into email dripping. I have to improve the name. Get the info.
  4. Coworking Course: A lot of coworking space operators need help. My book The Coworking Handbook has already done a lot of good. I’m sure I can help a lot more with a course and that I will get more meaningful interactions. Plus, I’ll learn how to make an online course. If you want in, signup here for a special launch deal.
  5. 10m Air Pistol Shooting Course: Shooting a piece of paper for hours is my hobby. I’ve been doing it for a year and a half and it has helped me a lot with many aspect of life. It is like long awareness meditation (be present!). On top of it, it is the first time that I’m any good at a sport. Finding a coach and people to teach me has been hell. I can help a lot of people around the world shoot better with what I already know and this will also help the sport. Get my pistol content.

There are more projects in mind but I have not yet decided on acting on them. This list will grow and evolve. The next projects and updates will be published here. Follow the blog via RSS or add your email here.

How long will I be doing this?

I’ll be launching new projects until I have enough of businesses and projects going on to keep me busy, happy, and earning enough income.

Ongoing Projects and challenges

  1. Write in my blog ramonsuarez.com weekly;
  2. Write in olympicpistol.com every two weeks;
  3. Meditate every day;
  4. Give more structure to my work;
  5. Promote The Coworking Handbook;
  6. And many others… I spare you the whole list.

Will You Join the Challenge?

If my challenge motivates you :

  1. Make sure you subscribe;
  2. Give me tips, make suggestions, ask questions… interact with me via comments and social media. I value your help;
  3. Share it actively with the world;
  4. Challenge yourself and do the same! (And please send me a link to your post announcing your challenge so that I can share it).

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News

Things to Learn and Improve Through Practice

I’ve taken this out of the original challenge post because it was confusing. I’ll keep it here for reference and update it with links and subjects as I write about them.

These are some of the things I want to learn to do and to improve (in no particular order):

  • Email automation;
  • Blog monetization and affiliate revenue;
  • Making online courses;
  • Podcasting;
  • Outsourcing and hiring;
  • Marketing automation;
  • ETF / Index tracker investing;
  • Advanced spreadsheets;
  • WordPress knowledge and autonomy;
  • Sponsoring;
  • Practice communities;
  • Habit forming;
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Next week’s KPIs for coworking.space

As part of the challenge to launch at least one project/business a month, I’m going to share here what goes well and what doesn’t. As my good friend and entrepreneur Xavier Corman has pointed out, I have to have clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and I think that those KPIs should be public. So here they are:

  • 10 coworking space pages published following the guidelines.
  • And then 30 by Friday.

If I don’t see enough traction I will keep the site running but stop promoting it. It will be in the backburner until I decide on something else to do with it (I already have a few ideas but would love to hear from you).

If you want to be updated on the next steps, give me your email.

 

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News

I’m Back!

This blog has been abandoned for some time because I thought that some other blogs I had were more relevant for what I wanted to write. But it has been nagging me all the time.

This is the best outlet for my personal thinking, and for a while it was also a kind of web scrapbook (I miss you Posterous). This blog is more about Ramon and his many interests, about ideas, thoughts and doubts. About new ventures and adventures.

I also made the learning mistake of moving away from WordPress to a static page generator. I’ve learned from my mistake and I’m back to the hosted version of WordPress to only worry about writing. It is a much more pleasurable experience. When you see this post it will mean that the transition has been made!

Now I’m back 🙂

 

 

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Uncategorized

Where to Find My Blogposts

This blog has been a abandoned for a while because of my engagements with coworking and startups with different organizations. I still publish blog-posts in these blogs:

  • Coworking Handbook: I’ve been more active in the creation of pages full of resources for coworking spaces.
  • Betacowork Coworking Brussels: My coworking space full of starters & freelancers. The best place to work on earth 🙂
  • Loogic: the best Spanish speaking blog about startups. I’m not attending conferences any more and if I do I just concentrate in talking to people, so I have not published anything in a long while.
  • Blog Bruselas: my first blog devoted to my passion about Brussels, people and food. Abandoned.
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Top 50 Tech Twitter Influencers in Belgium

The Belgian tech journal DataNews has just published their yearly ranking of the 2014 top Twitter tech influencers in the country (here are the rankings for 2013, 2012, 2011 ). This year they have moved away from Klout to rank the influencers and have started using the ranking made by the Belgian startup Tribalytics, created by the betacoworker Mehdi El Fadil who has been recently joined by Aleyda Solis.

Ranking

User Name

Name

Followers

1

bnox

Clo Willaerts

22,000

2

netlash

Bart De Waele

14,000

3

StevenVBe

Steven Van Belleghem

23,600

4

robinwauters

Robin Wauters

35,000

5

jcaudron

Jo Caudron

11,700

6

Mateusz

Mateusz Kukulka

6,875

7

dannydevriendt

Danny Devriendt

37,700

8

hanssmellinckx

hanssmellinckx

25,900

9

lamazone

Sofie Verhalle

7,267

10

AlainGerlache

Alain Gerlache

18,500

11

hinssen

Peter Hinssen

13,500

12

Joke

Joke De Nul

7,684

13

ramonsuarez

Ramon Suarez

5,441

14

fonsvandyck

fons van dyck

7,817

15

janseurinck

Jan Seurinck

6,634

16

davanac

Damien Van Achter

11,500

17

ransbottyn

Cain Ransbottyn

86,800

18

duvandre

André Robert Duval

6,444

19

NeelieKroesEU

Neelie Kroes

98,200

20

palmaerts

Tom Palmaerts

7,122

21

kodel

Koen Delvaux

5,082

22

conversionation

J-P De Clerck

16,100

23

issuus

Elke De Vilder

5,511

24

Polledemaagt

Polle de Maagt

9,449

25

BartBecks

Bart Becks

6,039

26

eprenen

Eric Prenen

3,324

27

AlanSee

Alan See

68,800

28

Coolz0r

Miel Van Opstal

42,800

29

Joeri_InSites

Joeri Van den Bergh

6,362

30

Folke

Folke Lemaitre

3,182

31

kristofnizet

Kristof Nizet

3,875

32

leoexter

Leo Exter

3,021

33

nickdemey

Nick De Mey

6,191

34

marketingyudai

Matthieu Van Den Bogaert

4,356

35

ibert

Bert Van Wassenhove

3,859

36

vpieters

Veerle Pieters

195,000

37

tijs

Tijs Vrolix

3,857

38

imkedielen

Helena Van Eykeren

3,685

39

bartblaze

Bart

2,671

40

Adgenius

Rob van Alphen

4,472

41

zofie

Sophie De brabander

3,558

42

minorissues

Steven Verbruggen

3,378

43

flexyflow

Florence Manente

4,741

44

crossthebreeze

Kris Hoet

4,148

45

fdgraeve

Frank De Graeve

3,644

46

Evelinesmet

Eveline Smet

4,780

47

BVLG

Bruno Peeters

3,089

48

seynaeve

Edouard Seynaeve

4,334

49

Vromant

Gerrit Vromant

3,020

50

lvb

Luc Van Braekel

3,820

I’m happy to be in the list together with other Betacowork Coworking Brussels members like @bnox, @robinwauters, @leoexter; former member @flexyflow; and guests to our events like @neeliekroeseu and @bartbecks.

Tribalytics is a tool for marketers that want to find the top twitter influencers in the different topics and segments that they tweet about. To give you an idea, this is what the report looks like for my Twitter account @ramonsuarez:

Twitter-communities-report-Tribalytics-ramonsuarez-2014-04-04 14-28-56

Tribalytics also offers a competitive insights report to see how you fare compared to your main competitors.

If you are curious about your own followers, you can request free access to Tribalytics.

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