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Lauren Rotman

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Offering Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

Posted: 03/21/2012 12:52 pm

If Mark Zuckerberg could say just one thing to his younger self, what would it be? Or, does Richard Branson listen to music while he works? I don't know, but I was kind of curious, actually. This is how I came up with the concept behind spillsthebeans.com.

So many of us are spending our youths trying to build the "next great thing." For most of us, it's our passion. The entrepreneurial spirit is more alive than ever, but along the way, it can be really easy to get lost. Lost in a sea of "expert advice" and "tips for success." On one particularly frustrating evening, while trying to dissect an in-depth and lengthy article, a simple question came to mind: Why can't I know more, in less time? Between Facebook Fan Page statuses, Tweets, LinkedIn profile updates, pinning to Pinterest, reading the latest articles about start-ups, and oh yeah... trying to run my business, there isn't enough time in a day to get inside someone's head. There ought to be something faster, much easier to consume. Something real.

And so, Spills the Beans was born. It is a collection of short, candid and to-the-point interviews with extremely successful entrepreneurs, executives and CEOs. We aim to help young, intensely busy, budding entrepreneurs get a better insight into the habits and rituals of the ones who have "made it."

Although our idols and mentors are closer to us than ever before, they still seem somewhat unreachable. Yes, you can follow them on Facebook, read their blog or maybe even get a retweet from them on Twitter. We even watch them on television, with Shark Tank and Dragon's Den.

But somewhere in the back of our minds we doubt that they put their pants on one leg at a time. We think their road to success was not as difficult as ours -- that they had advantages that we were not fortunate enough to have. The truth is, they were (and probably still are) faced with the same struggles, sacrifices and life choices that we are. We read their books, their war stories, but now that we see them in such a successful place it's hard to see them as anything else. Sometimes we forget that these people we put on a pedestal are people too, that they admired people once before and they likely still do.

Spills the Beans is as the name suggests: Honest and true, but in all likelihood not originating from a can. It was created by myself and my fiancé, Adam Rotman, after discussing how we would love to know how these individuals, whom we admire, work on a day-to-day basis. Do they eat breakfast or skip it? Do they work in silence or enjoy listening to music? Are they early birds or night owls? So many questions came to mind. We hadn't seen similar articles quite like this, so decided to take a stab at it and create our own -- maybe even make some friends along the way. We knew that we needed to keep the questions short and concise as the entrepreneurs and CEOs we want to interview are extremely busy. If you had just a few minutes of your hero's time, what would you ask?

The name may seem odd and unconventional at first, but we wanted to play with subdomains. Every interviewee gets their own custom domain. For example: Tony.Hsieh.SpillstheBeans.com. But all of our interviews can be accessed from the homepage at SpillstheBeans.com. Each interview takes less than five minutes to read and is fully optimized for mobile devices, so you can read on the go. We wanted both the interviewees and our readers to take part in Spill the Beans without missing a beat.

We hope to show people a real and candid side of these interviewees, by two ordinary aspiring young entrepreneurs with our motive being to gain some insight and knowledge to help us on our road to success. As well, hopefully that through these interviews we can show that the success achieved by entrepreneurs and CEOs are more within reach than we think.

The response has been really positive. Our readers are enjoying the honesty and humanity they see in the interviews. We have obviously been turned down by some people, but overall the majority of entrepreneurs, CEOs and executives have been very gracious. We have a long list of high-profile individuals that we hope to interview and I don't doubt that once they see what we have done, they will be on board. We know that the ones who "made it" want to nurture the ones to come.

 

Follow Lauren Rotman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/laurenfrotman

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