Founder of Education Startup Shut Up & Write! Shares Their Top Insights

Shut Up and Write! website.

Any entrepreneur can tell you, launching a startup is a learning process. Therefore, one of the best things you can do prior to launching a startup of your own is to learn from those who have blazed the trail. Rennie Saunders, founder of education startup Shut Up & Write!, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“To quote Seth Godin, don’t come up with a good idea and look for a way to sell it — figure out what people need and find a better way to provide it.”

What is the best method you’ve found to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur?

“Indoors, the creative relaxation of playing board games with friends. Outdoors, taking easy walks in the woods.”

What is your advice for coming up with a unique startup idea?

“Write everything down. I have a file system of really clever ideas, and once you write them down, you can play around with them and see their practicality, their use, and their need because it always comes down to need. How badly do people need this thing, or a better, more efficient version of this thing? Then, you can evaluate the strength of the need vs. the cost to get to market. For Shut Up & Write, it was about the fact that people need to get their writing done.”

What is your advice for overcoming challenges and failure?

“I consider myself a problem solver. I’m here to solve problems. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Don’t be afraid to try and just keep going. I always say, “fail quickly” – don’t agonize over your decisions, just move forward. In that case, post-mortems are always really important: what did you get right, and what did you miss? You have to constantly adjust, but keep moving.”

What is the biggest lesson you learned and what can aspiring entrepreneurs take from it?

“I trust people, perhaps too much at times, but I want to give the people I work with the agency to develop valuable skills. My goal is to build a team that has autonomy, develops mastery, and has a clear greater purpose than just making money.”

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Be curious, assume good intentions, be polite, and just move.”

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