Advice For Small Town Startups, 2/10 - Make Friends Who Are Smarter Than You

I cannot stress this enough. If you can't get your friends at home and strangers you meet excited about what you're doing (even if they're just excited about the fact that you're doing something cool), you are going to have problems. If you're a total introvert, you need to find a person you trust who is good at this, and make them a co-founder.

Make friends with people whose opinions you respect. One way to do this is to help them with their own projects. This is how I found my co-founder. I worked on small projects with half a dozen other people before we formed an official partnership, and got involved in events and activities that overlapped with my own interests.

You can make a lot of interesting friends by helping other people with their projects. When you find a connection, keep it open until you're sure that the person you're spending time doing stuff with is the person you want to cry with, starve with, and ultimately succeed with. Don't start a company with someone until you're sure of that (you can always hire them- but don't cofound with them unless you're sure you want to business-marry them.)

Attend meetups and volunteer to speak at things like Ignite and Pecha Kucha if you can. If not, host your own events. It seems like a lot of work (and it is) but your business will be stronger for all the connections and advice you'll get just from talking to people about what you're doing.