With shows like Shark Tank and all the focus in the media on entrepreneurship, young, vibrant, and charismatic entrepreneurs have captured our attention. These young people have proved that age is no barrier to starting and running a successful business. So whether your goal is a successful hometown business or world domination, here are a few tips from some young entrepreneurs who are doing it right.
- Don't Give Up
"Startups don't die, they commit suicide. In other words, 90 percent of startups fail because the founders get bored, discouraged, or something else, and they move on to other things, not because of some catastrophe. No matter how dark it is today, things will always be better tomorrow." Justin Kan, Justin.tv
Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither was Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, or Google. Stay focused, and press on. Ups and downs are bound to come your way. Overcoming those challenges will build your business up for the future.
- Use School to Your Advantage
Just because you are in school does not mean you should put your dreams on hold. Your college or university is the perfect launch pad for your business. A huge pool of eager peers and a solid network of professors and their associates surround you. Take the time to get to know the resources you can you utilize (free Internet, for example!), and start checking goals off your list.
"The landscape no longer changes every two, three, four years like it did in 2002. If you're not quick on your toes, you will miss opportunities." Tristan Harris, Apture
Lately, trends can change in an instant. One uploaded photo of a celebrity wearing this or that, and it's sold out across the globe. Stay on target, but remain flexible. Be aware of the ups and downs of your market. Don't panic if suddenly it's an entirely new world. Readjust, and press forward.
- Be Smart
"Educate yourself on whatever you're going into. If you don't know what you're doing, people will take advantage of you. Be realistic about your budget. Figure out how much you need to save and then try to keep yourself on a strict budget." Kyle Smitley, Barley & Birch
Stay in school. Even if your focus is horticulture, those business classes will pay off in the end. You'll need both real world and book smarts to gain true success. The former (sometimes unfortunately) comes from practice, and the latter is found in a solid foundation of research and study.
- Utilize Technology
Social media has made many aspects of entrepreneurship so much easier than in the past. Build your social and professional networks on all platforms from Day One. Don't forget to familiarize yourself with other great online tools: From website construction to building content to raising funds, the Web is ripe with tools to get you started.
- Stay True
"Do what you know and love! It will resonate with your customers, employees, and potential investors. And make all the hard work worthwhile." Susan Gregg Koger, ModCloth
Don't compromise your vision. Build a circle of people around you who can support and sustain you. Their advice and energy can power you when you are running low. Don't feel the pressure to change the basic principals on which your business is based.
- Have a Plan
Be clear on what your business is, for your sake and for others'. You are more likely to attract followers if you know what you are selling, to whom you are selling it, and why. Have a mission statement and a 60- to 90-second pitch about your goals. Write those goals down, and be as realistic as possible. Step by step, you can track down success like a pro.
- Go For It
"If you have an idea, do it. When you're in your 20s or 30s, that's the time when you can be aggressive and be a risk taker. That's the beauty of youth." Michael Nardy, Electronic Payments
If you don't do it now, when will you? No time could possibly be better. If you are waiting for money, don't: There is plenty to do in the meantime. Seize the day!
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