Five Tips for Succeeding as a Young Entrepreneur
1. Have a plan-and a backup plan. Let's face it; there is a chance that your business could fail, but knowing that, you can protect yourself. Some entrepreneurs juggle a full-time job and business on the side, in hopes the business idea will take off and become the full-time job. Even if the business fails, you will gain many new experiences, extend your skills, and learn from mistakes, which can shorten the learning curve for your next business. Diversification, like investing in different stocks, is important to your success. Although some stocks might plummet, others may grow to balance off your returns. So if your first idea doesn't work out, try another one!
2. Surround yourself with greatness. If you are looking for a partner to help you start your business or to hire employees, try to recruit people who are capable and intelligent and offer something that complements your skill set. Your business will be stronger as a result.
3. Be up for the challenge. If running a business were easy, everyone would do it. But as you may have noticed, most people are working for other companies. When you own your own business, you have to deal with customers and clients contacting you at every hour of the day and always be analyzing market trends and competitors to stay ahead of the curve-among a ton of other things. If you're going to do this, make sure you're ready for all the work that you need to put into a business to make it successful.
4. Gather available resources. Many young entrepreneurs don't have a lot of capital, but there are many other resources out there for you. Use your existing network to help you (maybe you have a friend who can develop your websites or family members who can help fund your business?) and use your networking skills to meet others who are in a position to help.
5. Keep organized. You never want to miss a deadline, especially if your excuse was that you flew to Cancun with your college buddies. Try to separate your professional and personal lives and keep track of all the things you need to get done each day (prioritizing your to-do list is a great idea) while overseeing the daily operations of your business. Purchase a calendar or personal digital assistant, or use Microsoft Outlook or another online calendar tool, to mark down appointments, goals, and pending tasks.
Dan Schawbel is an award-winning authority on personal branding. His Personal Branding Blog is consistently ranked in the top 100 marketing blogs in the world by AdAge, and is syndicated by Forbes, Reuters, and Hoovers. Dan publishes Personal Branding Magazine, is the head judge for the Personal Brand Awards, and directs Personal Branding TV.
This article was excerpted from Me 2.0, Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success by Dan Schawbel. To buy the book, click here.