Becoming a successful young entrepreneur doesn’t happen overnight. If you are in the middle of building your business, or even just starting out, you probably already know this. You probably also know that there are certain things all successful entrepreneurs have in common. Start doing these 12 things as soon as possible (if you aren’t already) to further boost your entrepreneurial mindset and business success.
1. Compare Today to Tomorrow
What does tomorrow look like for you? How is it different from today? Successful entrepreneurs know that every action every day should do something to dive their business forward. What are you doing today to make that happen? How will it help? Make a conscious effort to do one thing every single day that will move the needle. After a while, it all starts to make your dream a reality.
2. Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
You can’t grow if you don’t learn, and one of the best ways to learn is by trying new things. Don’t let yourself get into a rut: of thinking, of doing, of being. The world has so much to offer; why not absorb as much of it as you can? This is one tip where being a young entrepreneur works 100% to your advantage. You have the time and energy to devote to testing your limits and pushing your own boundaries.
3. Take Contrast Showers
A “contrast shower” means alternating between hot and cold water. According to professional basketball trainer and Certified Personal Trainer Adam Kemp, contrasting between hot and cold during your shower boosts your immune and circulatory systems. It may not sound comfortable, but if it helps you stay healthy and gets your blood pumping, it’s definitely worth trying.
4. Set – and Meet – Your Goals Everyday
No entrepreneur got where they are by happy accident or luck. Young entrepreneurs like yourself already know the value of planning. Every day, set 1 to 3 reachable goals for yourself. And then meet those goals. Some days it might be tough to stay on track, but by maintaining realistic goals, and by keeping the number of goals reasonable, you are more likely to fulfill them despite whatever else comes your way. They’ll also help you accomplish #1 in moving your needle forward.
5. Give Back
Volunteering, donating (money or time), being involved will all benefit you as much as they benefit your community. You don’t have to force yourself to do anything that will feel like a chore. Not everyone wants to run a 5k for charity or has the means to set up a monthly donation. However, everyone can do something. What is most meaningful to you? Education? Animals? STEM for girls? Pick a cause you love and you’ll find ways to get involved, whether it’s volunteering to walk shelter dogs or reading to the blind. Not only will you be doing good, but you’ll also be helping yourself feel good.
6. Hire the Right People
Invest your time and energy into building a team that’s right for you and your enterprise. Just because your competitors are all hiring this type of person or going to that type of outsourcing specialty doesn’t necessarily mean you should, too. Think about your investment versus return balance, but also think about the type of team culture you want. Adding the right people to your team now, even if it means going against the trends, will help your company run more efficiently.
7. Be Persistent
It hardly needs to be said to a young entrepreneur such as yourself, but it does bear repeating: be persistent. Don’t take no for an answer (at least, not in business). If an investor closes a door in your face, find another door. Do whatever it takes to bring your unique and incredible vision to the world. Make those calls until you get a yes. Find creative solutions. Remember that the ones who say no to you now will miss out on sharing in your massive success later on.
8. Leap Before You Look (Sometimes)
Your youth is one of your greatest resources, especially when it comes to bravery. Unlike your older peers who have established careers, families, and lifestyles to consider before making decisions, you are free and clear to take chances. If you have the know-how and a little bit of knowledge, you can go ahead and take a few leaps of faith. Be prepared as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to let go and just roll.
9. Skip the Uber Once in a While
Public transportation is a fantastic resource. Not only will it save you money, but it’s a valuable classroom for your life and your business. Young entrepreneurs can learn so much by people-watching on buses and trains. Think of them as potential customers – and you get to do free and easy market research. Watch how they behave and interact with one another, as strangers, as fellow humans. Be outgoing without being pushy, and you may just wind up making some valuable networking contacts as well.
10. Never Stop Learning
Every opportunity is a chance to learn. And everything you learn can help a young entrepreneur. You may not think that your mother’s gardening tips will be of any use to the business you’re working so hard to build; until you discover how much your customers respond to pictures of flowers on your packaging. There’s no such thing as useless information, only how you utilize what you know.
11. Be Honest With Yourself
For a young entrepreneur full of dreams and motivation, it can be difficult to look inside yourself and evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. Do try, though. Knowing what you aren’t good at isn’t an admission of failure. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and hire people to fill that particular gap in your skillset. You can’t be everything to everyone. Trying to be will hurt your business, and you are working too hard to trip over your own ego.
12. Seize Every Opportunity
When your friends and family complain, listen to them. Is there some way you can solve their problems with your new business? Have you found a gap in a particular service you use that can be filled with your product? Real entrepreneurs don’t see problems, they see solutions. As a young entrepreneur, you are uniquely situated to see things not as they are and always have been, but as they could be. Tap into your natural potential to dream big, and make it happen.
The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t just dreamers who got lucky. They worked hard and made the most out of every circumstance, every situation, every chance meeting. While you are young, you have the bravery and confidence needed to take chances, seize opportunities, and make the connections your growing business needs to achieve success.
If you are a high school student in Florida with a passion for entrepreneurship, click here to find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s college scholarship program.