To help you decide if you’re ready to start a business, we’ve compiled the best young entrepreneur’s start-up advice and helpful questions you should be asking yourself when making this decision to follow your dream and become an entrepreneur at a young age.
If you’re an aspiring, young entrepreneur, chances are the ‘back to school’ season has you reminiscent for excitement and new beginnings. As we say goodbye to summer and welcome our first day of fall, there’s no better time than the present to pursue your dream. How long has it been on your mind? Months? Years? Decades? No matter how long, ask yourself this—what’s stopping you?
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —Where Does the Entrepreneurial Spirit Start?
Let’s take it back to basics. When you were a kid, guaranteed you were asked a million times, ‘What do you want to do when you get older?’ Maybe you said astronaut, lawyer, doctor, etc. No matter what job it was, you heard a million times over, ‘If you work hard, you’ll be successful and can do whatever you like in life’. That’s where it all starts—the ‘American Dream’.
Whether you believe it is dead or not, the ideals of the ‘American Dream’ are ingrained in us from an early age. It’s the fighting spirit that keeps us moving towards a goal.
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —Is the Era of the Entrepreneur Over?
What is the quintessential spark that has kept the ‘American Dream’ ablaze for decades? It’s entrepreneurship. The spirit of building something from nothing with only your idea and your drive. People may tell you, “Starting a business was easier to do decades ago than it is in today’s economic climate”. Well, they’re wrong. Starting a business has always and will always be hard. If it was easy, everyone would be an entrepreneur.
Of course, some things have changed over the last few decades. Look at technology. We went from landline phones with poor sound quality to high-tech cell phones with facial recognition. Many people ask, ‘What more can be done? Technology has come too far!’ They’ll even try to tell you, ‘Your idea will never work, it’s a waste of time.’ Don’t forget, decades ago, when the hottest technology on the market was the landline phone, aspiring, young entrepreneur’s—the ones who created groundbreaking products, like Google, Amazon.com, etc.—were posed the same disheartening questions. What would have happened if they had listened to these doubts? It doesn’t matter what time in history you examine—entrepreneurs took the risk, followed their dream, and started that business.
Why did they stay the entrepreneurial course? It boils down to this classic saying—the more things change, the more they stay the same. There is no better display of this spirit than the inner-workings of entrepreneurship. No matter what you create, you’ll face doubt and skepticism in the process. The best young entrepreneur start-up advice is to persevere. So, is the era of the entrepreneur over, you ask? Absolutely not, and it never will be.
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Tips —Why are Young Entrepreneur’s Important?
Young entrepreneur’s carry on the spirit of innovation. They help to boost the economy by creating jobs. They ensure the continuation of market competition—the same competition needed to improve living standards and inspire new technology. Without young entrepreneurs–we lose this tradition.
Anyone who tells you young entrepreneurs can’t bring anything new to the market and will simply regurgitate ideas is wrong and should pick up a newspaper and read some of the top news stories. In fact, in 2016, the World Economic Forum cited that the most in-demand occupations did not exist ten or even five years ago, and the pace of change is set to accelerate. By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —What’s holding you back?
Reading this, you’re probably still thinking about that business idea you’ve had for years. Why’d you never try to pursue it?
It’s understandable that young dreamers hesitate to make the move to become a young entrepreneur. Only about two-thirds of new businesses survive the first two years, half of all businesses survive five years, and one-third survive ten years. With these statistics, investing money into a new business is scary for an entrepreneur of any age.
Aspiring, young entrepreneurs are also feeling ‘sticker shock’ at the cost of starting a business. The difference with the young entrepreneur decades ago and now is that today, the average person is already in tens of thousands of dollars of debt at the ripe, old age of 22 if they went to college and had a student loan of some sort.
Why is this? That’s right, it’s everyone’s favorite topic—loans, and not just any loans, student loans. In, 2016, nearly 70% of students graduating with a four-year undergraduate degree had an average student loan price tag of $37,172. This number climbs even higher when you consider that most students will need to go back to school and get a Master’s or Ph.D. to obtain credentials and advance their career.
Just because you have a student loan, doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams of becoming a young entrepreneur. That’s right, read it again. Having a student loan does NOT mean give up on your dream to start a business. There are plenty of options—refinance your loans, switch to income-driven payment plans, or lengthen the repayment period.
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —Make Sure You’re Ready.
If you’ve read this far and still have the desire to go after your dream and become a young entrepreneur, that’s great! You may be asking yourself if now is the right time in your life to move forward with your dream of starting a business. Trying to start a business will only become more difficult later in life as your responsibilities and expenses grow.
There are countless reasons to not take the plunge into becoming a young entrepreneur. For starters, you’re giving up job stability and financial soundness. Without job security, you’ll have to relinquish many luxuries and alter your lifestyle to ease the financial burden each month.
One of the best things you can do to make taking the risk easier is to save up two months’ worth of personal expenses. Put it somewhere you can’t touch it! When you’re young, there is a number of ways to save that you won’t want to do later in life. For example, if you’re living on your own, consider getting a roommate or moving in with family to save on housing. One of the best young entrepreneur start-up advice pieces is to cut down as much as possible on unnecessary spending. Everyone needs a break for some fun now and then. When you do indulge, do it cheaply… stick to happy hours and discounted weekday movie prices.
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —Test Your Passion.
No matter how old you are, or what business sector you want to go into, if you don’t have the passion, you’ll never be successful. At the root of all successful businesses is an intense passion that can’t be stopped. All entrepreneurs, no matter the age, will face failures on the road to success. You can fail several times in a magnitude of ways. You’ll never get through it unless you have the passion to get up and try again.
How do you know if you have the passion for your business or if you only have a simple lust for it? Sell it to those around you. Chances are when you decide to start a business, your friends and family will be skeptical, particularly because you’re young. If you’re constantly selling to doubtful listeners, and you can’t shake the excitement and happiness it brings you, your passion and heart are in the right place.
Young Entrepreneurs Start-Up Advice —RESEARCH.
Another great test of passion? Researching your target market and preparing a thorough business plan. While almost all aspiring, young entrepreneurs are not short on passion, it’s adequately identifying and researching the target market that says a lot about whether they’re ready to start a business. Young entrepreneurs tend to skip out on the planning. This can get you into serious trouble down the line. Ask yourself these questions:
Young Entrepreneur’s Start-Up Advice —Find a Mentor.
By far, the best young entrepreneurs start-up advice is the need for a mentor—someone whose vision you admire. Successful entrepreneurs challenge themselves, care about what they do, hire good people, evaluate themselves, and listen to those around them. How to do this is harder than you’d think, especially if you’re young and lacking long-term workforce experience. A mentor can be exactly what you need in your moments of weakness—and yes, you will have many of them. However, look forward to them because you’ll learn from them and they will make you a better young entrepreneur.
No matter what you’re going through, your entrepreneurial mentor has seen it all. The best part? If they’re still an entrepreneur, it means they made it through the hard times successfully.