The Best Advice for Millennial Entrepreneurs
Today's young entrepreneurs find themselves in a unique position. Launching a successful business certainly remains a challenge, but in some respects the barriers to entry have perhaps never been lower. More young people than ever are using technology to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and turn their passions into careers. If you aspire to do the same, here is some advice to keep in mind.
Pursue a Passion
Launching your own business is hard work, especially for young people. The road to success often involves long hours, stress, and plenty of failures and missteps. It's easy to get burned out if you aren't doing something you genuinely love and believe in, but passion and purpose are precious companions during those late nights and inevitable setbacks. Explore the things you're passionate about and seek to build your business around them.
Master Your Money
Call it self-evident, but a business can't succeed if it isn't built on a solid financial foundation. The same applies to you, which is why it's essential that you put your financial house in order before embarking on a new business venture. This means developing a solid budget and managing debt. Keeping your debts low will give you greater financial flexibility and remove a tremendous source of stress. If you're saddled with significant debt, get started by paying off any credit card debt and other high-interest debts first.
Value the Input of Others
Successful entrepreneurship requires the ability to act boldly, to trust in yourself and to press ahead even if others doubt or try to dissuade you. It also requires the capacity to listen, to learn and to value the input of those around you. As an entrepreneur, part of your job is listening to this input and extracting from it whatever value you can. If you aren't seeking advice, leveraging the expertise of others and using feedback to grow and improve, you're simply not giving yourself or your business venture the best chance to succeed.
Leverage New Media
Engagement and brand awareness are immensely valuable to any business and (thanks to the internet) they no longer require million-dollar advertising budgets. With a bit of work and creativity, you can take advantage of new media- everything from blogs to social media platforms to videos and podcasts - to raise the profile of your venture and interact directly with the people you aim to serve. This is especially effective if you can offer real value through these platforms, whether it's offering deals and exclusive content, sharing great ideas, or creating unique and enjoyable experiences.
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson may have been talking about boxing in his famous quote, but the former heavyweight champion's wise words apply equally well to entrepreneurship. While planning is essential to success, so too is the ability to embrace and thrive on unpredictability. Few things in business will go exactly according to plan, but if you're able to keep an open mind and change course as necessary, you may find exciting new opportunities lurking behind many of your apparent failures and missteps.
The path to success as an entrepreneur is often long and arduous, and young people may find it especially difficult to navigate. Still, the rewards are often more than worth the risks, and a world of opportunity awaits millennials who are willing to take the leap. If you've got an idea you believe in, don't wait for the perfect opportunity to come to you. Be bold, follow your passion and let the advice above guide you on your path.
About the Author: Maricel Tabalba is a freelance contributor for Credit.com who is interested in writing about personal finance advice for Millennials and college students. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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