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11 Things Entrepreneurs Do that Make Them Wildly Successful At A Young Age

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11 Things Entrepreneurs Do that Make Them Wildly Successful At A Young Age

According to a survey by the Kauffman Foundation, the decision to start a business- over choosing other careers- has risen for young adults aged 18-21, from 19% in 2007 to 25% in 2010. No doubt young people around the world are seeing that entrepreneurship can create opportunities for them unlike those offered by any other career path. In the US, for example, The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which tracks early-stage entrepreneurial activity, found that in 2010 almost 5.5% of Americans aged 18-24 were launching early-stage businesses- and a good number of these entrepreneurs are succeeding at a tender age.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at age 20 and started swimming in wealth when he was still in college. Zuckerberg is now one of the wealthiest people in the world, valued at more than $34 billion. Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded Google when they were both 25. British entrepreneur Carl Churchill started his first Web design business at age 12. Today he’s worth more than $10 million. Juliath Brindak began creating sketches of characters at age 10, and then developed a complementary social-media platform at age 16. Her company, Miss O & Friends is now worth an estimated $15 million.

The list of young and successful entrepreneurs goes on and on. It is awe-inspiring to think about how early these entrepreneurs got their start.

But, what exactly are these entrepreneurs doing right that’s making them succeed while still being so young and inexperienced? What can entrepreneurs at any age learn from them?

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Here are eleven key things that make entrepreneurs wildly successful at a young age:

1. They keep an eye out for opportunities and then capitalise on them.

As a student, George Burgess had trouble finding any useful apps to help him prepare for his A-levels. The fact that there are numerous apps in the market for just about anything you can think of, and that none of them helped students get through their education struck him as an ideal opportunity for investment. He capitalised on this gap and built the app that made him tremendously rich. In a similar fashion, Nick D’Aloisio, at only 17, designed an app that Yahoo paid $30 million for. He credits an eye for spotting market disparities as his catalyst for becoming an entrepreneur. These successful young entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Focusing on needs and finding solutions to problems is what gets them noticed.

2. They use initiative and work really hard.

The only way to build something great is to work really hard and really smart. An entrepreneur needs to spot opportunities and then take it upon himself to step in and fill that need. When James Murray Wells was a college student in Britain, he realized that there wasn’t an online e-retailer for eyeglasses so he took the initiative and quickly filled that need. He earned $4 million his first year. According to Facebook’s Zuckerberg, you should devote yourself to what you are doing as an entrepreneur and if this means missing a few nights out then so be it.

3. They utilise people that can help them grow.

No entrepreneurial venture really succeeds without utilising the right people. Successful entrepreneurs know this. They utilise the power of other successful and well-known people (like the “sharks”) to build credibility. Not connecting with the right people can cost you your success as an entrepreneur.

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4. They minimise the effort spent on operation of the business.

Successful entrepreneurs understand the necessity to grow their business in as many different ways as possible in order to reach more people. This could be really costly and inefficient; but instead of skipping it, successful entrepreneurs make use of tools to help them achieve the purpose. They know that with a wise tool that can facilitate them to manage different selling channels effectively is halfway to success. Tools like Shopify minimises the operation costs of the business by facilitating selling of products and services across different channels, so entrepreneurs can concentrate on the strategies of growing the business.

5. When it comes to taking risks, they just do it.

No ‘analysis paralysis’, here. These successful entrepreneurs just do it. They take risks. From dropping out of college to playing the stock market and venturing into new industries, these entrepreneurs are risk takers. James Murray Wells used his student loans as capital to launch what he called a “recession-proof business.” Michael Dunlop dropped out of high school after his dyslexia had teachers telling him he’d never be successful. He founded IncomeDiary.com, which today earns him a hefty six-figure income. The most successful entrepreneurs are not risk-averse.

6. They work with their hobbies and natural talents.

Mike McDonald, a Canadian with a knack for gambling, started toying with online poker at the age of 15. He was feeling pressured to get a job by his parents, but he didn’t want to do the usual teen gig. So he leveraged his hobby for gambling and natural gift for poker and became a millionaire as a teen. Today he is worth more than $5 million. Joe Penna, better known as Mystery Guitar Man, says, “Every single person I know who is successful at what they do is successful because they love doing it.” You’ve got to find what you love. Successful entrepreneurs do what they love and love what they do.

7. They adapt and continually come up with great new ideas.

Successful entrepreneurs not only take initiative, but also make fast decisions and adjust along the way- quickly! That’s because people tire of commodities fast, and if you don’t create something new and interesting, you will get left behind. Bill Gates- who himself dropped out of Harvard to co-found Microsoft with Paul Allen, and was the youngest billionaire in the world at just 31 years old- revealed the secret to his phenomenal success saying, “In three years, every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make them obsolete or somebody else will.”

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Constantly adapting, improving, and putting a bit of yourself and your personality into your products is what will keep people begging for more.

8. They innovate and create their own markets.

Successful entrepreneurs go beyond just creating better versions of what is already in the market. They also invest their time and resources into creating something totally new, bringing to life systems that are more efficient and/or more stylish. In doing so, they create their own market and offer people better solutions and experiences. No entrepreneur epitomises this innovative genius better than Steve Jobs. Jobs introduced the stylish, high-end Macintosh computers, which etched their own space in the computer market and continue to dominate that market today. Even Bill Gates acknowledged his tech rival’s genius when he said:

“To create a new standard, it takes something that’s not just a little bit different; it takes something that’s really new and really captures people’s imagination—and the Macintosh, of all the machines I’ve ever seen, is the only one that meets that standard.”

9. They improvise and do with whatever is at hand.

Sometimes the products you have need to be modified, or you come into possession of a product that could be fantastic with just a few changes. But, you might not have the resources or material you need to make the product better. Rather than just give up on the project, successful entrepreneurs improvise. Maddie Bradshaw, featured on the TV show Shark Tank along with her younger sister and mom, started by designing locker decorations using soda bottle tops because she couldn’t find anything similar that she liked already on the market. She earned $1.6 million in her first year, and by the time she was 16 she had lured an astonishing three “sharks” to join her as investors and partners.

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10. They stay patient and focused as their business grows.

Good things come to those who wait. Knowing how to let things grow and develop, while focusing on doing a variety of tasks that help the process along, is an important part of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Too many people give up too soon because of impatience. But building successful businesses takes time, even for such gifted people as Steve Jobs. Jobs didn’t really get on the map until the Macintosh was invented eight years after he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Inc. at 21 and 26 years of age respectively. You need to keep focused and stay patient to succeed as an entrepreneur.

11. They diversify and re-invest their riches.

The most successful entrepreneurs diversify and re-invest their riches. This ensures that they never go broke. Gary Martin, a young Irish entrepreneur began running his own nightclub at the tender age of 15 (the drinking ages in the U.K. are vastly lower than in the U.S.). By the time he was 17, he had moved on to property management. By 18, he was worth $20 million and counting. He understood the importance of re-investing and diversifying your wealth. Unfortunately, not all entrepreneurs understand this fact. Andrew Fashion designed mini rocket launchers and was worth more than $2 million by the time he was 20. He then blew it all on women and gambling by the time he turned 22.

It certainly takes smarts to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: Detail of handsome hipster modern businessman using smart phone in the city via shutterstock.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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