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

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 January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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