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5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

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5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

A shifting trend has witnessed many millennial entrepreneurs joining the ranks of young business owners – 18% started their own companies in 2014 according to a global report.

Additionally, an ever increasing number of millennials consider themselves “entrepreneurial”; 70% were cited as saying that they would ditch working in traditional businesses to become full-time entrepreneurs, while one in five would quit their jobs and form their own company to become young entrepreneurs.

Did you know that the average millennial will most likely have four or more careers in his or her lifetime? No matter what industry you choose, as a young and ambitious entrepreneur, here are five skills and attributes you’re going to need to be successful in your line of business:

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1. Tap into Your Emotional and Social Intelligence

In the hyper-digital world where news gets around fast, you need to learn how to sharpen your emotional and social intelligence skills. The power of social media lets us easily connect with thousands to millions of people around the world. However, many believe that this has led to a general lack of creating real connections and meaningful person-to-person relationships. It’s important for a number of reasons and helps in building and retaining clients.

Communication mediums like email and instant messaging tend to put a cap on our ability to display certain emotions such as empathy and sincerity. As a millennial entrepreneur, you must understand the limitations these platforms pose, and learn a thing or two about effective communication. It’s all about making your client feel special and approaching them the way they’d like to be approached.

2. Be Your Own Best Manager

The number of professionals and freelancers working from remote locations has more than doubled over the past decade – millions today are seamlessly working without the need of any direct on-site supervision. However, to maintain high efficiency, you must develop exceptional self-management skills such as managing your own schedules, lines of communication, daily tasks, projects etc.

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Nobody knows your priorities or mind as well as you do. It is important to be in control of yourself and be your own manager. While you may need someone to manage your work, never count on them to manage you.

Tools like Basecamp, for example, can help you stay on top of daily to-dos and stay in touch with your team at all times to see what milestones are being achieved in real time. These tools also work great to let teams do “daily check-ins” and keep tabs on what they were able to achieve on a day to day basis. It’s exactly this type of consistent communication that allows every team member to own up to their tasks and eliminate the possibility of any bottlenecks.

3. Save Time by Utilizing More Productivity Tools and Third Party Resources

Being a millennial entrepreneur means you need to understand early on that time is one of your most valuable assets. You must know how to make good use of your working hours. Consider registering yourself on platforms like Upwork where you can save plenty of time by hiring experienced freelancers to oversee some of your daily business functions.

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Personal productivity tools such as Feedly and Evernote make it more convenient to stay organized, act on actions quickly and communicate with your team more effectively.  As your business start to explode and the time comes when you have to register your company, make sure you are with pros and cons of setting up different types of companies.

4. Capitalize on Mobile Digital Marketing

In the days of old, entrepreneurs had to make do with hard-to-scale and expensive marketing channels. As a millennial entrepreneur, however, you have the luxury of mobile digital marketing which makes its much more practical and quicker to identify your prospects’ needs, work on product ideas and test those ideas extensively before making your offer available.

Millennials are spending most of their time on smartphones – more than 65% of Facebook’s 8 billion video views come from handheld devices.

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If you truly want to be successful at selling and be an influential figure in today’s online business economy, you need to know how to tap into social media to get your message across. There’s such an overwhelming amount of meaningful content being produced every day on social channels that you need to stand out as a millennial entrepreneur. You might want to consider hiring a digital marketing firm with an established track record to take care of this aspect.

5. Understand How Financing and Investments Work

Owing to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis, a number of millennial entrepreneurs are still intimidated by the financial system. They’re using bots and computer programs instead of real financial advisors just to play it safe, and in some cases, not investing at all.

Financial information is something many people find overwhelming – to make matters worse, there are conflicting opinions or complex investment routes that millennials are often not willing to bet on. In reality, all you need is a good understanding of financial elements like debt vs. equity, cash flow statements, compound interest, balance statements and tax implications with regard to various financial decisions. Understand these and you’ll have full control over your financial goals and personal budget.

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Good to know:

  • A new generation of millennial entrepreneurs is outperforming their baby boomer counterparts.
  • Millennials are embracing entrepreneurship much earlier than boomers did.
  • Millennial entrepreneurs today are generally more open to failure than boomers. They are also far more likely to keep going.
  • Millennials are focusing on much larger profit margins; 75% expect their profits to increase in the following year, which was 42% for boomers.
  • Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was a young millennial entrepreneur at the age of 31, when he became one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of over $42 billion.

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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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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