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10 Things Successful Young Entrepreneurs Do Differently

10 Things Successful Young Entrepreneurs Do Differently

Generation gaps are getting more and more severe and, when you think about it, it’s really no surprise. The rushing technological development of humankind that sprang in the 20th century and is still going strong in the 21st has been the catalysts to mark this gap so severely.

Truth be told, if I was born somewhere in the 40s or 50s, I would most definitely have a lot of trouble understanding the lives of youngsters these days. It is very challenging to even filter all the information that we now have access to, let alone put it to good use. I mean, I’m not terribly surprised by the look of bewilderment on my mom’s face when I show her my Twitter profile. Heck, even I get lost in there sometimes.

These years have been marked by the success of the generation of people popularly named the millennials. People born between the beginning of the 80s up to somewhere in the mid 90s can consider themselves a part of this group. There are some things distinct about this particular age group that makes them capable of achieving success very early in their lives. Here are some of the traits & tricks these young entrepreneurs boast about and rely on when making decisions.

1. Mark Zuckerberg: Be dedicated

(1) Mark Zuckerberg

    “Are you willing to make sacrifices for your passion?”

    As the owner and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most successful people in the world, let alone among the millennials. Dedication to work and innovation have set this 30-year-old genius apart from the competition, and his wealth is estimated somewhere around $33.1 billion. According to Mr. Zuckerberg, you should devote yourself to what you are doing and if this means missing a few nights out then so be it.

    2. Aden Levin and Rob Tominey: Know your market

    (2) Aden Levin and Rob Tominey

      “Essentially, we want to become the number one company for inexpensive but high quality travel.”

      Millennials are quite aware that the majority of their generation loves to travel and these two young entrepreneurs, being that they are a part of this generation, found it as an ideal place for investment. The broader message here is to be aware of the time that you live in and give the people what they want, don’t try to convince them into what they need, in other words, there words do your market research thoroughly.

      3. Jamie Dunn: Choose your friends wisely

      (3) Jamie Dunn

        “Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you.”

        As a 20-year-old who managed to put his own company together at that age and ended up hitting major success, Jamie Dunn definitely has natural talent for entrepreneurship. When he was asked what he found most difficult through his rise to success, he replied that the biggest problem was breaking out from that circle of people who claimed he would never make it. Encouragement is a big part of success.

        4. Ben Weissenstein: Start at the bottom

        (4) Ben Weissenstein

          “Everything started as nothing.”

          Mr. Weissenstein’s career started when he was helping his mother organize a garage sale at the age of 14. At the age of 19 he had already started a company with a couple of friends with no knowledge of how to run a business. He claims that their organization was rather simple in the beginning but, gradually, they learned and got more organized.

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          5. Amelia Humfress: Enjoy diversity

          (5) Amelia Humfress

            “You get to dive straight into the interesting challenges and do something different every day, rather than just making the tea!”

            In her first year as an independent coder, Amelia made a turnover of £408,000. Today, she holds Humfress’ coding, which has the flattering title of one of the best places to code in 2014 and currently offers classes in many types of coding, web design and much more. She claims that her motivation comes from the fact that her job always has to offer new and interesting challenges.

            6. Sheel Tyle: Find your inspiration

            (6) Sheel Tyle

              “Finding your motivation and drive that will not go away”

              The youngest on the Forbes 30 under 30 finance list in 2013, Sheel Tyle is an associate NEA at a venture capital firm and a young entrepreneur. He ties his greatest inspiration to an event he witnessed on the streets of Mumbai. Apparently, he witnessed a man haggling a price of his purchase from 20 to 19 rupees (which is somewhere around 2 cents) and this kind of devotion inspired him to start his own career.

              7. Sheryl Sandbergs: Keep the ones you love close

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              Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting In New York

                “Remember to find some times for the ones you care about”

                A woman that managed to get Facebook’s shares up 140% works hard but doesn’t only focus on work. Outside of work, she has an active life with her family and friends which is something that is generally considered a priority by millennials across the board.

                8. Steph Parker: Know your SEO

                (8) Steph Parker

                  “Learn about social media and modern marketing.”

                  As one of Forbes’ Top 30 under 30 Marketing and Advertising, her career has really been a diverse one. One of the crucial things that helped her move forward was her experience and understanding of how SEO works which helped her discover how content actually reaches people. If you want to be a modern entrepreneur, you have to use the right SEO tools in order to allow people to reach the idea you want to present them with.

                  9. George Burgess: Be a problem solver

                  (9) George Burgess

                    “Finding solutions to problems you have and then capitalize on them.”

                    As a student, Mr. Burgess had trouble finding any useful apps to help him prepare for his A-Levels. The fact that there is a considerable number of apps out there and that none of them helped students get through their education struck him as an ideal place for investment and it appears he was right. Focusing on real needs is a must if you want people to take notice.

                    10. Jamal Edwards: Make your hobby into a profession

                    (10) Jamal Edwards

                      “Turning a hobby into an entrepreneurship ends up leaving you with work you love.”

                      At 15, he started amateur filming with his friends, just for fun and he uploaded his first video in 2007. In just 7 years, he has grown so much that he worked with some of the most famous Pop Stars out there and gathered a following of 400,000+ subscriptions on YouTube.

                      There is a lot to learn from these young people and I hope this helps you on your way to success. Remember, not every entrepreneur makes it as quickly as these guys, so don’t get discouraged and things will definitely happen for you.

                      More by this author

                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                      Last Updated on April 17, 2019

                      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

                      10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

                      What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

                      Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

                      They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

                      1. Communication Skills

                      Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

                      To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

                      Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

                      Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

                      After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

                      2. Flexibility

                      Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

                      Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

                      Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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                      Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

                      3. Being a Team Player

                      Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

                      What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

                      This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

                      Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

                      4. Positive Mental Attitude

                      There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

                      Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

                      Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

                      It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

                      Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

                      5. A Strong Work Ethic

                      People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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                      If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

                      Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

                      • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
                      • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
                      • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
                      • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

                      For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

                      6. Public Speaking

                      Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

                      Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

                      If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

                      For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

                      Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                      7. Integrity

                      From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

                      • Always doing what you say you will do
                      • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

                      …even when no one is around to check up on you.

                      There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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                      Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

                      8. Managing Your Time

                      Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

                      A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

                      Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

                      Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

                      These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

                      9. Assertiveness

                      In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

                      • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
                      • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
                      • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
                      • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

                      Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

                      How do you use this information for yourself?

                      It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

                      Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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                      How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

                      10. Creative Thinking

                      LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

                      Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

                      How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

                      Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

                      These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

                      You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

                      What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                      Final Thoughts

                      The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

                      So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

                      The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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                      Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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