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I’ve interviewed 19 young entrepreneurs over the course of 18 months. They shared their struggles and challenges, which led them to riveting success stories.
In their stories, I’ve identified 15 powerful tips for new entrepreneurs, which will help you avoid the struggles they faced and pave a steadier way to success.
I suggest you read all of them before you hop on the exhilarating entrepreneurial journey, but if you’d like to blow your pants immediately, jump to #13.
1. Female Entrepreneurs Are Taking Over the World
This is not exactly a tip per se. But if you’re a woman, thinking the entrepreneur world is cut out mainly for men, you’re wrong.
The number of women entrepreneurs in the EU is well over 30%. It’s no wonder why the bulk of my interviews were with young female entrepreneurs.
Yes, it’s true I admire beautiful, aspiring women, but it’s also true that they are becoming more and more independent, and they’re changing the world for good.
So, if you’re in a possession of the XX chromosome, and you’re doubting yourself, let this tip encourage you to disperse all doubts.
2. Success Means to Be Yourself No Matter What
A golden tip, which virtually every single entrepreneur whom I talked to mentioned, is:
“Be yourself no matter what!”
It doesn’t get easier than that, is it? I wish I could say yes.
So many wannabe entrepreneurs or biz owners copy, imitate, or strive to be someone else. This could probably lead to some mediocre results, at best.
We both know you’re NOT meant to be mediocre. You’re reading this article because you want to impact the world. In a positive way. Someone who’ll rise above all the digital noise, change lives, and leave a world legacy.
3. Patience Is Key
Nothing new. You’ve seen it everywhere. People talking about being patient all the time.
Those who claim overnight success is a thing should be beaten with a pink stick with garlic cloves on the end. Relentlessly until they bulge.
Patience is a soft skill that needs nurturing every single day. Without patience, failure is around the corner.
That said, patience should not and must not be construed as waiting for something to happen. Being full of life and acting upon situations when they present themselves is how it should be.
Patience means that your actions will bear fruit at some point. The more active you are, the better and the sooner.
4. A Universal Formula for Success Does NOT Exist
This might pop up your pink bubble, but there’s no universal formula for success.
We’re all different people, and what has worked for one person might not work for someone else. Sadly, too many people blindly believe in a universal formula, which is the reason why so many scammers exist.
Everyone has their own definition of success (if you don’t, go write it down now), so the formula to get there is going to be different for everybody.
In Anna Howarth’s words,
“As long as you get to the point at which you define success – you are successful.”
5. Rest is Extremely Important
A universal formula for success might not exist as of yet, but there’s one thing successful entrepreneurs can’t succeed without – rest.
Those who believe in the constant grind and hustle, with short bouts of rest, quickly find themselves burnt out, or worse – failing. And while failing is part of success (see #13), even more so is resting.
Rest is of utmost importance for one’s success. All young entrepreneurs whom I interviewed agreed on this wholeheartedly.
In fact, people who are extremely creative use rest in a creative way. Some of the world’s greatest minds worked only for around four hours a day.
Human downtime is not similar to computer downtime. While in human downtime, your body is continually learning, even when it’s asleep.
Rest is not only a necessity for living and surviving but also for the creative minds that will invent the breakthroughs of the future.
6. Lead by Example
There’s no better way to attract your tribe than leading by example.
This is super important. You’re not just telling people that they can quit their job, work online, turn their passions into an income, or move to a different country and become a digital nomad.
You have to actually do exactly that.
If you embrace leaving your comfort zone as part of growth, then you have to challenge yourself with something new quite often.
Once you leave your comfort zone and launch yourself into the unknown, you’ll be confronted with opportunities to practise and learn how things work. Most importantly, you’ll gain critical and actionable insights about yourself (a key trait of the growth mindset).
If you don’t like people who litter, seeing someone who does, politely asking him to pick what he threw on the street is the way forward.
Don’t do anything precarious, but neither pass a situation where your intervention could be really helpful.
7. Don’t Talk Too Much. Act!
“I have so many ideas.”
The truth is, we all do, but if you don’t step up and act, ideas and plans will only exist in your head where nobody won’t be able to profit from them.
“He doesn’t talk much but acts with determination and perseverance.”
And I know it from personal experience since he also happens to be my brother.
There’s nothing wrong with having ideas as long as you start turning them into your own reality.
8. Don’t Let Competition Stop You
Those who deny there’s no competition in the online world are crazy and have never faced real one.
That said, this should not stop you from chasing what you’re cut out for. You should not belittle yourself with limiting beliefs. You should not sleep on your dreams just because you’ve come a bit late to the party. You should not let small minds ever convince that your plans are too big.
Don’t let the competition scare you but inspire you to be better.
Be innovative in the way you do.
Sometimes, all it takes is being yourself.
Competition is indeed a good thing – it makes you think how to stand out and always be on top of your game.
Many people will do what you do, but they are all different. You put your personality and systems in your business. Some will resonate with it, others will resonate more with your colleagues.
“I don’t spend too much time and energy thinking about competition. The world is big enough,” says Ariane de Melo, a Branding Director and a TedX Speaking Coach.
What’s even more important, not everyone is your competitor.
For example, developing healthy relationships with people from your niche is good not only because you can consult with them on topics they might know better than you, but also because you might land a job if they don’t have the time to do it.
9. Practise. Practise. Practise. But Focus on How You Practise, Not How Much
Nothing happens overnight. The more you do one thing, the more books and articles you read about it, and the more you practise that craft every single day, the better you’ll become at it. Or that’s what people believe.
Most of you have probably heard about the 10,000 hour rule. The real truth about it is that it matters more how you practise than how much you practise.
So, instead of worrying about that you didn’t fulfil your 20 hours for the week, make the ones you did more meaningful. Mindless repetition is not the same as deliberate practice. Focusing on deliberate practice means receiving constant feedback about your performance.
Deliberate practice means constantly striving for improvement, monitoring your performance, evaluating your progress, cultivating the aspects you’re not yet good at, and leaving your comfort zone on a regular basis.
10. Give Up on Being a Perfectionist
This is related to number #9. Practice makes perfect.
If you suffer from the “perfectionist” syndrome (welcome to the club), here’s a wake-up call:
Nothing is ever going to be perfect.
For instance, when Zsuzsanna and I released our second masterclass, it was neither perfect nor it reached the number of people we hoped to do. However, this didn’t stop us from creating another one, combining them in a course, and now, selling it.
The most important thing is to start. You can fix all the imperfections on the go.
Perfectionists have a tendency to be critical to others. This is a defence mechanism, which makes us reject in others what we can’t accept in ourselves. And the way to overcome being perfect is to be kind to ourselves.
Here’s an exercise you can do to increase your self-acceptance:
Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself something you like about yourself. Choose whatever you like – from your curly hair to your way of dealing with trolls – and repeat it during the whole day. Repeat it until you believe it.
11. Be Authentic
If you aspire to be an influencer, the best and easiest way is to be authentic.
For Naomi Louwerens, known as Authentic Chica, being a real influencer means “that you have to tell a story, stand out, represent something new, special, and beautiful through your images, stories, and text, as well as give value and create real connections with people (online and offline).
Authenticity is easy when you don’t strive to copy others. Deriving inspiration and improving some of their ideas is one thing, but ferociously copying them doesn’t work – not only because your audience is different but because you cannot be someone else.
Instead of searching within, many try to live up to what “authentic” means to others. Being authentic means staying true to what you believe in and being courageous to express your genuine feelings and opinions.
Someone will be attracted to your business not only because of the result you deliver but also because of how you show up as a person.
Ellie Burscough, Business Coach
The first step to becoming more authentic is to stop being concerned about other people’s expectations. To become more authentic – increase your self-awareness, embrace vulnerability, and accept feedback.
12. Work Smart, Not Hard
This relates to #5.
Instead of putting in countless hours of trial and error, step back from your project and evaluate the situation.
Do your research and planning before you start investing time and money in a business. Know what you’re doing: ask others for help or their unbiased opinion.
Read case studies and invest time in learning new skills you need to accomplish your goal. But when you find you lack a certain ability, hire a professional to do the job.
Think of it in one of two aspects:
- Investing money can save you time.
- Investing time can save you money.
Outsource. This is crucial for any business to move from hovering to flying. It saves you both time and money. Outsourcing a good chunk of your business processes lets you focus all your drive and energy on building your brand and providing higher-value services.
Yes, you’re going to put long hours in your business and make sacrifices, but delegating the rudimentary tasks will make a huge difference.
13. Failure IS Part of Success
Understand that failure builds strength and contributes to your experience.
To be ready for success, you must be okay with failing. Treat failures as a learning point. At the end of the day, the worst that could happen is you gaining experience in areas that didn’t work out for you. Regard failure as feedback.
Take a risk. The real reason the majority of people won’t ever master any skill is that they aren’t willing to take a risk. They’re not willing to leave their comfort zone.
If you want to master something, you have to put yourself out there. Yes, you might as well fail, but you the only way to really succeed is to learn from your failures.
Discover your motivation. Getting great at something takes considerable amounts of time and effort. You might stumble upon obstacles on the way to become a successful entrepreneur. That’s why it’s vital to find your motivation – it’ll help you overcome the hurdles.
Don’t waste precious time on trial and error. Find out who the winners in your field are and learn from them. See how they did it. Discover what difficulties they faced. Learn how to avoid them.
If you learn from mistakes and aren’t afraid to commit mistakes in the first place, you’ll go from good to great.
14. Personal Development Is Crucial
If you don’t grow as a person, you cannot grow a business. Adopting a life-long learning attitude is the key to entering the realms of success.
In fact, in rare cases, your level of success will exceed your level of personal development. Learning a foreign language, hiring a coach, investing in a copywriting course, and working on good habits are all viable ways of developing your personality.
If you don’t constantly invest in yourself, you risk being unprepared for the challenges of tomorrow.
15. Have No Regrets
Living a life of serenity will always be better than living a life of regrets. Imagine you are at the end of your life cycle, and you realise you have regrets. Knowing you’ve had your opportunities, and you’re not going to get to live your life all over again. That’s why it’s key that you don’t miss out on anything along the way or fail to accomplish your dreams.
Every single thing that occurred to you at any given point in time has happened for a reason. Every experience, every mistake, and every bad thing that has happened to you in the past has led you to this very moment.
Being grateful for those things, and learning from them is the path to success.
Overnight success is a myth. In these 15 tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur, I showed you it’s, instead, a long-term process. Arm yourself with patience, be aware of the setbacks along the way, and take the leap.
Achieving success is a challenging process, but with these 15 simple entrepreneur tips, it’ll be easier.
Just remember to rest, listen to your audience, and embrace failure.
What skill do you need to hone to become a successful young entrepreneur?