There is a school of thought that young people should gain experience in a job setting before starting their own business. And then there are those who believe in learning by doing and hence jump right into the big bad corporate world for all that you cannot learn in a classroom. Like Steve Jobs, who took the first step towards Apple at just 21 years of age. The best part of being young is that you have fewer responsibilities, and it’s easier to bounce back from failure. You should still be smart about it though, and keep the following in mind while starting young:
Love what you do
We’ve heard that a million times, but the fact remains that the more you love what you do, the more passionate you will be. While revolutionary ideas are all well and good, turning what you love to do, like a hobby, into a business venture, will help you take it farther, and deal with failure better. The lightbulb wasn’t invented in a day, and Thomas Edison survived many failed attempts before he saw the light, literally. Musicians like Beethoven and Mozart didn’t set out to become famous – they just wanted to do what they loved, which was making music. If you would do it for free, then that’s where your heart lies.
Build a budget
You may not have a lot of cash to begin with, but that can be a blessing in disguise. Many companies that have started with a small budget have made it big, as they have handled it with care. Like Dubizzle, for example, which started small and grew with passion and hard work. Restricted budgets allow you to be more creative with how you will spend your time and money, and teach you lessons that will help you in the future as well.
Take a different approach
Step out of your comfort zone, and think outside the box. Tasks like class assignments can turn into learning experiences, and sleepless nights can be opportunities to work. Push yourself, and you will be surprised at how far you will go.
Get a mentor and read books
Self-learning is as important as classroom learning. Speak to experts from different walks of life, and read up on success stories. Not everything will be relevant to you, but you can always take tips and inspiration from those that came before you.
You already have a huge network that is or could be your target clientele. Use your social networks, online and offline, to test your product/idea, and create a customer base. There’s nothing like real-time feedback. Return the favor by doing something nice for those who help you, as you never know who you may need again tomorrow.
Finally, don’t fear failure
Your idea is amazing, you’ve done all the right things, and it could still all fall apart. Failure is just another opportunity to learn, and the advantage of starting early is that you will have plenty of time to look back and assess what went wrong, and avoid the same pitfalls next time. If you do not fail, at least a few times, you are not moving forward.