Is it Possible to Become A Successful Entrepreneur at 20? – Entrepreneurship is not limited by age as anyone of any age can become an entrepreneur. Yes, everyone even kids; I said it. If you think it’s a joke, you can look for kid entrepreneurs and you will see what I am talking about. Take a look at Hillary Yip the youngest CEO at age 15. She started her entrepreneurship journey at age 10. So if you see entrepreneurship as for only the aged or advanced, then you are mistaken.
I am glad you came across this article as we are going to enlighten you on how you can be successful as an entrepreneur at age 20 or in your early 20s.
Have you heard of Chandler Bolt? Well, the name might not really sound familiar to you if you are not a writer or an online marketer. This young man left school in 2015 to establish the self-publishing school at age 21. He is a successful entrepreneur today.
Looking at every popular person in the digital world today, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook. He also dropped out of school (Harvard) to chase his dream and vision and today he is among the richest entrepreneurs in the world and one of the most successful young entrepreneurs. He started his journey at age 23.
So do you think that you cannot be a successful entrepreneur even in your 20s or you think you cannot start up a business and see it expand as a young person? Well this article is here to change your mindset and channel your energy towards revealing your creativity and entrepreneurship spirit. Anyone can be an entrepreneur and also not everyone can succeed as an entrepreneur. You need zest, determination, self-confidence, creativity, innovativeness and many other qualities to become successful as an entrepreneur.
In this article, we will be taking you through how to become a successful entrepreneur at 20. To be honest, the entrepreneurship journey is not always easy and there are some sacrifices to be made in order to succeed but the sweetest part of it is that we wrote this article for you.
Without much ado, let’s jump on the train…
HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR AT 20
What do you need to do to achieve this?
- Be a problem solver
I know you must have heard it that entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Well, it is true. Entrepreneurs turn identified problems into business opportunities and proffer solutions to these problems and make profit from it. Why Facebook is growing every day is that it is meeting the need for people and companies to interact and also do business.
When your product or service is geared towards meeting a need, there is every possibility that you will be successful even at 20. You have to look, understand and be inspired by the problems or unmet needs around you and brainstorm on ways that you could proffer solutions and add value in the market.
You have to be able to see solutions where others see problems. These problems are to be seen as business opportunities.
- Be realistic and specific with your goals
Most times many entrepreneurs fail because they do not have a specific and realistic goal in sight. What do you really want to do? You have identified the problem or unmet need; how do you intend to solve the problem and meet the need?
At a young age, you can easily get swayed away from what you actually want to do maybe because older people tell you they have experience and all but the truth is you have to be honest with yourself and ask yourself what you truly want and be clear and realistic about it.
Set measurable goals. Set goals that are around what you can achieve. I know many authors will tell you to think big but thinking big doesn’t mean you should get carried away and become unrealistic with your goals. You have to be realistic and understand what you want to do and how you want to achieve it.
Do not build castles in the air. Channel your goals to your strengths and potential and let them be in line with the problem or unmet need you identified. A specific and defined goal will give you a course of action and not take you around in circles. Just like trying to aim at the centre of the dart board, your goal is to hit it at that particular point and so all your actions will be towards achieving that because it is specific and defined and also achievable though it might actually be difficult and after failing a couple of times.
- Be creative
This is a major characteristic of an entrepreneur. You have to think outside the box and come up with fantastic ideas. Facebook, Microsoft, WordPress were all products of creative thinking. You have to be able to think beyond what others are thinking but it doesn’t mean you should think unreasonably. The truth is that where others see nonsense, an entrepreneur sees sense in it.
As someone in your 20s, this is the time to unleash your creativity because you are young and vibrant so allow yourself to be creative to find ways to solve problems and also set achievable goals.
This skill is very important to master as a young entrepreneur. Creative thinking is the ability to consider something in a new or improved way. When you become creative, you become a natural problem solver because you tend to find solutions to problems and want to add value.
The creativity of Chandler Bolt made him establish a self-publishing school that assist millions of people on how to write and improved in business especially on the internet.
- Be a critical thinker
Creative thinking is quite different from critical thinking. Critical thinking is making clear and reasoned judgment. In my own way, I will say it is “thinking about how you think”. When thinking critically, you have to ask yourself why you think the option or idea you want to follow is the best possible solution.
This kind of thinking recognizes biases and errors in your thinking. This is where you ask yourself:
- Why you want to be an entrepreneur?
- Why you want to solve a particular problem or meet a need?
- Why you feel the action you want to take is the best course of action?
As a young entrepreneur, when you employ critical thinking, you will certainly succeed in being an entrepreneur.
- Be passionate about what you do and be self-determined
For you to be successful as an entrepreneur at 20, you have to be passionate about adding value and being creative. Passion is what drives your motivation. You have to enjoy what you do and must love what you do too. This love and passion will make you become determined to succeed even when you encounter challenges or setbacks.
You have to be self-determined in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. Have confidence in yourself and trust that you will succeed. You will surely see naysayers especially as a young person starting a business but this shouldn’t make you doubt yourself and your ability to succeed.
The “what ifs” shouldn’t make you have self-doubt in what you want to do, be optimistic and try as much as you can not to fail even though failure might come. Believe in yourself and never throw in the towel.
- Take calculated risk
Yes I said you should take calculated risk and not just taking risk. You have to be critical in taking risk. Not all risk are worth taking let’s be frank here. Many people are blinded by the myth that entrepreneurs take risk. But they fail to see that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risk.
The truth is that you cannot be too careful but don’t be too reckless. For every risk you intend taking, you should look at the positive and negative effects. If the benefits outweigh the effects, then you are good to go but if the effects greatly outweigh the benefits, then think of a better approach or better still think of a minimal risk with minimal effect.
There is no risk that does not have an effect that is why it is a risk; the outcome is uncertain. When you succeed, you proceed but when you fail, you learn.
For entrepreneurs that dropped out of school, they had critically analyzed the benefits of chasing their dreams and saw that they had a lot to gain if they succeeded and would definitely try going back to school if they had failed.
- Do not expect to have an overnight success
Thinking that you are going to be successful overnight is you calling for frustration. You just have to put in a lot of efforts to achieve what you want. You might have a fantastic idea but being successful is not just about the idea, you have to work hard and be smart too.
You will definitely fail or encounter setbacks at some point in your journey but you should learn from failure and try again.
Mark Zuckerberg encountered some problems in launching Facebook but he didn’t just stop there and accepted failure, instead he put on his creative hats and thought of better ways to improve.
As a young entrepreneur in your 20s, be ready to work for long hours and for years too to attain success. When you fail, think of why you failed and how to come back stronger. In all, you should remember to be patient, resilient and also persevere. So prepare your mind incase success doesn’t come at the point you anticipated but instead of complaining or beating yourself up, understand and figure out why it is not working; try, fail and try again.
Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I just found out 10000 ways that it won’t work”. Failure is part of the success journey and it brings you closer to success. I am not saying that you should work with failure in mind or start thinking of failure; what I am saying is “prepare to fail but try not to”.
- Set out a clear plan on how to achieve your goal
After identifying the problem or the unmet need in the market and setting out your goals; you have to set out a clear plan as to how to achieve your goal. Many entrepreneurs fail because of the plan they implemented in achieving their goals. Your plan has to be clear and precise.
You shouldn’t try to do everything as you might end up doing nothing. So set actions according to your strengths and capability.
In your plan, know where you are and also where you are going too. You should set a business plan to help you understand what you want to do and how you intend doing achieving it. You should be specific in your plan and break larger task into smaller and more achievable ones.
Let you plan highlight your type of business and your target customers and you should also think about competition.
Break your action plan into smaller steps as this will mean taking smaller and encountering lesser problems. I am not saying that you shouldn’t challenge yourself and take bigger risk towards achieving your goals but taking smaller steps with lesser risks is safer and helps you achieve your goals one at a time and efficiently.
- You have to spend wisely
You cannot be successful if you are an extravagant person. You have to know how to manage your spending so as to be able to save up enough money. You have to be rational in your spending and spend money on things that are important. Cut down your personal expenses and don not live on luxury. Most successful entrepreneurs make a lot of sacrifices in order to cut down their spending.
It is not going to be easy curtailing your spending as a young person but it is very important if you want to become a successful entrepreneur in your 20s. You shouldn’t live on luxury because your resources are limited. You should have a scale of preference that will help you arrange your needs according to how pressing they are and differentiate needs from wants. It is very important.
You should also make a budget and stick to it as it will help you control your spending. Be accountable for every money that comes in and goes out of your purse; it will help you have a good cash flow management. This will help you raise capital for your business and also help you in running the business in a long run.
- Do not engage in impulse buying
This is really a problem among most teens and youths especially in this world of fashion. Impulse buying is buying products that you didn’t plan for. This will really affect your cash management. You shouldn’t buy things because you saw them. Everything you spend money on should be of relative importance to you or your business. You must analyze the cost-benefits of items before purchasing them.
Impulse buying will cut down your savings and most times you get to live on debt and this is not a good way to go in your entrepreneurship journey. Be in control of your spending and cash flow, this will help you track your spending and how you spend.
Have an account book and record for your expenses and income and discipline yourself to stick to any budget you make.
- Learn how to manage your time wisely
You must have heard that “time is money”. Well, time is valuable and it is a limited resource. As an entrepreneur, you just have enough time to invest in your business; you do not have enough time for luxury and procrastination. Procrastination is a very bad habit as it breeds laziness and negative attitude to work.
You have to know how to manage your time properly. It is a very important skill for every entrepreneur and as someone in your 20s, you might be a student and so you have your studies and business to run. You have to use your time wisely in order to be efficient and effective in all you do.
You have to know what is most important and do them. Focus your time and resources on important things that will yield positive outcome and add value.
Have a to-do-list of your daily activities and make sure you stick to the list and complete every task on the list as it will help you manage your time wisely. Do not waste your time on irrelevant task and know your priorities.
- Work with a team
The truth is your team is your success. Your workforce propels your towards success. You have to work with not just a team but the right team. It could be a team of friends or relatives but they should have the same passion you have.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you should work alone, you need a team of competent and creative people giving you support all the way. You should be motivated and also be able to motivate others even if you are not really outspoken.
Understand that the support you get from people help you psychologically, physically and financially. Bill Gates had the support of his family and friend Paul Allen. Mark Zuckerberg had the support of his roommate Chris Hughes.
To be successful as an entrepreneur at 20, you have to build relationships and see how to get a team out of them. Surround yourself with the right people and also positive people. Be with people that have a like mind as yours, this will help you grow and also motivate your to succeed.
- Have a mentor
You might not see this but having a mentor has its importance. They groom your mind and instill positivity in you. Mentors are there to guide and support you all the way.
As a young entrepreneur, you should have someone that will counsel, support and encourage you in achieving your goal. Like I said earlier, being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you are alone; you learn from people and your mentor is one of them.
They are there to relate their experience with you and direct you on how to overcome challenges and setbacks.
- Be hardworking and stay organized
If you really want to succeed as an entrepreneur especially in your 20s, you have to be hard working. Give what you do your very best and do what you have to do at the right time. You have to dedicate your hours and efforts towards achieving your goal.
There is no shortcut to success so you have to put in more work and also work smart too. Most times, you solving a particular problem might just need you to work smart and be creative.
You also have to be organized as it will help you deal with stress and give you more time for other task. Know how to arrange your stuffs and place everything well. When you are organized, it increases your productivity and reduces confusion.
Being organized will also help you achieve a more balanced life with freedom from chaos.
- Be ready to learn from others even criticism
You should know that nobody is an island of knowledge and so you should be ready to learn from others and even listen to criticisms. They make you know your lapses and where you are lagging. Knowing this will help you figure out ways to improve and become better at meeting your customers’ needs.
Learning is a continuous process and so we learn every day either from our failures, that of others and also experiences. You should know that you are not perfect and so give yourself some slack when you fail and try to learn from failures; they help you grow.
You should also read about successful entrepreneurs and investigate how they made success. Think about how you can implement some of their ideas and strategy into your plan especially when it is related to your market or industry but mind you, not everything that worked for them would work for you so you have to be critical in your thinking.,
- Educate yourself
This is very important if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur at 20. Education might not be compulsory for being a successful entrepreneur but being educated, learning and understanding the market for your product or service will help you understand your goal and journey better.
Invest in yourself; read self-development books and always try to advance your knowledge and learn new things. Also learn new skills so as to improve yourself.
- Use technology and the internet to your advantage
There are many benefits and ways technology can help you to be successful as an entrepreneur. It is obvious how technology and the internet help to promote many businesses both large and small scale businesses.
You can use technology to your advantage and also the internet. The internet offers a lot of opportunities for you ranging from video marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and many more. You just have to have something to sell and know your customers so as to direct your product and services to them. You shouldn’t see everyone as your customer. Just focus of delivering quality products and services.
Use the internet to reach out to a large number of target customers and create awareness about your business. It will help broaden your customer base and increase your business operation and productivity.
- Deliver more than expected
This is one way to draw attention, get customers and retain them. Deliver greater than people’s expectation; this will help you build your customer loyalty.
As an entrepreneur in your 20s, delivering beyond what your customers and market expects gives you an edge over competition. It will help you penetrate the market and make your customers come back. In doing this, you get to create a new market (disruptive innovation) and create a greater demand for your product.
The tips I have highlighted in this article is to guide you whether you have a business or aspiring to establish one. It is here to guide you to be successful as a entrepreneur at 20. You should be consistent and believe in your ability in order to succeed. Your success is up to you and your ability to weather through challenges you might encounter.
Study this article very well and get to understand things you should do to excel as a young entrepreneur even in your 20s.
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