1. Think before you act.
2. Prepare yourself for hard work.
If you have that passion and drive, be sure that you’re readying yourself for some of the hardest, loneliest work of your career. Not only will you be working some of the longest days you ever have, but it’s all self-motivated and solitary. You also have to be willing to do every last detail to make your business work, from brainstorming to advertising to handling finances to taking out the trash. And all that work sees payoffs late—the startup world is one of delayed gratification, if any at all. You need to always believe strongly in your vision and work every minute to make it a reality.
3. Youth is innovation.
That being said, if you can handle the hard work and you have the passion for your idea, being young provides great advantages in starting a business. You haven’t been jaded by the corporate world, and you’re not yet trading in a nice weekly paycheck for uncertainty.
Young, fresh perspectives are also integral to innovation. Discovering how things work with new eyes enables you to see how systems can improve. Young people tend to have more creativity and energy in their pursuits, so use this to your advantage when you’re trying to reinvent the way things work. Plus, the added benefits of having few commitments (no mortgage or children) make young people the ideal demographic to throw their time and energy into making a new business work.
4. Take control of your freedom.
While it’s hard work, a huge perk to starting a business is the freedom that comes along with it. Yes, you’ll be working most hours of the day (and even night) but you can choose when, where, and how you get things done. Executive decisions are yours alone, but so is the satisfaction and pride of doing things your way. You have to be decisive when you call the shots, so start-up personalities should have a bit of dynamism in their bloodstream.
5. Be your own strongest advocate.
No one is going to want to see your business succeed more than you. You have to be your chief advocate, and in the entrepreneurial world, networking is everything. Spreading the word and advertising what you’re doing is the only way to gain traction. If you have a great idea and are working hard to make it happen, people will want to know what you’re doing, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
6. Be aware of the risks.
According to Carol Roth, a Chicago-based business strategist, nine out of every ten new businesses fail in the first five years. Though this doesn’t bode well for new startups, without risk, there’s no reward. Keep in mind that if you want a sure thing, it may be best to start your business part-time, and keep your day job (for now). But don’t be timid — even if your business doesn’t take off like you wanted it to, many employers find down the road that startup personalities have important skills they want on their team, too.
7. Gather resources.