“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” ― Otto von Bismarck
In college, the idea of having my very own business was alluring to me. Working on my own hours and being in total control of the business sounded great. So, as a young wide-eyed 19-year-old, I began my journey to create my very own business.
And I failed. Horribly.
The following subsequent years, I would be humbled by starting and failing a plethora of different businesses. I lost more money than I would care to admit to someone at that age.
However, in those years of creating and failing multiple businesses, I learned many lessons in my endeavor I would like to pass on to aspiring young entrepreneurs.
I want to pass along some tidbits of advice to save someone time by not making the same mistakes as me when they are trying to create their own business.
Here are my 3 pieces of advice to young entrepreneurs.
1. Be In the Right Headspace
You ever heard the saying: mind set is everything?
It is true in every aspect. To be honest, when I was starting my businesses, I was doing it for the wrong reasons and did not have my priorities straight. I was enjoying the typical college lifestyle. Constant partying, music festivals and hanging out/drinking with friends.
Not only did I not have my priorities straight, but I also felt a sense of importance when I told people I was starting my own business. I cared more about telling people I had a business rather than investing the time necessary to launch and maintain the business.
I am pretty ashamed to admit this. Well, you already know what happened. Each business I started… failed… I was simply, too immature at the time. I was not in the right headspace to start and develop my own business. I would always watch motivational videos on YouTube to get me hyped up, amped, and I felt like I was going to dominate the world.
The motivational videos made me feel like I had already accomplished something without me actually doing any work.
I used to get so hyped up with buying the latest business courses, watching motivational videos, and reading all of the self-improvement books when I should have been actually working on my business.
Building a business takes time, dedication and sacrifice. If you are a young entrepreneur, really be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you are truly ready to dedicate the time, energy, and work to build a business.
2. Persistence is the Secret Sauce
In my escapade to create my own business, I took a semester off of school and backpacked to Thailand when I was 20. I learned that there was a whole community of entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai, Thailand and I set out to meet and learn from the various types of business owners.
I even attended an e-commerce conference while I was out there. I met a ton of experienced and new entrepreneurs. I gathered with some new entrepreneurs and we all promised to help each other create a successful e-commerce business.
After a year, I had failed two e-commerce businesses. I soon dropped out of the group of entrepreneurs to focus on just finishing college instead of juggling the workload of creating a business and school.
Well, my entrepreneur buddies would build stores and fail….however, they would stick it through and kept trying. I watched as the years passed by and they all built successful e-commerce stores. I had started at the same time as these friends–but they were persistent and stuck with it.
An entrepreneur friend named Pierre I met in Chiang Mai once told me: “The hardest skill in life is to keep going when life gets hard”
It is true. If I would have just stuck with it like how all of my internet marketing friends, I would probably have a successful e-commerce store as well. Do not underestimate the power of persistence. Entrepreneurs who show persistence through difficult times or periods are more likely to succeed.
Develop good habits and be persistent, and I assure you that you will be more likely to succeed.
3. Create and Optimize Your LinkedIn
When I was traveling through Bangkok, Thailand, I met an entrepreneur from the same State as me. He had been headhunted from Agoda, Asia’s leading and fastest growing online hotel reservation service. Agoda had found him on LinkedIn and flew him out to Bangkok from the States multiple times for many interviews.
I was awestruck at the opportunity that had arisen from a social media application. My entrepreneur friend told me that a good LinkedIn would help me expand my business network, find more clients/customers, and create a professional image/brand for myself and my future business.
He encouraged me to create and optimize one and his advice has paid a ton of dividends for me in my business career. Creating a strong LinkedIn profile has given me inbound leads for freelance work, an easy way to stay in touch with clients, as well as plenty of business opportunities from recruiters.
LinkedIn is a lucrative business platform to meet business owners, find clients, or build your personal brand. The majority of business people have a profile.
Some quick optimization tips:
- Get a professional picture taken. A professional headshot tells your story. A nice headshot will be good for your branding.
- Get 500+ connections. Social proof.
- Ask 5 of your friends/old employers for a recommendation
- Your bio should answer: Who you are? What do you do? Who do you serve?
- Try to think of your profile as a sales page.
Time to Get Going!
Don’t make the same mistakes I made when I first started out and learn from what worked for me. The business world is humbling because you will learn that everything is up to you. It is your responsibility to make sure the business is running well and making money.
There you have it. My 3 pieces of advice to help young aspiring entrepreneurs. Take my tips and set out to build your business!
About The Author
Brandon Leuangpaseuth is a writer from San Diego, CA that helps various law firms such as Entrekin Law across the country with their public relations. You can connect with him on LinkedIn @bleuangpaseuth.
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