Advice and Insights from Successful Entrepreneurs
If you’re between the ages of 18-33 and considering entrepreneurship, put away your cell phone, put down your tablet and listen up. Becoming your own boss and chasing your dream is every disgruntled 20-something’s fantasy, but if you’re serious about it you need to take a serious approach. Entrepreneurship is on the rise, and with Title III equity crowdfunding coming soon, there are more ways to Get Capital now than ever before. You can join the growing list of successful Millennial entrepreneurs if you follow the advice of those who have succeeded before you.
There is no question that Millennial entrepreneurs have a unique advantage growing up with computers, the internet and mobile technology. Not to say this trumps the real-world business experience of the Baby Boomers and Generation X, but Millennials never had to adjust their lives to new technology. They didn’t know life without it. This familiarity with 21st century business platforms and the opportunity to do something they love gives Millennials a good chance for success if this knowhow and desire is fueled by grit and determination.
Break Through Limitations
You’re too young. You don’t have enough experience. You don’t know the first thing about entrepreneurship. Any of these ring a bell? Although some people tend to forget how many rich and successful Millenial entrepreneurs exist today, they will always try to find a way to box you in with limitations. It’s hard to not let this negative influence impact your self-confidence and determination, but you have to break through. Tony Robbins, a legendary life and business coach, author and motivational speaker, offers this advice for breaking through limitations:
“If you look at what holds people back from expanding and deepening the quality of their lives, what prevents them from taking the actions that are necessary to transform their body, relationships, career, business or impact their kids, invariably, it’s fear – of failure, of success, of rejection, of pain and of the unknown.
Just like anyone can start their day with a killer workout, find a way to master a craft, find meaning in their work or create a passionate and loving relationship. The secret lies in being able to break through the fear and unlock the limiting beliefs to create the life of your dreams.”
Work Like Hell
It’s no secret that entrepreneurs must work long hours and wear several hats to achieve success. And who better to relay this message than the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors, Co-founder of PayPal and Chairman of Solar City Elon Musk. Musk is one of the world’s most identifiable entrepreneurs and for good reason – he always seems to be working. This is a man who relishes in the entrepreneurial lifestyle and sets a great example for all Millenial entrepreneurs. Here are some wise words from Elon Musk in a recent Entrepreneur article:
“You just have to put in 80-100 hour work weeks every week. All those things improve the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
Protect Intellectual Property
If you have technology or intellectual property that hasn’t been protected yet, bookmark this page and start applying for patents and copyrights now. Right now. One of the most crushing ways for a startup to fail is for someone else to steal your technology, name or logo. This has happened many times before and if the originator never protected their intellectual property, unfortunately it is up for the taking by someone who is more in-tune with the laws. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers the following free advice on filing patents, trademarks and copyrights for Intellectual Property Law:
– Understand Intellectual Property and How to Protect your Business – This business guide from STOPfakes.gov is an essential starting point for understanding your intellectual property rights and finding the right protection for your business.
– Applying for a Patent – Learn more about how to apply for a patent through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
– Registering a Trademark or Service Mark – Find out how to file for trademark or service mark protection for your business name, symbols and logos
– Copyright your Work – Books, movies, digital works, and musical recordings are all examples of copyrighted works. Refer to this guide from U.S. Copyright Office for more information on what protection copyright affords and the process of copyrighting your work.
Share Workspace or Work Remotely
As the startup world continues to grow, office sharing and working remotely have become the norm for cost-savvy startups around the world. Most companies will need a business address to file with the government. Aside from that, if everyone on the team can work from home, you will save thousands of dollars every month. If you have clients flying in or need to have a set of meetings with your employees, rent a conference room for a few hours at an office sharing site. You don’t need a leased office with downtown views and marble desks in the beginning, as noted by Michael Zaro of Startup Dojo and Coding Campus:
“Office space is expensive. When you’re first starting off in business, signing a long-term lease can be a bad idea. Also, working from home and having your home address on all of your business cards can also portray the wrong message. Instead, look into co-working spaces. It’s a great way for small businesses to get the office they need without all the hassles of high rent and long-term leases. As an added benefit, working in a co-working space is an awesome way to make connections and network with other entrepreneurs.”
The internet certainly offers more industry-specific startup advice for millennials, but this dose of general tips applies to everyone – Shatter Limitations, Work Hard, Protect IP and Work Offsite. If you would like information relating to your specific industry, perform a simple Google search on your industry or related entrepreneurs. I mean, you are a Millenial, so “searching the Google” shouldn’t be a big thing for you.
Thank you for reading and please leave your comments below!