Are you a young entrepreneur who has started your own business, or are toying with an idea of starting one?
I knew since I was 16 that I wanted to work for myself. I have a strong personality and have a difficult time having someone tell me what to do (very different from people assisting me and guiding me throughout the journey of entrepreneurship). I had a crystal clear vision as to what I wanted to do and I knew I was going to do it whatever it takes. My issue was starting my own business in the consulting field when I was only 21 years old. How was I going to have people retain me and take me seriously when I am young and clearly without experience.
I know many of you young entrepreneurs are struggling with same issue that I did and I want to share with you my success tips which set me apart from the others and led me to have many successful businesses and exciting ventures.
1) ALWAYS DRESS FOR SUCCESS. No matter what industry you are in, no matter whether you work out of the office or at a coffee shop ALWAYS look professional. Yes there are days when you are too tired from working super long hours building the business and it is easy to slack off. However, you never know who you may meet that may change your business around. So make sure that you always look put together and professional. When you are young, people will be that much more skeptical about working with you when you are not dressed for success, and will most likely attribute it to immaturity.
2) NEVER BE LATE. Punctuality is super important in any business regardless of age, but is even more crucial if you are a young entrepreneur. By showing up on time, you are telling people that their time is valuable to you and that you are respectful of it. You are also setting up a bar that your time should not be wasted either and people will admire this quality.
3) BE CONFIDENT. Don't let your insecurities about your young age in business get your confidence down, even if your competition is someone who is much older than you. Always hold your head up high and look people in the eye when speaking. This conveys a great deal of confidence and people will feel it. Let's face it, confidence is ALWAYS sexy. Remember that even the individuals who you admire had to start somewhere.
4) HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE. This seems like a no brainer to me, but I cannot even recall all the countless times when I would go into business meetings and have people give me a weak barely there handshake; and that applies to both women and men. When I am looking to partner up or hire someone I am looking for individuals who are confident in themselves and what they do. A weak handshake suggests weakness and insecurity. So work on developing a nice firm handshake. However, keep in mind that even though weak handshake is bad, too strong of a squeeze isn't good either (have experienced a few of those as well...ouch). However, practice makes perfect so go ahead and start practicing. Don't be afraid to enlist family and friends for help.
5) BE POLITE AND HUMBLE. I know that this seems obvious, but there are so many entrepreneurs out there who are very arrogant and let a successful beginning get to their heads way too fast. Once you forget where you started and you stop being grateful for what you have and how your business is growing, it is very easy to lose it all. So always stay polite and humble with all the clients, regardless of whether it is a small or a multimillion dollar account.
Good luck on this amazing up and down journey called entrepreneurship!
Maria Losseva-Malho, NWS, NWL. Visit the blogger's website here.