Whether you’re 19 or 29, it’s exciting to put your name on a shingle and place it out there for people to discover. Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the American dream, and it’s something that the bold and the brave strive to achieve.
These are some of the most common challenges young entrepreneurs face, as well as my recommendations for overcoming them:
- Unstable/Unpredictable Customer Base. It takes time to build a reputation, and in the interim, you’ll have customers who will come and go. This can be frustrating, and at times, frightening. As the business grows and its reputation builds, most entrepreneurs will see a gradual increase in the number of customers they can rely on every month. One way to speed this process up is to increase advertising and networking efforts while making sure you keep your product/service quality top notch as the customer base grows.
- Self-Doubt. Self-doubt is a vicious small business killer and it has claimed its share of start ups over the years. It’s a multifaceted demon, and young entrepreneurs need to be careful of it. It’s easy to listen to peers and advisors who say it can’t be done — the trick is to ignore them and prove them wrong. It’s good to get advice, but young entrepreneurs need advice they can use, especially from advisors who’ve already been there. When it comes to entrepreneurship, advice is cheap; however, good advice is worth its weight in gold, and it’s good advice that melts the icebergs of self-doubt.
- Working non-stop. Opening a business is like starting a family. It’s time-consuming, costly, and stressful. Young entrepreneurs eager to make a name for themselves and build their businesses often sacrifice personal time and down time in order to push their businesses to the top faster. This is a mistake that frequently leads to burnout and business failure. The solution? Remember to take a breath or two and relax. You’ll be more productive when you take the time to recharge every once and a while.
While exciting, it can be difficult to get started down the entrepreneurship path, especially when you’re young and inexperienced in the business world. With a little effort, a dash of perseverance, and the right knowledge, my experience has taught me that there isn’t a challenge in life that can’t be overcome.
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