The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, recently made headlines when he basically said: “If you’re poor at 35, you deserve it.”
That’s a pretty inflammatory statement, but beneath that statement he actually had a lot of good advice and relatable stories for young entrepreneurs. He talked about how family and friends tried to convince him that his idea wouldn’t work, and that he was more likely to fail in his endeavors than create something sustainable. And what young entrepreneur hasn’t been there before?
That’s not to say that you should just jump into starting your own business if you’re young. But according to Ma and many other majorly successful entrepreneurs, there are several steps that you can take to become successful by a fairly young age (say, 35).
The first step: make sure that you really have a special, innovative, valuable idea. Your job should constantly be to deliver outstanding value to your customers, and you need to be willing to put in the time to test this idea to ensure its long-term viability. This will likely mean many failures along the way. It also means no hedging your bets with “finding a hole in the market.” Your idea needs to be dynamic, and it needs to be special for you to have the motivation to pursue it. Your goal should be to be the best you possibly can at something that you care deeply about, not to be successful in a niche that you don’t necessarily care for at all.
Second, you need to have conviction if you want to have any hope of becoming successful. People are going to tell you over and over again that you’re not going to make it, and you may not even find support from your family or close friends. Understand that this isn’t a personal attack against you — not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit. You need to realize that not only do you have to be innovative and fully bought in to your idea, but you need to be willing to stick with it even if the naysayers begin to pile up in your life.
Finally, you need to back up your ideas with action. It’s great to have ideas and plans, but you need to act on them sooner or later. This is the scariest part of being an entrepreneur – it’s one thing to talk about taking the plunge, but another thing altogether to actually do it. When you implement your ideas, do it systematically, thoroughly and passionately.
Regardless of what other people have told you, you can find success as an entrepreneur, and you can even do it at a young age. All it takes is commitment to an idea, personal conviction and a willingness to take all necessary action.
Let Viral Solutions work with you as you get started with your small business to give you the tools you need to find success.
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