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Advice to High School Graduates About Entrepreneurship

Updated on June 1, 2013

Whatever it is you want to do, do it. Don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect time will never come today, tomorrow, ever. There will always be reasons not to do it. Don’t entertain those reasons. Stop whatever you are doing and do what you want to do. NOW!

My high school invited me to speak on their career day. It was bizarre considering they weren’t particularly nice to me when I was there. I didn’t want to at the beginning but realized that I should probably do it and maybe I could help one or two high school student avoid the same mistakes I did when I was in college and after college.

I joined the corporate world with the intention of quitting after a couple years, after I save enough money to start my own business. Before I know it, there were bills to pay, people to help and a lifestyle I have gotten used to. That ambition to put up my own business when I was a kid disappeared and I didn’t even know when it happened.

Here are the advises I shared and maybe there’s a college or high school student reading this with the dream of being an entrepreneur. Hopefully, they learn a thing or two

Just do it

Whatever it is you want to do, do it. Don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect time will never come today, tomorrow, ever. There will always be reasons not to do it. Don’t entertain those reasons. Stop whatever you are doing and do what you want to do. NOW!

Sean Belnick was 14 when he put up bizchair.com. He is now worth $4.2 million.
Sean Belnick was 14 when he put up bizchair.com. He is now worth $4.2 million.

Network

It doesn’t matter if you hate that guy’s taste of music. As long as that person doesn’t post a threat to you or your family, network with him. You don’t have to be bestfriends with the guys, just network and don’t “act nice”, be nice. Somewhere down the road, that person will be of help to you. Whether it is “share” or “like” your post or visit your site regularly or recommend you or whatever. The more people you know, the more chances you have of getting the help you need in the future.

Don’t stop learning

Know what it takes for you to be able to do what you want to do. Attend seminars and workshops, take online classes, download materials, watch videos on youtube, participate in forums and ask for help. Spend all your free time learning. Buy a book and read. I don’t care what you do, a book is a better help than a video game ever will be.

Sell your hobby

If you have a hobby that does not contribute to your ambition, give it up. Xbox, PS3, DoTA and other crap like that, give it up. I know you enjoy but if you have an ambition, you get rid of the things that are unnecessary and those things are the most unnecessary things in your life. I know it breaks your heart. Tough.

Farrah Gray was 6 when he started selling lotions. started selling body lotion at the age of 6. At 13, he put up Farr-Out Food. He is the youngest person to ever have a Wall Street Office.
Farrah Gray was 6 when he started selling lotions. started selling body lotion at the age of 6. At 13, he put up Farr-Out Food. He is the youngest person to ever have a Wall Street Office. | Source
Ashley Qualls was 17 when she put up whateverlife.com. She created tempates for Myspace accounts and gave it away for free. She earned from ads. She is now worth $8 million.
Ashley Qualls was 17 when she put up whateverlife.com. She created tempates for Myspace accounts and gave it away for free. She earned from ads. She is now worth $8 million.

Have a higher purpose

Corny. Dang right it is but necessary. You need to know exactly why you are doing this. Doing it for the money is good but if that is your only motivation, you will give up when you start losing money. Money, believe it or not, should never be your main purpose. Know why you want to do this. Is it because you really want to create a social network better than facebook? Do you want to prove you are better in calculus than that guy who beat you fourth grade? Do you want to prove there’s no firewall that can never be broken?

Fail Harder

Do what you want. Put up your own business. Invent something. Fail. Go try again and fail harder. Don’t stop. Even the greatest inventors fail a hundred times every day. You’re not even close dude.

And know it will happen

Know you will fail. Embrace it. It’s inevitable. No matter how hard you try, you will fail. So you might as well get over it AND learn from it AND have fun with it. Don’t ever shy away from it. Do your best to avoid t but when it gets you, and it will get you, learn and move on.

Know what gets you going

If you are the kind of person who needs to be pressured to get something done, pay someone to kick you behind and threaten you to death. Pay more than one if necessary. Ask help from friends and family members to put pressure on you until you get something done.

You’re not special

There are 7 billion people in the world. Chances are, whatever you can do, someone can do better. You are not special enough to automatically earn opportunities just for showing up. You need to put in the time, make sacrifices and work hard just like everybody else who succeeded did. The world doesn’t owe you a break, it never will. With or without you, the world will go on. If you want to matter, work for it. You are not special but you can be if you work hard enough.

Find the freakin’ USP

USP stands for unique selling proposition. It is the one thing that sets your product apart from other products. What is the need that your product addresses that others don’t? What do you have that others don’t? What can you offer that the market won’t find anywhere else? No, saying “it’s better” is not enough. You need to be specific.

Limit your friends

Friendship takes time, energy and effort and it will get in the way of your career. If you have a lot of friends and want to be a really good friend, you need to spend time with them, listen to them, save them and you can’t afford to do many of those. I’m not saying you become a loner. I’m saying choose carefully. Choose only the ones that you know will understand what you are into. Friends are supposed to be for your personal life. It has nothing to do with what you are doing. The fewer your friends are, the more time you have for your work without have to becoming a bad friend.

Don’t be afraid to lend your expertise for free

If someone needs your help, help even if they can’t give you anything in return. In fact, help for free even if they can pay you. Share what you know. I’m not saying share your business idea but share your skill. Don’t be afraid. The more you teach, the more you master what you do and often, the person you are teaching will also teach you something back.

Believe me when I say, somewhere down the road, you will reap the fruits of that little root you planted.

Hang around with people smarter than you

If you are the smartest person in the group you hang out with or the place you are going to go, it’s not worth it. Hang around people smarter than you, sought them out, talk with them and allow them to make you realize just how stupid you are. Let them talk about their brilliance, about their ideas, about their knowledge and absorb as much as you can.

Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something

Not even your parents. If you want to do something, then you can do it. There’s a guy with no limbs who became a millionaire. If he can do it, so can you and focus on that. Never let anyone make you believe you’re not good enough to do something. NEVER. If anyone dares, prove them wrong and start it now.

Have fun

Finally and probably most importantly, like what you do or do what you like. You can never succeed in something you don’t like doing. It doesn’t matter if you are the best at it, if you don’t enjoy it, you will self-destruct or someone will see through it and find a way to destroy you. So you either learn to enjoy what you do or do only what you enjoy doing.

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      bubakarr 4 years ago

      Nice Hub, I especially like the you're not special advice