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Lessons I've Learned As A Young Entrepreneur

Updated on August 13, 2011

Try Anything And Everything

Opportunities are all around us and day after day, most people choose to ignore them. Either they were to busy doing something else, they forgot to write down the idea for later or they didn't think it was a feasible opportunity. Either way, these chances to be successful are often never used.

For me, missing an opportunity is like blind folding myself and then jumping off a cliff without a bungee cord. It's a death move for any entrepreneur to ignore more than a few opportunities placed in front of them and I feel it pulling at my heart strings any time I at least don't attempt to try.

The reason it's so dramatic, is because I have learned that in the world of business and entrepreneurism, you have to be a go getter and you never really know which opportunity will bring you the most success. It might be that if you stop to help that person stuck on the side of the road, that they are actually a powerful business owner who is in need of a skill you have. Or you might have a chance to connect with a super-networker by visiting a new restaurant. It could be that you'll become the next millionaire from following that strange whim to make crafts and sell them on ebay... You just never really know unless you try anything and everything that comes your way.

Everyone Is a Potential Partner

Your neighbor, your mother, your son, your local grocery store clerk. All of them have skills, dreams, resources and desires. All of them want to be just as successful as you want to be, which means they are all prime candidates for being your partner in a potential new endeavor. Some of them might not see the light when you ask, or others might be more preoccupied with their day to day troubles, but you never know until you ask.

And once you ask, you might just find that you've found yourself a top new business partner who creates just the team you needed to walk down that road of success.

Be The Little Engine That Could

Truthfully, you should be the "little engine that did", especially in the world of business. If you can imagine that you've already done something, then you've already done it and it makes the goal that much easier to achieve.

Though until you can fully visualize each success, you should at least be the little engine that could. You should always be that person who believes they can do anything and complete any task set before them. You need to have the mind frame that there is nothing that can stand in your way from achieving your goals.

Treat Everyone You Meet Like An Old Friend

Way to many people in our lives are discarded as unimportant. The man holding the sign on the side of the road, the clerk who bags our food or even the woman whose always feeding the ducks at the park. Often we end up in conversations with new people and we never stop to think about what the future may hold for that person and ourselves. Which means that we might put them in our mental "unimportant" list for various reasons and subconsciously start treating them as unimportant, even though there is still a high potential we might run into them again on our race to the top and be in need of their services, which we won't be able to get as easily if they have an image in their mind of us not treating them in any special manner, or worse - as unimportant.

Because of this, I've found that your best bet - both in business and in life - is to treat everyone you meet as if they were an old friend. Lend them your ear, find out what's going on in their life recently, tell them a bit about yourself. Ask about their mother, tell them about your brother. If they need a shoulder to vent on for a moment, be that shoulder. It's really not that hard to do, and when you become a person who treats everyone like a friend, you become a person with a lot of friends. Which is truly a valuable resource.

Never Give Up On a Project, But Know When to Set One Aside

This is a hard one. I have often found that most people have one of two main patterns.

Either they....

-Go at a project so intensely and passionately that they never ever set it aside, even if it clearly isn't working, which often wastes all their time and resources.


-They get into a new venture, only to give it up within a few months because it's not showing them the results they want in an unbelievably small amount of time, which often results in a pile of projects in their "failed" list.

While these ways may work occasionally, for the large percentage of entrepreneurs, neither way is truly efficient or hopeful to becoming successful. No, what you want is to combine the two of them and then finesse your pattern into one best suited for you.

For me, the most successful method I have found, is to very rarely ever give up on any venture, but not to sin myself into something so passionately that I can't put it down if it isn't working. The key though, is that I never throw anything into my "failed" pile. I just place those projects on a back burner where they can simmer until I have another opportunity to take them a step further.

My online writing is one of those projects that has taken quiet a while to build up so that I have a decent rate of revenue income coming in from various freelance writing sites. I've been doing it for more than 6 years already and there have been plenty of times that I felt it "just wasn't working". Sometimes I found myself wrapped up in another project, other times I just wasn't seeing a lot of traffic - which can get frustrating. Sometimes it was just a matter of writers block. Either way, if I had thrown out the whole idea when I first started, I wouldn't be where I am now. The same goes for if I had continued to go at it full force and never set it aside, I would have burned myself out way to quickly. Whereas now, I work on my writing when the inspiration is there, and then set it aside when it's not. I don't burn myself out from it, while I never give up either.

And with several other projects in my entrepreneurial portfolio, I usually have another project I can get to work on, that took a back burner while I was focused on my writing.

What lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur or business owner?

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    • BizGenGirl profile image

      Bema Self 6 years ago from Seattle

      Kerlynb, you've just stated the hardest part of that tip. And truthfully, it varies for each entrepreneur and each situation. For myself, I look at it like this: If I'm putting way more money into the business/project than is coming back out, then it's time to put it down and try again later. The same goes for time - part of the reason I prefer entrepreneurism and business ownership to working a normal 9 to 5'er is because I like the flexibility and the amount of time I am able to have with my family. So if I all of my time is getting sucked into a project that isn't obviously bringing in lots of benefits, and it's taking away from my family time, then I put it down to come back to it at a later date. Sometimes I'll also set aside a project due to frustration. If it's really that stressful, there is no reason to force yourself into it, no matter how promising the business/project might be. =)

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      "Never Give Up On a Project, But Know When to Set One Aside" - I have to agree with you that this is very tricky. So who would know something won't work out well in the future? I guess we just have to use good judgment.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      This is excellent advice. I see you've put it into practice yourself, which makes it even better. You KNOW it works--you are living it.

    • BizGenGirl profile image

      Bema Self 6 years ago from Seattle

      I prefer bartering with domestic cars, but I've made some good money reselling pre-1980 american made cars. Just depends on what you get. It's like bargain shopping when it comes to reselling. lol

    • stunnercold profile image

      stunnercold 6 years ago from Dubai

      lesson no.1: never buy american cars and expect to make a profit.