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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

10 Life Hacks From a Millennial Millionaire

Some valuable secrets to building wealth as a young entrepreneur.

Lewis Howes

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Peter-Cashmore_Mashable

You are young, ambitious, confident and you want to be a millionaire? Great!

Or maybe you’re ready to take things up a notch and finally start that business you have been dreaming of, but are afraid of the financial risks and not sure you want to give up the perks of a salary and benefits.

The biggest question you may be asking yourself is: What are you willing to give up to create the life and business that you really want?

 

Related: Why Millennials Are Becoming Franchisees

Here are some tried and true hacks from a millennial’s perspective that just may lead you to becoming a millionaire.

Keep it simple

In the beginning, learn as much as you can from free resources on the Internet.

When I first started out, I spent months learning how to optimise LinkedIn. I realised it was an extremely valuable and under-utilised social media site so I utilised my expertise from a year of studying the site’s power to provide value to others.

Network the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, as well as online. Create real relationships. Rather than trying to be better than your competition, be different.

Be frugal

If you have a mission or vision for your business, keep your overhead as low as possible. For example, you no longer need to have a downtown office to verify your legitimacy.

Thousands of entrepreneurs work from home, the library, the coffee shop. You don’t need a brick and mortar location, especially if you aren’t selling a physical product.

I personally didn’t even buy a car until I moved from New York City to L.A., and when I did I took my “Rich Dad” advice and purchased a used 1991 Cadillac outright from a mentor.

Put your vision first and after you have become successful, then you can splurge.

Invest in yourself

Peter-Cashmore_young-entrepreneur

Peter Cashmore Founded Mashable at age 19

If you are going to invest in anything at the beginning stages of your business, be sure you are investing in yourself.

Hire a coach, enroll in online business classes with people you admire, get into a mastermind. Figure out ways to get the skills and knowledge you need to get where you are going.

Meditate

If you haven’t heard already, meditation is a powerful life hack. It can improve the clarity and function of the brain, lower your blood pressure, and so much more.

As the stakes rise in your life and business, you will benefit from meditation because it will help you to handle stress better and manage your time and focus.

Stay healthy

Most entrepreneurs – even myself – have fallen into the trap of focusing solely on their business and neglecting their physical health.

While hustling to get ahead and make a successful living on your own wind power, you may lose track of how many months have gone by since you moved your body from the desk chair.

Richard Branson attributes his energy and stamina to daily workouts and considers exercise to be his secret weapon.

Related: (Infographic)This Is How Millennials View Work

Network

Make yourself invaluable to your networks. Be a connector, set yourself apart by sharing resources with others at events and creating valuable connections for others.

Can’t find a networking group that feels like a good fit? Start your own.

Give, give, give

David Karp

David Karp Founded Tumblr.com at age 21

Living is giving. Especially while you are starting out, be sure to give above and beyond expectation.

Think outside the box

This entire generation is outside the box when it comes to innovative business and money-making platforms.

From Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Work Week to virtual assistants, crowd-sourcing platforms, information products online and so much more, we are still just scratching the surface of what is possible.

Be yourself

Be yourself because everyone else is taken. No one is you-er than you.The more different you are, the better.

Use your differences to stand out in a competitive marketplace and follow your heart in matters of life and business.

Don’t Give Up

Alex-Fourie_iFix-millionaire

Alex Fourie Founded iFix at age 19

Never ever give up. Starting a business and going out on your own requires all of you.

Each failure should be seen as a learning process and when you welcome failure you will see that it goes easier for you. We all fail. Majorly. Over and over. And we get back up and keep going for our dreams for as long as it takes.

More opportunities are available today than ever before. When you realise that your attitude and mindset are of utmost importance, these life hacks will catapult you toward success.

There are quite a few of us millennial millionaires out here who would love to see you achieve all you set out to do.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

A former professional athlete, New York City-based Lewis Howes is author of LinkedWorking (418 Press, 2009) and creator of the LinkedInfluence training program. He creates educational courses about social marketing for entrepreneurs and plays handball for The USA National Team.

Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

Build Solid Back-Room Basics For Business Success

What do South African entrepreneurs really know about what goes on behind the scenes building of businesses?

Marc Wachsberger

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South Africa has a vibrant start-up culture with great ideas starting out with a bang, but closing down with a whimper because entrepreneurs picture the glory at the destination, but not the nitty gritty of the journey to get there.

Be smart about scale

When I started out, I literally did everything myself. I negotiated and signed leases, I arranged the furnishing for our apartments and managed the interior décor process. When guests started using our apartments, I signed them in at reception, and then carried their bags.

At that stage, there was no money in my business to pay for attorneys, interior designers and decorators and there certainly wasn’t enough money for porters.

However, when we got to 70 apartments, it didn’t make sense for me to be a porter any longer, so I hired someone to do that job, explaining clearly what I expected of him. Before I did that, though, I spent time designing incentives for him so that he would be more affordable for me, and so that he could earn as much money as possible.

Related: Training Is A Two-Way Trick

Know your talents – and your limitations

There are certain things I’m really good at, but I know without a doubt that sales isn’t one of them – and without sales, you don’t have a business. I couldn’t afford a top-flight salesperson, but I knew that I could attract the right talent with the right business model. I set some high targets for Pamela Niemand, but offered her one third of the business if she met them. We both won: she earned a share in a successful, trend-setting business, and my trend-setting business became successful!

Use your skills – but know when to hand over

My background in corporate finance meant that I had all the accounting skills I needed when we first started out, but I knew that the time would come when I would need someone focused on that side of the business full time. Doing it all myself first meant that I could brief my first full-time accountant clearly and with a deep understanding of what would be required – and that I could help that person find and fix any challenges based on my experience.

In summary, my simple advice to anyone starting out would be to bootstrap your business yourself without investors or staff for as long as you can, but don’t over-extend yourself. Know when to delegate tasks away so that you can focus on what you’re really good at – but don’t do it before you have a solid understanding of what’s required. Know what you’ll never be able to do, and bring in that resource from the beginning – but do it based on performance-based incentives, so that your fledgling business doesn’t lose out if your early hires don’t perform.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

The Myth About The Relationship Between Entrepreneurs And Taking Risks

This is the true relationship between entrepreneurs and the apparent illusion of risk.

Lisa Illingworth

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“I can’t be an entrepreneur or start a business. I don’t have the appetite for risk.” This line is spoken regularly to brave few that leave the perceived safety of a job, take the plunge and venture into the unknown world of being an entrepreneur. However, there is a gross misunderstanding in the appetite for risk that entrepreneurs are believed to have innately inside of them.

The little-known truth is that the majority of entrepreneurs don’t like taking risks and according to Luca Rigotti and Mathew Ryan in their paper that explores a model for quantifying risk and its translation into enterprising action, the results were very interesting.

Risk is explained by these theorists as taking action where the outcomes are unpredictable as well the factors leading to that outcome are unknown. One of the theorists in this area, Saraswati, who coined the term “tolerance for ambiguity” has a more accurate description of what the outside world deems taking a risk.

In simple terms, entrepreneurs don’t go head-first into the shark infested water because they like the idea of danger and potentially being eaten alive; or the thrill of being able to say that they survived whilst others perished in a pool of maimed flesh. They carefully calculate that the sharks have been fed recently, some of the sharks are ragged tooth sharks that whilst looking like they are set to devour a human being, are actually incapable of opening their jaws wide enough to bite. For those sharks that still have space or who smell blood and can’t resist the urge to kill, the entrepreneur has a cage set up that he can retreat into quickly and a knife with which to protect himself.

Related: 5 Infamous Risks Every Entrepreneur Must Face

Tolerance for ambiguity is the careful evaluation of what is known at the moment where a decision must be made and an open-mindedness for what is not known. This, coupled with the agility to change course when new information is presented, has earned the label of high risk appetite. The appetite is not for the risk, but it is the ability to move down a path, when all the information is not known.

I likened it to a person moving around in the dark holding a candle. The candle casts a light that illuminates a limited parameter around the person holding the candle. What is beyond the light that the candle casts, is unknown and potentially a risk. But as the person moves forward, the light reveals what was unknown and in the shadows. As the light reveals new information and new challenges added to what they have already learnt, the person can make better informed decisions. The tolerance is in not knowing what lies in the shadows yet to be illuminated by the candle and then the confidence in his or her own ability to act on what new information is discovered.

None of this behaviour is risky or irresponsible. There is careful consideration for what is known and a tolerance for what is unknown. And once there is more information available, a calculated next step is taken and more information is assimilated into what is now known. This is the true relationship between entrepreneurs and the apparent illusion of risk.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

7 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs To Adopt Today

Want to know what skills can help you build confidence and your business? Here are seven…

Nicholas Bell

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For some people, becoming an entrepreneur is as easy as stepping off a bus. They have a big idea, they bring it to life, they hire employees and the next thing they are in a building smothered in branding and living the business dream. For others, the idea and the passion are there but they are unsure as to how they can make these into a sustainable reality. Entrepreneurial spirit isn’t like instant coffee – you don’t add ideas and suddenly get all the skills you need to thrive.

Want to know what skills can help you build confidence and your business? Here are seven…

1. Believable vision

Make sure that your vision is believable and achievable. It has to live in the realms of possibility, not as a blue-sky idea that looks good on paper but wouldn’t work in reality. You need to be able to live this vision so make it realistic and achievable. This will not only keep you on track, but your employees as well.

2. Be inclusive

You need to ensure that every person who works with you feels as if they are part of your vision and understand it. They need to relate to where the business is going and how it plans to get there. Many leaders don’t understand why employees are not engaged with their business and it’s because many of them don’t actually understand what the business does.

Related: 4 Ways To Improve Your Budgeting Skills

3. Communication is critical

If you don’t have fantastic communication skills, then now is the time to hone them. When it comes to building employee morale, commitment and engagement, nothing works as effectively as constant communication. The same applies to client relationships. You need to repeat the vision and ethos of the company at every opportunity and you need to be part of the team that does this communication.

4. Be visible and transparent

You are communicating, now you need to make that communication genuine by being both open and clear. People respond incredibly well to transparency. They feel as if they are part of something that recognises their value and contribution and it fosters a more inclusive company culture. Often toxic cultures come about thanks to a lack of communication and visibility. People know when things are being kept secret and react negatively to it, regardless of whether they’re an employee, a customer or a manager.

5. Be practical

You aren’t going to build an empire in a fortnight so focus on a realistic and practical business strategy that has clear benchmarks and even clearer goals. Communicate these with the company and keep everybody on the same page. Practical and achievable means long-term success.

Related: Crucial Skills You Need To Be An Entrepreneur

6. Build opportunities

As people become immersed in your company and part of its growth they will also need opportunities to grow. You need to tie their careers to the business and create opportunities for them.

7. Be human

It takes people to build a culture, a company and a future. It’s essential that you are human in your interactions and your treatment of others. The impact that a down to earth and authentic attitude can have on a company is extraordinary.

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