17/07/2014

By Stuart Maitland, a 21 Year Old Multi Award Winning Entrepreneur and Board Chairman for Young Enterprise, Central North London. He currently oversees 15 Board Members and 11 Business advisors.

In my opinion, everyone has it in them to make it as a young entrepreneur. You just need to be focussed and determined. A question that I am asked all the time is “what do you need to make it as a young entrepreneur?” The answer is simple: Focus, passion and determination. Unfortunately, it is something that some people lack. Yes, I said it. You need to be completely and utterly focussed and determined on your goal, and committed and focused to making it happen. What else do you need to make it as an entrepreneur? Read on.

Passion, Focus and Determination

If you are not committed to business, you will run out of steam fast. If you do not live, breathe and dream this profession, you will not succeed as a young person in business. The lure of the parties, hanging out with your friends and doing other things will overtake. Now, there is nothing wrong with these things. But to succeed in business, you need to be more passionate about your future than short term pleasures. When business gets tough (which it will), your passion will keep you on the path to success. You will question yourself from time to time when you are unable to do the things you like or sleep more than 3 hours per night, but that shows that you are passionate, driven, focussed and determined to be a success – and it will pay off one day.

Time Management

No one will throw the book at you if you turn up late for school once or twice. Turning up late for a business meeting could mean the difference between winning or losing a big client. Entrepreneurs are busy people. If you turn up late to a meeting or an important pitch, full of excuses it does not look good and potential clients will think long and hard about spending their money with you or investing in your business. In this competitive age in which we live, seemingly small things can make a huge difference. Be on time for everything. Another point on time management is scheduling everything. Plan your diary in such a way that you allow time for rest, and …to just be young. My diary this year is full, but I have put in time to go back home to see my family as this is very important to me. Do not forget you may take a brief holiday but you should never fully switch off. When I am at home in Scotland, I am virtually on call 24 hours per day and at any moment ready to jump on a plane back to London for a meeting or conference. That shows your passion and good time management and that you are a good entrepreneur.

A Good Team of People Around

In order to make it as a young entrepreneur, you need a good team around you. A team of business people who are skilled in different fields but have the same level of passion to make the business succeed. Whilst it is exciting running a business at a young age, take the time to learn from people around you and build a solid team around you. Essential skills that you will need are a good accountant, someone with legal knowledge and marketing expertise. These are the core skills that every business owner needs, whether young or old. And never overlook the importance of a legal adviser. I have seen many people saved from a whole lot of drama by their legal team. If you can’t afford a team, barter. Exchange services with relevant people, and ensure that it is a win-win scenario all round, you’re an entrepreneur so make a deal with them.

Being a young entrepreneur is the best profession in the world. You get to travel a lot and to meet different people on a weekly basis. Be focussed. Be determined. Be Passionate. Love your business. But remember to enjoy it and never stop learning.

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