Harvard Business School Professor Shikhar Ghosh in his research shows that 75 per cent of startups fail. Who are these startups? are they college freshers or experienced businessmen? Do they have some habits of successful young entrepreneurs of the past?
Certainly, this is the bone of contention. The problem actually lies in your entrepreneurial background and you as a person.
Let’s dig deep into our study;
Who is an entrepreneur?
Havard university stated in her blog that “Entrepreneurship is commonly thought of as the process of starting a business”. It is well defined to some extent and while this is true, in part, some nuances should be considered.
An entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business venture by innovating, developing and producing a new product, service or idea.
An entrepreneur is not just a business owner, as the owner of a phone store or a laundry store or cosmetics, but someone who develops their own innovative concept and turns it into a profitable business.
Entrepreneurs can do anything and everything, so you can create your own path also. Interestingly, as a student, the school presents you with a lot of opportunities to put your entrepreneurial abilities into practice.
It’s a good time to try, fail, learn and develop essential qualities to thrive in the outside world.
Some of the famous young student entrepreneurs
Jeff Bezos, owner of amazon, blue origin, and other companies founded the giant company Amazon from his garage at the age of 30. It was first seen as a small online bookstore. Today he is worth 150 billion and Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce company.
Richard Brownson founded Virgin Records, which is now known as Virgin Megastores at the age of 22. He now has Virgin Airlines and Virgin Galactic Today, a space corporation for Space Tourism. Today he is worth 4.1 billion.
Steve Jobs is the founder and CEO of Apple. He started working on his prototype, Apple I at the age of just 21 and together with Steve Wozniak, and finally became the pioneer of the personal computer revolution.
Other famous entrepreneurs have made fortune now from the business they founded or co-founded at the early age of their lives.
Even the Nigerian conglomerate giant known as Dangote founded the company at the age of 21 in Nigeria.
According to several sources, when he was 21, he borrowed $3,000 from his uncle, planning on importing and selling agricultural goods in Nigeria. Now he is the richest man in the African continent.
You can see that the above bios have an age range of 30 and below which means that you also can start something very early and while in school.
You may ask “Can a 12-Year-Old Own a Business”?
There is no age limit on being an entrepreneur; so, a 12-year can become the most famous entrepreneur. However, there is an age requirement for forming a legal business entity in the United States. Due to contract law, a person must be at least 18 years of age to form a legal business. Fortunately, parents and guardians can file on behalf of minor children.
Some of the famous young entrepreneurs who started a business in less than 20 years
At age 13, Hart Main had the habits of successful young entrepreneurs and came up with the idea of manly scented candles after teasing his sister about the girly scented ones she was selling for a school fundraiser.
It wasn’t until Hart set out to purchase a $1,500 bike that he actually saw the money he had.
Charlotte had the habits of successful young entrepreneurs and decided to open up her own business when she was a young high school graduate. Inspired by some small and eclectic boutiques in California, Wound Up was opened to be a women’s clothing store targeting women between the ages of 18 to 40.
She was known for the entrepreneurial family trait
Caine Monroy had the habits of successful young entrepreneurs and was noticed when he was only nine years old when he launched his own makeshift cardboard arcade inside his father’s East L.A. auto parts store.
He posted a short film to social media, and soon, Caine’s Arcade business became internationally known, reported on news outlets such as ABC World News, Good Morning America, and MSNBC.
Jack Kim founded Benelab, a search engine that generates donations while he was still in Seattle. He had the habits of successful young entrepreneurs while he was very young.
Kim made search engines previously and quickly learned the power of a search engine in generating revenue from little traffic. According to Kim, the search engine’s mission is “to make philanthropy easy and more accessible.
Kim recruited classmates to be part of his “nonprofit organization with a startup vibe” team. All of Benelab’s ad revenues are donated to charity, making it the first search engine to do so.
Willow Tufano took advantage of the opportunity to purchase a house at the age of fourteen. When Florida was hit hard by the recession she consulted her mother who knows a bit about real estate.
She presented the idea of buying a house, to which her mother replied offering her full support. At this time, houses that once sold for $50,000 were now being sold at auctions for $6,000.
Surprisingly, Tufano was no longer a stranger to the world of real estate. She has been making money clearing abandoned houses and selling leftover property on Craigslist.
Catherine Cook builds a social media website built around an online version of a person’s yearbook at the age of fifteen.
Looking to her brother, who had successfully launched startups EssayEdge.com and ResumeEdge.com, for inspiration, she founded MyYearbook.com
Later MyYearbook merged with an ad-supported site that allows users to post and complete online quizzes which made her money.
Garrett Gee turned a lucky guess into a business opportunity when the iPad 2 was about to come out while in the university. After recognizing there should be easier to use and less clunky QR code software and apps, he made it his mission to be the first one to offer such a product fit for the iPad 2 which became a success.
Cameron Johnson, the owner of Cheers and Tears started the business at the age of nine, creating invitations for his parents’ holiday gathering. Two years later, Johnson had made thousands of dollars selling cards
Doherty began making jams from his grandmother’s recipes at the age of 14. In his advent to entrepreneurship, he began receiving more orders than he had time to fill.
He dropped out of school and rented a factory a few days each month. History carries that In 2007, a high-end U.K. supermarket approached Doherty about selling his jams.
This approach led to his products gaining shelf space in 184 stores. By 2007, his company had $750,000 in sales. Since then, his company has continued to expand all through Europe.
What are the habits of young student entrepreneurs?
The above successful people listed above have the following similar traits but not limited to
They mostly start their Businesses in school
The business you start in school is often an indication that the starters have the potential for success if they learn from their mistake and move on to something else.
school is a small village comprising of people of different backgrounds and tribes, countries and continents. If your business flourishes on campus, you certainly have a future in that business. It is neither a yardstick to measure failure if you start a failed campus business again after school and outside the campus.
I created a platform(an online marketplace) for campus students to shop their products from their customers right in their room and get them delivered immediately.
The business failed on arrival due to the team I used to run with but it was a learning experience that gave rise to other ventures in and out of school.
If you are aspiring to become an entrepreneur, while you are still in school, you may want to consider taking a calculated risk and also starting something on the side.
They always take risk
One of the essential qualities of an entrepreneur is recognizing the risk to take at a particular time in different situations.
Taking risks as an entrepreneur helps to reduce fear. Risks could be seen as a way of enhancing your business because if you do not give it a try you will not know if it will eventually work out.
Entrepreneurs should take risks because risk takers are always differentiated from their competitors and business counterpart.
Eventually, take the lead and become leaders but that does not mean all leaders take major and uncalculated risks regularly
They have passion for their work
A successful entrepreneur must have a strong powerful determination about his business. The powerful determination is accompanied by the zeal of always getting on the go whenever it has to do with business.
And not just any business but a profitable and good selling business. This has to do with loving what you do and by so doing it makes doing it pretty much easier than it may seem.
Successful entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on their work which requires patience.
With your passion for what you do, you will always feel very comfortable sacrificing your time and it will not feel like a sacrifice anymore because you enjoy doing it.
They engage in self challenges
Self-challenge aids an entrepreneur to get prepared or better still it’s the readiness of the entrepreneur towards the future.
Self-challenge can also be seen as a motivator telling yourself “I can do this“ even when it seems difficult and impossible.
Challenging yourself makes you confident at every point and also makes the future task easy to handle. Always look forward to the next big task as an entrepreneur.
They believe in themselves
You must first learn to trust in yourself before you expect anyone to trust in you. Believing in yourself makes you build your strength. If you keep thinking about how people will judge you or your work, you might find it difficult to be yourself.
Exercising self-confidence is believing in yourself which is a quality that a successful entrepreneur should exhibit. when you believe in you will automatically make others around you believe in your work.
Learn to believe in your inner thought and idea about your business.
They eliminate fear
Fear is experienced in your mind, but it triggers a strong physical reaction in your body. If you let fear grow in you as an entrepreneur, you will not be able to listen to your inner thought and by so doing you kill your self-confidence.
Successful entrepreneurs find every possible way to manage and if possible eliminate fear and doubts in their minds.
The lifestyle of students who will be successful entrepreneurs
- Open-Mindedness:– A successful entrepreneur should be open-minded to more, new and innovative ideas.
- Structured Experimentation:- Do not just jump into business. If you have an idea for a new product or service that fulfils less demand, you’ll have to ensure customers are willing to pay for it. To do so, you’ll need to conduct thorough market research and run meaningful tests to validate your idea and determine whether it has potential.
- Curiosity:- Curiosity is having a strong desire to learn or know something. As a successful entrepreneur, you need to yearn for new creative and innovative ideas.
- Adaptability:- One of the traits you should develop is adaptability. Entrepreneurs need to evaluate situations and adapt so their businesses can keep moving forward when unexpected changes occur.
- Long-Term Focus:- Every entrepreneur has this lifestyle of planning the success of their business long term. They believe business is like childbirth. After conceiving, the child has to grow year after year.
- Decisiveness:- To be successful, an entrepreneur has to make difficult decisions and stand by them. Being decisive doesn’t always mean having all the answers. If you want to be an entrepreneur, it means having the confidence to make challenging decisions and see them through. If the outcome turns out to be less than favourable, the decision to take corrective action is just as important.
- Team Building:- If you can’t build a term you will break it. You should know how to build a team before starting any business.
- Risk Tolerance:- What makes successful entrepreneurs is the ability to bear and tolerate risk for some time. Feeling defeated in risk-taking should only be when you see no future in the business
- Comfortable with Failure:- When you can accept failure you will be ready to keep fighting. No matter how many times you fail, your courage and zeal to keep trying to make you a successful entrepreneur. You need to be comfortable with failure in other to learn from your previous mistakes. Failure makes you stronger and your ability not to give up makes you stronger.
- Persistence:- Persistence is always an entrepreneur’s watchword. no matter how the wind blows, never give up.
- Innovation:- This makes a full entrepreneur. having the spirit of bringing new ideas and innovation makes you an entrepreneur.
Some Top Habits of successful young entrepreneurs while in school.
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #1. Choose a Product or Service of Interest to You
If you really want to try your entrepreneurial spirit, choose something that is of interest to you and that will inspire, motivate and challenge you. The reason is that entrepreneurship is very boring when you can’t differentiate your left from right.
Here, you will be very tired and ready to give up quickly so choose something that really resonates with you.
You may wish to consider:
- Starting your first business in an industry that inspires you. This will keep you motivated
- Using the skills and knowledge gained in your degree to build a business
- Making an impact or causing positive change in your community
- Solving some needs peculiar to humans
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #2. Write a Business Plan
To ensure that you know what a business plan is, we will state again that a business plan is a document that details the objectives of your business and strategies for achieving them.
Your plan will be assessed by potential investors in future so it needs to be perfect. The business plan always describes your product or service and discuss the current industry and the way forward of the business.
You then need to do some market analysis to work out who your customers are, where they are and what products or services they currently use.
I knew this lately and very necessary that In the financial section, you will need to include an income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet.
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #3. Start Networking
Businesses now are all about networking. Building a strong professional network will help you in every stage of your future career by giving you opportunities in the way of help, advice, contacts, friends and future business. It is always very easy while in school to create a network.
Your university or college may have networking events, meetups or societies for student entrepreneurs. It is a place you can connect, make like-minded friends, collaborate and learn.
There are also organizations that run workshops for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Check out shared workspaces in your area. They sometimes run events and workshops.
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #4. Student Entrepreneur Awards, Competitions and Grants
You have to invest time and effort in researching competitions, grants and awards while in school. There are companies and organizations that look to invest in sound ideas that have potential.
A good place to start is by asking your university if there are any funds or programs available for student entrepreneurs. Some Nigerian universities provide financial assistance and a wealth of resources.
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #5 Learn as Much as Possible
Success in any business requires an understanding of the business, you will need to have knowledge of business, marketing, finance, accountancy, technology and human resources.
In the beginning, you may be working from your kitchen table or garage, but if you want to fulfil your goal of becoming an innovative entrepreneur and build a successful thriving business, your business and finance knowledge will need to be grounded. This means you have to step up and perhaps have a location for your business
Habits of successful young entrepreneurs Tip #6. Be Open-Minded
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you have to be open-minded to new ideas. You can never really know what your innovation will be and where your idea will come from.
Always listen, read, observe and learn anything at all then filter those ones you will work with. Your big idea could come from an industry or sector outside of your primary interest.
Ideas could be from technology, health, fashion, food or childcare. If you are studying business or technology, your skills and knowledge can be put towards any product, service or innovation at any time in any industry.