Entrepreneurship is a life-long adventure, but it isn’t for the faint of heart — especially if you want to learn how to be an entrepreneur at a young age. From road-side lemonade stands to unicorn tech companies, the range of potential businesses for a young entrepreneur are as varied and unique as each individual. Success is not guaranteed, but within every failure is a lesson that can be applied to the next great idea. Behind every “overnight success” is a story filled with mistakes, pivots, and redirection. The only “get rich quick” scheme is hard work, a great idea, and an adventurous spirit.
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The only thing you need that can’t be taught is passion for your business. You can learn how to balance books, train staff, and market your services, but passion is something that comes entirely from within. If you want to know how to be an entrepreneur, the first step is deciding to start your business. That’s where Dormzi can help. Our marketplace allows young entrepreneurs to list their services at competitive prices. Customers find what they need from nascent experts, and young entrepreneurs get experience, build relationships, and earn money to spend in their own communities.
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneur | ˌän-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər - an individual who assumes financial risk by organizing and operating a business or businesses.
What makes an entrepreneur is, however, more than just words. If you want to know how to be a young entrepreneur, the easiest thing to do is ask other young entrepreneurs. Each individual’s answer will be different, but they will circle around the same set of ideas: that you have to have a killer idea for a business, a creative way to package and sell it, and do it all in a way that nets profit. You may also hear plenty of anecdotes about appetite for risk, that is, how much are you willing to bet on your business? Risk is everywhere, but hedged by experience, knowledge, and expertise.
So you still want to know how to become a young entrepreneur? Dormzi is here to help. Even if it feels like you’re just a beginner, you have more knowledge than you think. Are you an English major? Then try your hand at copywriting and help business owners write ads, websites, and emails that grow their business. Are you a math whiz? Then you can create budgets, balance books, and process financial statements. No matter your background, you have the talent, the drive, and the hunger to take your skills and turn them into a side hustle. From tutoring in your community, fabricating crafts, or even offering pick-up and delivery services, there are limitless ways for you to turn your passion into a business.
Benefits of Being an Entrepreneur
Some of the advantages of being an entrepreneur are owning the success of your endeavor; a deeper understanding of the community your business is serving; and a deepened understanding of the market and its myriad interrelated forces. Plus, there is an undefinable joy of seeing the positive impact your business can have on your customers. Smiles are hard to earn, but worth all the effort. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re the boss. You decide what projects you want to take on, when you want to work on them, and how much you are going to charge. It’s a big responsibility that pays big dividends. For young go-getters on Dormzi who are preparing to be an entrepreneur, our marketplace provides the opportunity to try out new skills and talents and give them the space to learn where they excel and can make the biggest impact.
You’re the Boss
Life is complicated, especially for students and young people. Work, homelife, commutes, classes, tests, study groups, homework, friends, and more compete for their attention. With Dormzi, our young entrepreneurs are their own bosses. They set their hours, decide which projects they want to take on, and chart the overall direction of their business. If you want to know how to start being an entrepreneur, start by being your own boss. The work is hard, but you get to decide how to do it, when to do it, and what to pivot towards. When you’re the boss, the only person you have to answer to is the customer.
Work When You Want, Where You Want
When you’re the boss, you get to decide when and where you want to work. From national parks to beachside villas and everywhere in between, your location and hours are bound only by your passport, your imagination, and your deadline. When people want to know how to be an online entrepreneur, control over location and timing are two of the biggest benefits. Some individuals work best after hours. Others work best in the morning. Young entrepreneurs on Dormzi get to set their own schedule and move their office as they please. That’s a level of freedom that one can never find within a cubicle. If you have an internet connection, you can be an entrepreneur.
Work on Whatever You Want
Learning how to be an entrepreneur at a young age means you get to decide what services you’re going to offer and the timeline for their delivery. Every individual has different abilities. Being your own boss means you can set the terms that play to your strengths. If you have skills that are rare, you can be more selective about the work you accept. If you can do something difficult easily, you can set your rate to be competitive against the competition. Your limits are only what you want to accomplish, and what the market will allow.
Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur
Make no mistake, being a young entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t just about how to make money being an entrepreneur, it’s how to excel at a variety of interrelated tasks and skills. Starting a business isn’t glamorous, and profit often takes time to develop. One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is thinking that profit is immediate. Reputations take time to build, and customers take time to find. Plus, when you’re your own boss, it can be hard to motivate yourself without an external force driving you. Learning how to set goals, work towards them, and cross them off your to-do list on your own without anyone breathing down your neck is one of many skills you’ll need to master in order to learn how to be an entrepreneur at a young age. And learning a lot of skills–fast!–is another time intensive activity many young entrepreneurs don’t account for in their business plan. While you may be great at the service you’re selling, you will still need to learn how to market your talents, negotiate advantageous rates and timelines, follow-through on delivery, manage customer expectations, and balance your books. That’s a lot! Fortunately, Dormzi is a community of fellow entrepreneurs you can lean on for advice, motivation, and camaraderie in the good times and the bad. While you may be your own boss, you don’t have to do it alone. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Making Money (Initially)
One of the biggest challenges facing young entrepreneurs is turning a profit on their sales or services. If you want to know how to be an entrepreneur, you first need to know how to provide desired services at a rate that customers will buy that will also net you a profit. This isn’t as easy as it sounds! No matter how good you may be at your business’s offering, you need to be able to find customers willing to pay for it. Oftentimes it can be so exciting to start a business that young entrepreneurs forget to include overhead and operating costs into their budget. If you have questions about how to market and price your goods and services, you have the Dormzi community at your back to help you make your mark on the world.
The workforce of the future can login from anywhere and get their work done. But how do you stay motivated when you’re the one in charge of your work and you’re accountable only to yourself and your customer? “How to be an internet entrepreneur” doesn’t come with a guidebook to staying motivated and on top of your responsibilities. It’s easy to get distracted when working on your own and online. We recommend Dormzies find other like minded young entrepreneurs as accountability partners (or “accountabilibuddies”) to stay motivated and on task.
Learning a Lot of Skills
Learning how to be an entrepreneur at a young age requires not only a great business idea, a motivated attitude, and a frequent customer base, it also demands that business leaders learn a lot, and fast! Entrepreneurs have to juggle multiple parts of a business, from customer service and product delivery to accounting and marketing. If you want to know how to be an entrepreneur at 18, you will have to learn how to wear a lot of hats all at once. As a young entrepreneur, you may have to provide your business’s service one moment, then balance your books in another, then provide customer support after that. It is fast paced and demanding. Failure is around the corner, but every mistake is an opportunity to learn, to develop your skills, and to master your business.
Tips for How to be an Entrepreneur
When people ask “how to be an entrepreneur in high school” or “how to be an entrepreneur later in life” they are oftentimes looking for a secret recipe, a path to the buried treasure they know is out there. For better or worse, there is no one trick to becoming a successful young entrepreneur, but there are a set of practices that you can incorporate into your life that will increase your chances of taking your new business to the next level.
Entrepreneurs are always learning. They soak up information about the business world, their market segment, greater cultural trends, and the news. They are always asking questions and reading books. Today’s trivia could be tomorrow’s game-changing insight. Curiosity and a willingness to learn are key.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People often want to help, and the worst thing they can say to your request is “no.” Rely on your community to help keep you motivated and carry your business forward.
Stay positive! Even if it seems like things are going poorly, that only means that you get the opportunity to utilize your skills, talents, and knowledge to right the ship. You are only in control of the things within your power, so don’t worry so much about global trends or market fluctuations. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t know what you’re doing? That’s OK. The secret is that no one does – everyone is just making it up as they go along. Act with the confidence that you’re going to figure it out and the rest will fall into place.
Most importantly, trust your gut. Your instincts and experience belong to you and you alone. If you feel like you need to pivot your business, or redo your logo, or rethink your approach to customer service, follow those feelings! The secret to success is never regretting what you could have done.
The most important thing is to remain in a state of learning. Don’t rely on others to carry knowledge and expertise. Reach out to members of your community with skills and talents you admire and ask them to impart their knowledge and wisdom. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand your knowledge base. Who knows?–What seems like trivia one day can be the game changing insight you need the next. Read the newspaper. Stay up on business trends. Check out books from the library. Every bit of knowledge you absorb can someday make the difference in your business.
Ask for Help
Remember that you don’t have to carry your business entirely on your shoulders. You don’t live in isolation, and you shouldn’t work in one either. Ask for help if you need it – either from other young entrepreneurs in the Dormzi community, or people in your day-to-day life. If you ask for tips, tricks, knowledge, or assistance, the worst anyone can say is “no,” and more times than not, people want to help. Help yourself and reach out for assistance when you need it.
Don’t Get Discouraged (Success Takes Time)
The path to a successful business is different not just for every individual, but their every effort, too. The trick to staying in the game of entrepreneurship is to remain positive. Global market forces shape our world in ways sometimes unpredictable or negative. Getting a business off the ground is hard. Earning a profit is a journey, not a milestone. Remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one customer at a time. If you can do it all with a smile, you’ll find that even when the going gets tough you’ll have the resilience to weather it. Patience is the most important quality you can cultivate.
Fake it Til’ You Make It
Nobody knows what they’re doing, but everyone pretends that they do. That’s OK! Jeff Bezos didn’t know that the online bookstore he ran out of his parent’s garage would become what it is today, and neither did Mark Zuckerberg know that his Harvard-exclusive social media site would one day span the globe. What they had, and what any entrepreneur can cultivate, is doing the best with the information you have and trusting that things will fall into place. You only have to fake it ‘til you make it, but once you have, the world is your oyster.
Trust Your Gut
The most important asset that no one can replicate are your instincts. Trust your gut! Even if you can’t quite put into words why you think you should pivot your business, change your protocol, or make a big business purchase, your subconscious mind has put in the time and taken all your unique experiences into consideration. Don’t regret the things you could have done.