Five Tips For The New Generation Of Brave Entrepreneurs

To get the best chance of turning a brilliant idea into a lucrative venture, here are five tips to remember.

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One of the most dramatic outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic was the huge global rise in entrepreneurs, especially younger people in their 20s and 30s. In fact, more than half of Gen Z'ers (those under 25 years of age) said they hoped to own their own business in the next ten years, according to a 2021 study by leading analysts, EY.

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This feisty new group of innovators –sometimes dubbed "generation hustle"– have already started twice as many businesses as the baby boomer generation, according to BNP Paribas' recent edition of the Global Entrepreneur Report, a survey that maps trends in entrepreneurial activity and attitudes.

The year 2021, in so many ways, has been a year of transition. Individuals, business owners, corporations were forced to evaluate their present and their future. The focus on reshaping and reinventing the future became a priority.

As digitization speeded up the process, necessity became the mother of invention. The tremendous growth in the digital space subsequently gave opportunities to a digital-first generation. What would have taken them a few years to launch a business, took months to get it off the ground.

The COVID-19 crisis sparked innovation and resulted in a whole new breed of entrepreneurs in every sector and industry. According to McKinsey, there were 1.5 million new business applications registered in the US in 2020, twice the number for the same period in 2019.

However, the road to entrepreneurial success isn't easy, and more people fail than succeed. I have personally been an investor in a number of ventures over the last couple of decades, and based on that experience, I have realized the common challenges that new entrepreneurs face, as well as the traits that determine the success of a new venture.

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To get the best chance of turning a brilliant idea into a lucrative venture, here are five tips to remember:

1. Do something you have genuine passion for It may sound simple, but going into any business field without a passion for your product or service –or knowing your chosen area inside out– is a huge mistake. Passion and belief sell better than anything else, and customers smell fakery a mile off. For example, you may feel passionately about solving a problem, and therefore, you'll be able to create a business that tackles all the challenges. You will not only be fully committed to it, you'll also be able to grow the business quickly.

2. Always stay objective Although passion is essential, you also need to remain objective. The problem many entrepreneurs face is they get obsessed with their "baby," and lose the ability to step back and assess situations with a critical eye. Rather than ploughing ahead with ideas, focus on the realities of running your business, and take a hard look at profit and loss forecasts, current market trends, and resources such as funding, all the while continuing to innovate and develop your business.

3. Surround yourself with experts No one is an island, and every brilliant entrepreneur needs equally brilliant experts around them to succeed. While it can be tempting to maintain a tight grip on every aspect of your new enterprise, being able to let other talents lead and thrive is a precious skill. Take every opportunity to learn– whether it's from industry veterans or technology whizzes. Seeking out advice from external sources, and people in your network will provide you with a different and valuable perspective. Always aim to find people who are smarter than you. Whether you're employing them or adding them to your advisory board, ultimately, it will benefit your business and bottom line.

4. Look for great mentors According to a recent market report by global analysts Jupiter Business Mentors, 93% of young entrepreneurs want the support of a mentor who has been there, done that, and seen it all. Meanwhile, 80% of mentored businesses have witnessed long-term success, growth, and business revenues– doubling their survival rate as compared to non-mentored businesses. If you're not convinced, remember that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Larry Page both received mentoring by Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt respectively at the early stages of their businesses. Spending time with a mentor doesn't diminish your own capabilities and also opens up new doors as well. As a trusted confidante and experienced navigators, mentors can make the road to success a lot smoother and relatively obstacle-free. Highly successful people are always willing to share their own journey and learnings, and that is invaluable and can't be achieved in a business school alone.

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