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What Should You Dedicate Your Early 20s to as an Aspiring Entrepreneur? If your goal is to be successful, here are things you can focus on now to help yourself stay ahead of the curve.

By Under30CEO Edited by Mark Klekas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This story originally appeared on Under30CEO.com

If you are aspiring to become an entrepreneur, your early 20s are the perfect time to get started.

By spending this important time in your life getting the right qualifications, building great personal qualities, and expanding your professional connections – you'll be thanking yourself down the road.

Acquiring a higher education qualification

Your early twenties are the perfect time to obtain an additional degree or certificate to add to your resume. This is especially true if you aspire to become a business entrepreneur. If you are looking to start a new business venture, enrolling to complete an MBA online, for instance, will provide you with invaluable life skills, capabilities, and technical knowledge that you can bring to your new business.

Related: The 9 Most In-Demand Professional Certifications You Can Get Right Now

Also known as a Master of Business Administration, an MBA will effectively teach you the many skills you require to be successful as a business entrepreneur. Some of the course material you are likely to cover during an MBA degree will usually include:

Business function skills and expertise - If you're venturing out on your own, you need to know the business world and how it functions and operates. Studying core MBA units around strategic decision-making, planning, and analysis is essential to becoming a business expert. Your business studies will also focus on understanding and leveraging marketing concepts. Some of these concepts will cover the areas of consumer demand, supply chain management, and marketing data analytics – to name a few.

Related: Do You Need an MBA to Succeed in Business?

Leadership and management capabilities - A competent leader is essential to running your business. If your venture is successful, you may hire your own staff in the not-too-distant future, even in your early 20s. The best part about this is that by training your employees to understand how to operate your business autonomously, your own workload will be greatly reduced. Ideally, you want to be able to employ staff who can run the business without you. Essentially, the goal is to generate somewhat of a passive income without having to physically be involved in the daily operation of your business.

Transformational change techniques and strategies - Lastly, you need to learn to adapt to change. As such, learning and developing techniques and strategies that will assist with adapting to transformation and change is invaluable for any business entrepreneur. Some of these capabilities involve understanding how to navigate the complex and changing landscape of the business world. Additionally, it will help you make strategically-beneficial business decisions.

Developing relevant personal characteristics

As well as pursuing formal education, if you're serious about becoming a business entrepreneur, you need to cultivate certain personality traits, characteristics and personal attributes. These include:

Passion, drive and ambition - If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you will already have the passion to get yourself going. You may also have a new business concept in mind. Your passion for this concept will drive and propel you forward. If you are in your early 20s and you are already passionate enough to want to start your own business, you definitely have it in you to succeed. Next, you'll need to put in the work.

Related: 13 Characteristics of Successful Hustlers

Discipline and motivation - Sometimes, passion isn't enough. You also need to stay consistently motivated. It can If you're not feeling especially motivated, then you need to learn to be disciplined. There is a difference between being motivated and being disciplined. Discipline will enable you to stick to your positive habits, routine, and objectives, even when lacking motivation. As such, it is vital to develop this important attribute to stay on track toward your business goals.

Dedication and a strong work ethic - Dedication and a strong work ethic are central to success as a business owner. Undoubtedly, the road ahead will be bumpy, and many obstacles will come your way. The only way to combat this is to work through the challenges and remain dedicated to your cause. By showing dedication, hard work, and commitment, you also become a role model to the staff you employ to help run your business in the future.

Building your professional network

There's no way around it; if you want to be successful in the business world, you need to network. Perhaps the best way to expand your network is to engage with a professional business mentor.

Related: Communication Tips 7 Entrepreneurs and Leaders Wish They'd Known in Their Early 20s

Importantly, engaging with a mentor who can show you the ropes of the business world is extremely helpful, especially when you are starting out on your own. Likely, your mentor will already have experienced exactly what you are about to go through as a new business owner.

Your early 20s are a formative time in your life. And, if you make the most of these years by developing the skills and characteristics required of a business owner, your ambition to become a successful entrepreneur is well within your reach. So, take the time to invest in higher education, cultivate desirable personal qualities, and grow your business network.

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