Every week, I come across people who want to follow in my entrepreneurial footsteps. Although I don’t think I have accomplished much for my age, I am always open to helping other people out.
But one thing that I have been realizing is that most of you won’t succeed because you just don’t have your head screwed on tight enough.
Here is why I think you won’t succeed:
Reality Check #1: Learn how to manage money
I recently hung out with a few young adults who are looking to grow their careers. They are sharp, smart, and hard working. The problem is they don’t know how to manage their money. They’ve maxed out on their credit cards, and they don’t have much money in their bank accounts. Yet, they’ll spend $150.00 on luxury services.
If luxury services make you happy, by all means, get them. But you should not be spending money on things like that when you have large amounts of debt. I personally didn’t indulge in luxury items until I was making over six figures in income.
I am not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your money because at the end of the day it is your life and you should do whatever makes you happy. But if you want to succeed in business, you need to learn how to manage money. If you can’t pay your bills on time, pay employees or learn how to collect checks, you’ll run into a lot of cash issues. Without money, you won’t be in business for long.
Reality Check #2: Don’t take opportunities for granted
Just last month I got a hair cut from a great hair stylist who seemed to have more clients than she could deal with. She wanted to expand her business and open up a decent-size salon. I offered to meet with her and potentially invest in her idea if she could come up with a plan that made sense.
To make a long story short, I met with her, but she came unprepared. I offered her a second chance by telling her to get back to me with a plan, but I still haven’t heard anything from her.
Had she not squandered the opportunity, she probably would have had the money she wanted to create the salon of her dreams. I already knew that she was a good hair stylist and that she would have clients as she already had more than she could deal with.
No matter whom you meet or what people offer you, don’t ever take things for granted. You never know who can help you out and what they can do for you.
Reality Check #3: Ideas are a dime a dozen
Every week, I literally get a handful of people who want feedback on their business ideas. These are ideas that people are passionate about, but they never execute.
For example, six months ago I had a gentleman come to me who wanted to create a cloud-based storage service for people who watch pornographic content. Think of it as a Dropbox, but for porn.
Although the idea sounded great, he never did anything with it. If you want to succeed, you have to execute. Things like ideas don’t matter; execution does. This is the reason why companies like Facebook, Twitter and Groupon are doing so well. They are able to execute.
Don’t waste your time telling hundreds of people your business ideas; just get out there and implement them.
Reality Check #4: Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more
My generation loves to text-message and use Facebook. But what they suck at compared to the other generations is responding to emails and answering phone calls.
In my experience, the number one reason people miss out on an opportunity is because they are horrible at communicating. More importantly, they are horrible at communicating through the normal channels most business folks are used to: email and phone.
Make sure you are on top of things and that you respond to people in a timely fashion. It will make you look great, and it will help you keep your clients happy.
Reality Check #5: Emotions and business don’t mix
If you know me, you know that I am not an emotional person. Most things are either black or white to me, and I always do what is best for my business even if it hurts other people’s “feelings.”
For the past few months, I have been hanging out with people of my age. I’ve realized they have a lot of unchecked emotions and drama in their lives. This, in turn, has made me more emotional, which has started to affect my business decisions. I have slowly started to cut these emotion-filled people out of my life.
If you want to succeed in the business world, you have to learn how to make decisions based on logic and not emotion. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s what you have to do to make wise decisions. If for some reason you aren’t able to think straight, don’t make any decisions. Sleep on your emotions until you have a logical answer or get some guidance from a peer.
Reality Check #6: F may come before W, but Work comes before Fun
Who doesn’t want to have fun, right? I know I do, but you need to learn to only have fun after all of your work is done. For example, I haven’t taken a vacation in ten years because I need to continually work on my start-up.
Don’t get me wrong, I have fun, but I always put work before fun. It sounds easy when you are making a decent chunk of change, but at the beginning, it ends up being a bit difficult because you won’t be making heaps of cash.
If you can learn to put work ahead of having fun, you’ll do well in life, especially if you are a hard worker. You just have to be patient as you won’t see the benefits of this in the short run.
Just because I’ve stated that you won’t succeed because of the potential flaws I listed above doesn’t mean you can’t change. Everyone, including me, has flaws. So, don’t just get depressed or feel hopeless. Do something about it!
If you are wiling to change, you can succeed. You just have to learn how to spot the roadblocks in your life and solve them. And if for some reason you are not able to solve them, don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.