Entrepreneurship is an increasingly popular career choice, with over half of British young people between the ages of 14-25 having thought about starting (or having already started) a business. This is no surprise as young people have many prolific entrepreneurs to look up to. These are people like Bill Gates or Elon Musk, who built their ideas into billion-dollar companies. There are many benefits of starting your own company, including autonomy, the ability to pursue your passion, as well as creating a positive change in the world.
So, you want to be an entrepreneur. What now?
Well, research from Forbes found that if you want to become one of the richest founders you should start early. In fact, six out of the top 400 of richest Americans on the list started a business while still in high school. It might seem like coming up with an idea for a successful business while still at school is a herculean task, but there are some things you can do to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the future. Keep reading to learn what you can do right now to become a successful entrepreneur in the future!
Listen to podcasts
Listening to podcasts can be a great way to learn from first-hand experience of people who have created successful businesses, but it can also be an opportunity to learn more about different industries and the process of setting up a start-up.
Some great examples are:
- How I Built This which is good if you’d like to hear from different prolific entrepreneurs and learn about their journey.
- Masters of Scale which provides great insight from famous entrepreneurs and is usually focused around a specific topic, so that you can find advice on problems you might have.
- Business Wars is an interesting take, as it discusses different companies as if they were locked in a battle. An example would be their Marvel vs DC series.
Follow interesting entrepreneurs
Many entrepreneurs love sharing their stories and lessons they learned along the way. This is why you should do some research and find entrepreneurs who interest you. This could be because of the industry they are in, their specific business or just because they create great content. Make sure to follow them on social media, especially if they use their channels in an educational capacity. This way you’ll stay up to date with any advice or insight they might provide.
Another great source of entrepreneurial knowledge are newsletters! A good example would be Kevin Rose’s ‘Journal’.
Develop an entrepreneurial mindset
An entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills which helps people to identify and seize opportunities, deal with challenges and bounce back from failure. Skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity and leadership are not only useful in an entrepreneurial setting but every aspect of life, as they are highly transferable.
You can develop these at school by participating in social clubs, team sports or other extracurricular activities. However, if you feel you need more opportunity to develop these skills, try checking out an online course. EtonX has many courses focused on developing skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving and resilience.
Create a social club
If you’d like to join an entrepreneurship club at school, but there aren’t any, why not create your own? This will not only help you meet other students with similar interests and aspirations, but will also help you develop many of the skills of an entrepreneurial mindset.
Make sure you check what the rules are about starting social clubs in your school and look for a teacher who is interested in the subject and would be able to help you get the club off the ground.
Join a competition
The best way to test your knowledge and skills is to put it into practice! This is why you should think about joining some entrepreneurial competitions. Research some contests which you are eligible for and apply! For some of them you will need to have an existing start-up idea and for some you’ll come up with it during the competition. Figure out what you’d like from the contest and find others who might want to join you (that entrepreneurship club will come in handy).
A great example of an amazing competition is The Young Entrepreneurs Challenge. It’s open to people aged 16-25 across Europe with an existing idea and the prize money would help you make the idea a reality.
If you want to learn a bit more about the ins and outs of creating a business check out our Entrepreneurship course. We will teach you everything from coming up with an idea, to validating it, to pitching it to others!