5 Critical Skills That All Successful Young Entrepreneurs Have in Common

Young entrepreneurs come from a variety of backgrounds and operate in a plethora of industries. Some are technologists; others are bioengineers; others dabble in the media world. Despite their differences, however, these are 5 skills that all young successful entrepreneurs have in common.

1.  Successful Young Entrepreneurs Are Firm About Their Purpose, But Flexible In Their Approach

We all have a limited number of hours in a day, yet a seemingly infinite number of problems to solve. Clearly, we don’t have enough time to solve all the issues in the world. This fundamental discrepancy between what we can do and what we want to do is crucial to understanding the idea of being focused.

The most successful young entrepreneurs understand this, especially ones who are balancing their business with school. They are particular and focused on tackling one problem, and aren’t balancing a ton of different projects at the same time, getting nowhere with any one of them. These entrepreneurs are passionate about computer programming, biotech, media – you name it, but they stay dedicated to their mandate.

But at the same time, successful young entrepreneurs are flexible in their approach. They embrace their mistakes and correct quickly. This often means the original approach that young entrepreneurs think of initially in achieving their purpose might not be the best. Successful young entrepreneurs try every approach and end up finding the right one, the one that results in their success.

2.  Successful Young Entrepreneurs Know Their Worth and Value Their Time

In areas like the Silicon Valley, where entrepreneurship is central to its culture, young people will be encouraged socially to start businesses as a means to aggregate wealth. The problem with this is young entrepreneurs will often engage in menial, meaningless tasks that don’t benefit them in skills-building and make them negligible amounts of money.

Successful young entrepreneurs commercialize their skills and value their time immensely. They understand that there are too many things to learn, and by doing useless work, they waste time that could otherwise be used to learn something they’re interested in. Additionally, they most certainly don’t let people undercut them on the value of their time.

3.  Successful Young Entrepreneurs Know They Have A Lot to Learn

People are often driven by ego, resulting in them thinking they know much more than they actually do. The truth is arrogance is much more than a demeanor – it’s a mindset. A mindset that gets in the way of learning and ultimately, progress.

That’s why successful young entrepreneurs understand that they have a lot to learn and are humble about their accomplishments and knowledge. They often undersell themselves in the eyes of others and don’t think what they are doing is as impressive as others believe. This is because they know others who are doing much better than they are in the same field, including advisors or other entrepreneurs. Recognizing lack of experience is the first step to obtaining the necessary experience to thrive in whatever field it is that a young entrepreneur is dabbling in, and knowing what one doesn’t know is crucial.

4.  Successful Young Entrepreneurs Always Deliver on Promises and Are Accountable

Ok. So we’re talking about how young entrepreneurs can establish credibility for themselves in a crowded market, a market populated with entrepreneurs often ten, twenty years their senior. There is nothing more telling about an entrepreneur than being unaccountable. This starts with the little things. If you promise to call someone at, let’s say 12:00 pm PST, you’ll want to be in that call promptly – not at 12:01 pm. If you promise to deliver on a one-pager on Friday, Saturday won’t cut it.

That’s why the most successful young entrepreneurs are accountable. They understand the value of their own time so are empathetic about the way they look at others’. They deliver on-time and their promises hold weight and are important to themselves and their morale. What they say is what they do.

5.  Successful Young Entrepreneurs Don’t “Network” Mindlessly

Part of breaking into the business world as a young entrepreneur is building a relevant network. This is often understood to be building a large network, and although a large network is great, if that network isn’t relevant to your work you won’t be able to deliver mutual value most of the time.

That’s why successful young entrepreneurs are intentional about the way they network. They rarely go to events that lack a theme and instead focus on events that bring together other entrepreneurs working in the same space. Again, it relates back to time. It takes time to network, to build genuine connections and relationships. That’s why successful young people won’t waste their time casually talking to everyone without a clear goal in mind.

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