Before I start showing bunch of numbers and facts I would like to explain you the context. Neil Patel wrote a blog about “If I Had to Start All Over Again, I Would…” He gives the answer in three stages starting from when he would be 18 years old until the next 10 years in his life.
Neil Patel is one of the leading experts in SEO on Google and has started multiple companies such as Ubersuggest, Quick sprout, Crazy egg and owns a digital agency called Neil Patel digital. He talks about how to be an entrepreneur, what you could do to fail and learn and eventually succeed in this journey. Outlining that working for someone first and learning might not be such a bad idea in your journey to become an entrepreneur.
Here are the the points he mentions and my personal take on them :
- Work for a growing startup first : Understanding that entrepreneurship is a skill and like every skill it can be developed and honed by putting hours into it. Which means that if you choose to become an entrepreneur you need to learn! Startups these days are looking for young talents who are eager to develop their skills and abilities. Find and convince a startup that would hire you maybe just as an intern first. Roles like sales, customer support, project management etc can be your entry into this world or if you have a hard skill in graphic design, web development, marketing, social media then even better. But the whole point being, look for opportunities which will allow you to be in an entrepreneurial environment in the early stages.
- Don’t look for a fast growing startup in the beginning : Look for a startup that hasn’t made it yet. A company which requires its employees to wear multiple hats in their job. It will not only allow you to see the foundations of a growing company before they make it but also learn different facets of an early stage startup. Look for good people who can lead teams rather than just numbers. Allow yourself to fail and be flexible with what you work on. According to Neil, spend your first 3 years here and then move on to a mid size startup if you outgrow the company you are in.
- Don’t be scared of the mess : One of defining characteristics of a successful entrepreneur is to be able to see clearly when nobody can. Know how to keep calm in a chaotic situation. Develop a thick skin for big problems and messy environment. If you are looking for a stable 9-5 hours then the startup life might not be for you. Especially if you aim to become one soon enough. Embrace the chaos and volunteer to solve problems. Being solution oriented is one of the key skills any employer looks in a candidate and something which is key for entrepreneurship.
- Be ready to learn from companies who have made it : Neil suggests that it would be wise to now work at a established company for the next 2 years after first 5 years of working at startups to understand. Startups have different problem than a company already in business since several years
“The struggles that mid-size companies face are different than startups and large corporations. But by being in the mix at one of these companies for a few years you’ll learn everything from dealing with politics, to how to make a slow-moving company grow, to even thinking about the big picture.”
- Finding the right mentors : Once you have this experience of 7 years in the industry it would be wise to now to make your leap to working at a large corporation. The whole point of this journey is to understand what it takes to be a entrepreneur. Building your network and a support system around you who could act as a mentor when you jump into the journey to start one yourself.
You might say that this is a long journey to become an entrepreneur and people like Zuckerberg and Gates have proven it wrong. But these prodigies that come once in a while. Everyone has to fail and learn and it is better to take steps which can help you learn and develop as an entrepreneur and why are you in a hurry ?
But of course this in any way is not the only way to entrepreneurship and I love how the picture below explains it
Discover your own way of doing it but to have some advice and learning from others is a good way to start.
If this article resonates with you and you are one of such young student looking for opportunities then we have some good ones which will push you to learn at an early stage in life. Search for Global Entrepreneur program on our website and go through thousands of open opportunities for young people to intern at a startup
Are you an entrepreneur and would like to add something that I missed ? Comment below
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