Real-World Advice for Young Entrepreneurs 37

Real-World Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

This is a guest post by Christine DiGangi, a reporter and the social media editor for Credit. Her writing has been featured on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo! Finance and The New York Times International Weekly, among other outlets.

Young entrepreneurs often face the challenge of having to do a lot with limited resources, but there’s one thing that’s never in short supply: knowledgeable advice from established business owners already in the field.

Millions of people have wisdom to share from their own small-business experiences – today there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S, according to the Small Business Administration – and while advice can sometimes be overwhelming, it can certainly come in handy.

For those just starting out, it can be helpful to hear from people who’ve already found success creating their own companies. We reached out to some entrepreneurs and asked them to share their top tips for millennials trying to make it on their own.

Don’t Overlook Legal Stuff

Starting a business is much more than coming up with a good idea, and if you’re not a fan of paperwork, maybe the entrepreneurial life isn’t for you. Don’t gloss over the mundane legal details of establishing a business.

“Often, entrepreneurs think of a great trademark and start using it without the proper clearance searches to ensure the name is not already taken,” said Sonia Lakhany, who runs her own law firm in Atlanta and Los Angeles. “This is a totally separate (and misunderstood) process from forming an LLC or Corporation with a Secretary of State, or purchasing a domain name … Entrepreneurs and startups, particularly millennials, skip this step due to cost and budget reasons, but as you can imagine, skimping on the protection of your business name puts the entire venture at risk.”

… Or Money Stuff

Especially when you’re starting out, your personal finances will likely play a huge role in your business finances.

It’s important to know that if you’re applying for business financing or bank accounts, potential creditors may look at your personal credit history. If you’re using a consumer credit card to finance business purchases, pay close attention to the APRs so you minimize the amount of debt you accrue.

This guide to low interest credit cards can help you research your options – if you find that you’re taking on debt using a credit card with a high interest rate, you may want to consider a balance transfer credit card to help you save money and get out of the red.

“The most important thing to do before starting a business is to look at your finances — really look at them — and mark out every single item that you are willing to sacrifice,” said Jenny Dorsey, who runs her own culinary consulting practice, which she started at 23. “Because at some point you very [well] may have to, and if you aren’t prepared for that it will be a painful reality check you’re not ready for.”

Keep Your Fears in Check

Starting a business is risky, and it’s important to balance that with a certain amount of caution, but too much can stand in the way of your success.

“The best advice I’ve gotten probably has been just don’t be afraid to go for it,” said Jill Dretzka, who also started her marketing company, Spark + Influence, at 23. She said that tip applied not only to getting started as an entrepreneur but in times when she wants to try something new in her business. She said some entrepreneurs obsess over perfecting a product or offering before actually releasing it and miss out on valuable feedback. “Once it’s out there you can collect feedback, see if it’s working, see if there’s demand, and then you can learn more about the market and the audience.”

Do What You Love

It sounds obvious, but passion goes a long way toward being a successful entrepreneur.

Hahn Nguyen, CEO of Glamoutfit, an app that helps you put together outfits based on what’s in your closet, said some people are just attracted to the idea of starting a business and don’t care enough about what the business actually is.

“Without the passion and the belief, you will have a hard time pulling through,” she said. She started her first company at 23. “Pick something you don’t mind working 100 hours a week on, something you believe in so much that you’re willing to sell all your possessions — I sold my house and my car to fund my business — to make it happen because you just know that it will be successful.”

Becoming an entrepreneur at a young age gives you the advantage of time – time to make mistakes, and time to try again. Use this to your advantage, and start putting your business plan into action today!

What other things should young entrepreneurs keep in mind?

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

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In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.