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Have you thought about starting your own business? 

It’s not for everyone, but it can be very fulfilling.

Whether it’s Elon Musk, Ariana Huffington or Richard Branson, we love stories of people starting their own companies and changing the world. 🗺

So in this blog, we’ll cover:  

 

🤷‍♀️ What entrepreneurship is 

✍️ The main characteristics of successful entrepreneurs 

🤝 Networking tips 

😬 Where to start on your entrepreneurial journey  

📚 Books and podcasts to help


 

What is entrepreneurship?

 

The dictionary says:

‘Entrepreneurship is the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.’ 

Now, making money isn’t the only reason people become entrepreneurs. There are many other reasons too, such as to:

  • support their family
  • help protect the environment
  • solve a problem they’ve faced in their lives
  • address racial inequality

But they’ll usually use the money they make from their business to help achieve these goals, so money is the tool they use! 

 

Side hustles 💪

 

Many people nowadays have a side hustle: where they earn money alongside their main occupation.

Whether you’re studying, working or looking after children, there are plenty of options to bring in some money on the side. 

As the name suggests, side hustles are part-time. You’ll usually work on them in the early mornings, evenings or on weekends, around your other commitments.

Side hustles are often related to passions or hobbies. Three examples are:

You probably won’t make much money from a side hustle at the start, but it will allow you to learn things bit by bit and experience all the different parts of running a business. 

 

Starting and running your own business 💼

 

If successful, many side hustles turn into full-time businesses. 

Some people skip the side hustle part and jump straight into trying to build a business from scratch, using either their own money or money from investors. 

But this isn’t recommended as it puts you under unnecessary pressure and makes the business less likely to succeed

 

Need some inspiration for making money while you study? Here are five ways to do so. 

 

Characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

Every entrepreneur is different, but some key skills and traits are common amongst successful founders:

 

Persuasion

You’ve got to get good at convincing people and getting them to take a chance on you and your business. 

 

Selling

Many people are against selling and find it hard – but if you’re providing value, there’s no reason to feel embarrassed about getting people to buy from you! 

 

Good with people

Relationships are fundamental to a successful entrepreneur. You need to be able to interact with different people and form strong, long-lasting relationships. 

 

Ability to zoom out and appreciate your progress

All work and no play makes Jack a dull – and probably sad – boy. It’s important to acknowledge your wins and be able to look back proudly at how far you’ve come.

This is key to looking after your mental health and making sure you don’t burn out. 

 

Being open and willing to fail

Don’t try to avoid failure at all costs and try to do everything perfectly – the best way to learn is to fail! You want to fail fast, learn from your failures and move on. 

 

Have a strong network

Entrepreneurship can be lonely. It’s key to have a strong network of friends, family and mentors around to support you along the way. 

 

Visionary mindset

Entrepreneurs can’t just follow trends – they need to invent trends and get things moving in new directions. 

 

Practical networking tips for entrepreneurs

 

Meet people at the drinks table

The best place to meet people at a networking event is where the refreshments are – people are more likely to be alone here rather than in big groups, which gives you a much easier way into a conversation.

 

Take a couple of friends with you

This can especially help the first time you go to an event as you’ll feel less awkward and alone. Then, as your confidence starts to grow, you can fly solo.

 

Be brave!

What’s the worst that could happen? Probably that you go up to someone and they’re not interested in talking to you. 

So what! It’s a small price to pay for potentially meeting someone that could change the path of your career and life. 

 

First one there, last one out

Spend as much time as possible at networking events, to give you as much chance as possible to meet new people. 

 

Use social media consistently

LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter are your best friends. Don’t hold back reaching out to people – you shouldn’t be ashamed of anything that helps you to reach your goals (as long as they’re moral goals). 

Of course, don’t just come with your hand out – make sure you’re providing value to the people you’re reaching out to where possible. 

 

These networking skills aren’t only important for starting your own business – they’ll also help with getting a job, applying for funding or anything else. 

 

How do I get started?

 

Do lots of consumer research

Talk to as many people as possible who would benefit from your business idea.

Ask questions and let them talk about their problems. Listen and try to learn as much as you can from them – this will help you to refine your offer. 

You can talk to friends and family but it’s best to avoid them when trying to work out if people would actually pay for what you’re selling – they’re always going to be biased. 

 

Work – really hard

There’s no escaping it – prepare for long nights, early mornings and a lot of distractions. To build a successful business you will have to work hard and stay focused.

 

Start sooner rather than later 🏁

Ideas are great – but unless executed, they are just that, ideas. 

So get started as soon as you can. You’ll learn so much more and get a lot further than just thinking things through in your head.

 

Make use of your university & other sources of help

Most universities have entrepreneurship hubs that can give you support, advice and resources to help start your own business. 

Also, a bold and resourceful mindset might help you take advantage of whatever else is out there, including:

  • Funding that’s available if you’re from a disadvantaged group
  • Trying your luck and asking for free tickets to conferences you can’t afford to go to

If you don’t shoot, you don’t score! 

 

Learn from others 🙇‍♀️

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – there’s sure to be someone that has done something similar to what you’re doing who can help. 

Reach out and see if you can have some of their time for advice and guidance. If you go about it the right way, they’ll be happy to help. 

 

Resources to help you on your entrepreneurial journey 🧠

 

Always be learning! 

Here are some resources to help you learn about the entrepreneurship world and see whether or not starting your own company is right for you:

 

Books 📖

 

Podcasts 🎙

 

YouTube 🎥

 

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone 🙅‍♀️

 

Most people aren’t born to be entrepreneurs. 

And that’s ok! There are plenty of options to build a fulfilling career working for a company, charity or the government, and make an impact.

But if you think you are well-suited to entrepreneurship, although it’s tough, it can be a very exciting journey. 

If you decide to do it: don’t take no for an answer, start ASAP and enjoy the journey!

 

Further learning ⏭

 

Why is learning about money important? – Five reasons why learning about money is so important.

2022 recession survival guide – Tips and hacks so you know what to do with your money to survive and thrive in a recession.

5 ways to build a strong financial foundationWays to build a strong financial foundation and improve your financial wellbeing.

4 ways to invest in yourself and improve your lifeInvesting in yourself is extremely important – we’ve got 4 ways you can do this.