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7 Business Lessons I Would Give to My 20 Year Old Self

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It’s said that with age comes wisdom– which I certainly hope is true. Though seasoned veterans of the business world still make mistakes, they have one large advantage– experience. If I could talk to my 20-year old self just setting out into the workforce, I would share these simple lessons that would save time, energy and a lot of headache.

Make a Detailed Business Plan First

Your business idea may be fantastic, but harness your excitement and use that energy to create a detailed plan. Your homework should include an in-depth look at the competition and how your product fits the market. On the financial end, you should gather enough data to show expected cash flow as well as showing potential risks facing investors who decide to join you. Spend time creating a polished executive summary showing clear objectives and direction for your company.

Hire A Professional Accountant

When you are serious about starting a business, consult a professional accountant to guide you toward the best financial structure for your needs. If you find the right accounting firm, they can also relieve you of bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation as your company grows.

Brand Yourself

Branding is in the details. From name, logo, and marketing strategies, each aspect of your company’s image should say the same thing. Developing your brand will make your company memorable and can increase profitability when matched with a great product.

Forget Pride and Ask for Help

You may be in a top-notch business school or perhaps you’ve helped run the family company for so long that you feel secure in your business abilities. Though education and prior business experience are helpful, don’t get over confident in your abilities. Recognize the value that lengthy experience provides and don’t be afraid to seek counsel from seasoned professionals. Depending on the issue, hiring a consultant may be advisable.

Be Real

Having confidence and enthusiasm are important qualities for business people but pretending to have every answer when you are clueless can make you seem fake and untrustworthy. A better approach is being optimistic but honest. A client or customer would much rather you admit you don’t have the answer but are willing to find it for them.

Don’t Take Rejection Personally

Success isn’t certain in business but rejection is. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but not everybody is going to be fond of your products and company. Though research shows the mind reacts similar to rejection as it does physical pain, consider negative responses to your company as an opportunity to reevaluate your goals and purposes instead of taking as a personal attack on you and your business.

Schedule Time Off

Burn-out is real. Though you may have more disposable energy in your 20s, making time for mental, emotional, and physical breaks from work is vital to your overall success. Find balance between dedication to the job and other aspects of your life.

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