What would be your advice for a 21 year-old starting a company?

May I suggest the following:

  • Find a mentor you respect who will hold you accountable. This does not need to be a much older guru, but someone a few steps ahead of where you are. Every entrepreneur needs someone to learn from, to hold them accountable, to encourage them when things get tough, and to share their joy even at small successes.

  • Work on your mindset as well as your skillset. As a very successful young entrepreneur friend of mine never tires of saying, “Not applying your mindset to your skillset will leave you upset.” It is unlikely that your formal education to date has worked on your mindset.

  • Instead of just avoiding debt, Joint Venture with people who have money. That way you will be solving their problem. Everyone with money has to make it work for them; you have the work; so partner up with them. Start with those closest to you who have some spare cash, then work out into business circles as your ideas grow.

  • Revisit your vision every year and your progress towards it every quarter.

  • Be prepared to fail. When faced with failure always ask “What is the worst that could happen?”

  • Always consider the risks and manage them.

  • Keep learning, working on your mindset and your skillset.

  • Ask why you are starting a “small” business and not founding an empire.

See my Start-Up Success