If you’re of a mature (*cough, cough*) age, you’ll agree with this statement: Youth is wasted on the young.
However, being young doesn’t mean you aren’t without your attributes. In fact, entrepreneur Jay Yadon believes that his youth has been one of his greatest assets. But that’s because he came in to the business world with the right mindset, he says.
Fear and doubt are the two biggest blocks to reaching a young person’s goal, says Yadon, CEO and co-founder of an online startup in the hospitality and travel industry. Now 32, Yadon believes he created the foundation for his current success in his twenties.
Here’s how he did it and his advice to young people for a strong 2016:
• Show up, suit up and don’t give up. “At the risk of sounding cliché, not giving up is the single most important piece of advice I can offer. After frustrations and heartbreak in the field, I dusted myself off and tried again.”
• Try not to let “failures” overwhelm you. “Instead of regretting your mistakes, recognize that most are extremely valuable if you come to understand and accept them. Don’t think of your mistakes as failures, think of them as life lessons. Turning mistakes into learning experiences will help to form your personal and professional development.”
• Take calculated risks. “When the idea for my current company was presented to me by a close friend, it was a risk. I knew it was a good idea, but would it make a viable business? After conducting market research I immediately dove in, head first. For me, taking this risk was natural, but for some people, risks can take a toll. Be sure you are ready for the ride before you take the plunge.”
• Nothing happens overnight. “I have never been impatient when it comes to business. Both my recycling business and the start-up grew over a period of years and it took a lot of cultivation, not to mention sweat equity. If you’re assuming your business idea will be an overnight sensation, become conscious of your own impatience.”
• Network. “I networked until I was blue in the face. I found out who the key players were and made sure they knew my name. Be sure to make those vital connections with industry leaders. Those connections will come back to haunt you in a good way.”
• Keep your eye on the prize. “I could have quit a few times over, but I refused to do so. To the young entrepreneur in their 20s, I say, when times get tough, bow you head toward the wind and walk forward. It’s the only choice you have.”