What is the Best Advice for a Young, First-Time Startup CEO?
Get ready to be all in.
Your new position means a commitment to tons of sacrifices, trade-offs, delayed gratification, high risk, discouragement, loss of confidence, and tons of fear. It’s important to be realistic about these potential negatives. You must ask yourself whether you will honestly be able to handle them. There is a reason that entrepreneurship is not for everybody.
The upside, however, is massive. Fortune favors the bold, and this couldn’t be more true in business. I’m a strong believer that if you do things that most people aren’t willing to do then you’ll have the life that most people can’t have. Most people do not have the self-discipline and mental stamina required to be successful entrepreneurs — but if you do, then make the most of it and create for yourself the destiny you’ve always dreamed of.
Once you decide to take the plunge, get ready to throw out all excuses and take 100% accountability for your results. A lot of young, first-time entrepreneurs use their age an excuse, which never works in their favor. Nobody will feel bad for you or give you a break just because you are young. As a first time startup CEO, when you are tempted with procrastination, distraction from outside influences, or a lack of desire to keep pushing, it’s your own responsibility to get yourself back on track.
Be prepared that as an entrepreneurial newbie, many people won’t take you seriously, listen to your ideas, or feel confident in investing in you. If you are going to be successful, you must learn to channel these potential downers into positive actions. Like anything else, your perspective will determine your trajectory. You may be new to the entrepreneurial world, but you bring to it a high energy level, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness that more seasoned CEOs often lack. This should give you great confidence. Furthermore, you should feel empowered that you are learning valuable business lessons at an early stage of your life and career. Just think how much you’ll have grown in 10 years from now if you’ve remained strong and committed to you work.
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Elijah Medge, Long Beach
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