The other day I received a question on Quora (if you’re not following me on Quora yet, then…):
What are some ways for a 10-year-old to start a business?
At first, I didn’t know if I was going to answer this. After a while I realized that all my entrepreneurial endeavors were dismissed by my parents when I was a kid, so why do the same here.
Let’s go over it one by one:
- Get a job in sales. Why sales? Because if you don’t have sales you don’t have a business. If this is the core of your business, then it might be worth it to become world-class at it.
- Read books about sales: Influence (R. Cialdini), Guerilla Marketing, … All good books, and they all come down to the same but all in their own style. Make sure that you read those books and then go and apply it in your job. You’ll be safer experimenting in your job. Once you’re an entrepreneur your livelihood will depend on your sales performance, not much room for mistakes.
- Find video courses by the top sales people in the industry you want to play in, and start absorbing their content. In 3–5 years you’ll be able to master most concepts. (So it’s good that you’re starting young). I used to work for several startups as a sales coach a long time ago, word got out quickly and some even flew me out to record me and sell courses around it. If you look around the internet I’m pretty sure you’ll still find them. Principle wise there isn’t much that has changed, although nowadays I use less “tactics” and rather let my experience and authenticity come through. But, even back then honesty was the biggest way of how I hit records in the sales company I worked for.
- Which brings me to the last point. Make sure everything is ethical, stay away from sleazy. Authenticity is cliché for a reason. Not many can master a natural approach to sales, and would rather go for the easy way out and start lying. Over a long period of time this will amount to nothing, so don’t do it. If you become a sleazy salesperson you’re going to have a bad time in life (maybe you’ll make money but you won’t find happiness. You’ll be chasing illusive profit.)
- Make sure you can deal with large amounts of stress. Build it up over time. Do what you fear every day until you get used to it. It’s like that quote that goes all over the internet: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” – by Eleanor Roosevelt
- Start putting yourself in positions of uncertainty and learn to deal with it, and get out of them. Stuff is only going to get harder when you go out into the real world with no support from mommy and daddy.
- Even the best perish, so don’t be arrogant enough to think that you are better than the rest. Even if you are it doesn’t guarantee anything. -> Learn humility from the start.
- If you have that humility, learn when you should rest. Athletes become great because they take breaks before they jump back into the ring. Giving their body enough time to recover to get to the next level. Somehow when looking at the media this gets lost in translation, ending up in all of us believing that these athletes don’t sleep, don’t party and don’t rest. They are also humans, and they also need rest.
- Go into any leadership position where you have to slave away for your team mates. Not the other way around. This is called the leader-servant model, which is what the military uses and it’s quite effective to learn how a leader can make people feel safe around him.
- Start reading books about leadership, start learning that it takes more than wanting to be a leader (usually you’re not fit to be a leader if you want it). There is a good book by Donovan Campbell “Leaders code”, which I read half a decade ago. This really made the click for me.
- Learn how to delegate, and best to make your mistakes now. Once you have a business there will be almost no room for arrogant mistakes. You can still have failures, but if those failures come from a lack of morals then you will not fair in the long game of business. This is why haters can only hate, and don’t make it over the long-term in business. They give up and end up getting a job to torment others.
- The latter doesn’t mean that you won’t end up in a job. You might if things happen that you can’t control. BUT, the difference is that you have a certain vision of how the world will be. Which brings us to the last point.
- Creating ideas are easy. But, there was a time where this seemed like an almost impossible task. What I did was I got a ton of jobs (at one point I had 7–8 jobs), this gave me the opportunity to be in a lot of industries at the same time. Which meant that I saw different problems pop-up, to which different solutions could be offered.
- Even when things go bad, if you have that experience from the point above you will always create the mindset of finding solutions. And over time, even if you end up not having a business, you might team up with someone and become the creative brain with the vision that fixes a BIG problem.
- You’re only as good as the 5 people around you. The most important lesson I’ve learned. If you want to become an entrepreneur this is the 100% way to go after it. If you have enough entrepreneur friends it won’t be hard for you to make that jump.
There is more, however, if you take this path it’ll lead you to the right people that can guide you towards entrepreneurship.
Hope that helps,
If you’re not on the 30-day work-life balance challenge yet, make sure to jump on it before it closes. I explain more of these tips in there and show you how I apply it into my daily life :