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Growing up, it always irritated me when I would read books and hear about teenagers, as young as 13 and 14, making millions by starting their own business. I started my own landscaping business at 14, and the best I ever did was rake in $30K when I was 16. It wasn’t until recently that I realized why some innovators and young entrepreneurs are successful at such an early age, while others make minimum wage.
There are three key mindsets that make this drastic difference, and it’s vital that young entrepreneurs adopt them at the start.
Where you are now doesn’t matter
Too many aspiring entrepreneurs get caught up in their lack of money, expertise, resources, connections, etc. They focus solely on where they are currently instead of what they can become. One of the best lessons I learned was that I had to let go to grow.
Meaning, I needed to forget where I was, the habits I had at the time and the financial situation I was currently in and focus solely on what I needed to do to get to where I wanted to go. Don’t have enough education? You can learn, and you can do it fast. Need money? Spend all your time focusing on what it takes to get an investor. It’s common sense to take each step one at a time; however, most don’t take a single step when they look at the mountain in front of them.
Related: 7 Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
You’re not Mark Zuckerberg
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a young innovator is to assume that you are going to make it big, yet you have no experience. The best decision I ever made was to spend every dime I have, and then some, on a program that changed my life. I had to check my ego at the door and learn from millionaires that made something of themselves from nothing; which was precisely the journey I was trying to take.
I wasn’t Mark Zuckerberg, and I’m still not. I’m constantly learning from others, and my favorite thing to do is to get shredded by someone with more experience. If I take an idea through a dozen mentors or investors that destroy my business plan, I know I’m coming out of the process with a fireproof business plan, ready to execute. The more criticism and advice you can take, the fewer mistakes you’ll make down the road with more success ahead of you.
Balance is a myth
The idea of balance simply says that you only have so much energy to dedicate to any one thing, so you do as little as possible across different areas of your life as possible. In practicality, this means that if I work a ton, I no longer have energy for my wife. This is a myth. A true entrepreneur, no matter how tired they are, has real drive. Drive, stemming from boiling-hot conviction, that pushes them to be the best in all areas of life.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to “have it all” in business, relationships and all other aspects you deem important. The key is to compartmentalize and to stay present with what you’re doing. Keep in mind, 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Stay focused and strategic on your work, but then go home and focus solely on your family. When you let one area fall, you’ll end up letting all areas crumble. Work hard and work long hours, but make sure you’re giving every other area 100 percent, as well. Balance is crucial, not completing tasks with half-effort.