How to start and sustain a profitable business in your twenties

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If you’re young, and you are entrepreneurial, your single greatest asset is your age. What they fail to tell you in school is that being “older” doesn’t necessarily make you “better.” What it makes you is different.
When you’re older, you see things through a lens created through years and years of varying experiences. In your industry (and/or tangential industries), you’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work, what people want and what they don’t want. You know the rules of the game. You know how people operate. And above all, you know enough to where you don’t feel not defeated when someone says that scary word, “No.”
Your 20s are meant for hustling. While your friends are enjoying “Sunday Funday” and going out on a Thursday night, you can be growing your own business and laying the foundation for your future success.
Millennials and Gen Zers have an amazing opportunity at their fingertips. While our parents’ generation had to put in the time and work their way up the corporate ladder, the iGeneration and Net Generation have a quicker (and more fun!) alternative. Since we grew up with technology, we have a competitive advantage to build brands that rely on digital marketing and technology.
Here are 8 Amazing point to help you when setting out to start your own business at a young and vibrant age…

1.Build your personal brand. 
It blows my mind how much time people spend on social media promoting themselves yet they don't have a website that gives people more information or a place where people can get in contact with them.

Everyone should see if their first and last name is available for purchase on GoDaddy. If you have a common name, insert your middle name and your craft as part of the URL (example: SarahSmithNYCArtist.com). The next time you go into a business meeting, you'll be amazed how much more impressed people will be by your professional website.

2 Start a side hustle.

Most people underestimate how much time there is outside of work if you have a standard 9-5 job. If you are working at a job you dislike and want to be your own boss, stop complaining about your current terrible job and take action. Grab a cup of coffee after work and start hustling from 6 p.m to 2 a.m. on your new business venture.
If you are an artist, start posting YouTube videos about the details behind your painting process. Open up an ecommerce store on Shopify. Promote your products on Instagram. All of this can be done as a side hustle while you grow your business. Best of all, you are still collecting a paycheck from someone else.

3. Become an expert by contributing content.

In addition to owning a marketing and app development agency, I am also the partner of an ecommerce skincare website that sells dermatology strength products. We are constantly trying to get media mentions from Glamour, Bustle and Teen Vogue. Do you know what I discovered? A ton of the writers on these nationally recognized sites are college students!
If you love sports, start reaching out to sites like YardBarker to become a contributor. If you love fashion, what's holding you back for writing for Teen Vogue? This will boost your personal brand, establish credibility and present new opportunities you never imagined. 

4. Have patience.

The issue with the digital age that we live in is that people are impatient. They expect results yesterday.
Bill Gates was famously quoted saying, "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years." 
In order to build a business, you need to be patient for the long run. Don't think about where you want your business to be in a year; think about your goals for 10 years down the road and how you are going to execute to make all of your ambitions come to fruition. If you are in your 20s, what will differentiate you as an entrepreneur is patience. Make sure to move fast on getting stuff done but be patient for the long-term gains.
I've owned my company for seven years now. I know that 96 percent of businesses fail before turning 10. I keep that statistic in my mind each and every day because I want to be part of the 4 percent that succeed past 10.
Each year you celebrate your business anniversary, your muscles will continue to grow.

5. Make money. 

I can't stand all of the people who claim they are entrepreneurs. One simple question separates the contenders from the pretenders: "Are you generating revenue?" There are so many people out there who claim to be crushing it with their "entrepreneurial journey" but when you dig into it, they aren't generating a penny in revenue. I'm not even getting into the details of generating a profit, which is what every business must do to survive. 
If you aren't making money with your business, you need to start and you need to start soon. Just like a hockey team needs to score goals in order to win a game, your business needs to make money to actually be considered a business. Stop with the pretend stuff and start selling your product or service. 

6. Become an SEO and paid advertising expert. 

Do you want to know a more efficient way to grow your business than attending outdated networking events? Rank towards the top of Google so people will contact you directly for business inquires. Whether you just graduated from law school and plan on opening up your own practice or you are selling customized dog collars, SEO and paid ads can literally help any business.
This is one of the main reasons I've been able to grow my marketing agency quickly and efficiently. In the Columbus, Ohio markets, we crush it for terms like "social media company" and "SEO Company."
There is no college degree or class you have to take to become an SEO or PPC expert. You just have to get your hands dirty, read articles and watch videos. If you are starting a business, you need to be well versed in this area so you can generate leads and sales online each and every day.

7. Wake up Early.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The sun has not caught me in bed in 50 years.” Apple CEO Tim Cook is known for getting up early and sending out company emails at 4:30 in the morning. The youngest CEO in the NBA, Brett Yormark, gets up at 3:30 in the morning in order to get to the office by 4:30.
When it comes to business, the early bird catches the worm. You can actually be playing offense rather than defense, which will allow you to work on growing your business.
Make sure to put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room, which will force you to get out of bed and not hit the snooze button. Do 50 pushups within 5 minutes of turning of your alarm clock to truly wake yourself up. If you need extra motivation for waking up early, follow Before 5 AM on Instagram.

8. Be cheap.

Earlier in the article, I talked about how you can save money by not going to the bars every weekend. Do everything you can to be frugal with your money. You never know when the economy will turn south or when your biggest client or customer will drop off. If you are spending lavishly, you won't be well prepared for tough times. 
Start eating more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and eat out less. Stop buying clothes at Nordstrom and start shopping at TJ Maxx.
Every dollar is so important when you are starting a business. There's a reason Warren Buffett has lived in the same house in Omaha, Neb., that he bought for $58,000 in 1958. The real winners in business are smart with their money. 
There you go, make sure you make this point stick to the back of your mind, it’s a journey that will be worthwhile but…It’s going to be hard. There is going to be competition no matter which direction you choose. So choose something you’re already genuinely interested in — and then work hard to learn everything else you need in order to bring that idea to life.





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