Jumping aboard the entrepreneurship rocket early on is invaluable. You get to make the mistakes, learn important life lessons and start building your own life from a very early stage. Much earlier than most of your colleagues around the same age.

Although mistakes will be made, here are four major mistakes that young entrepreneurs make. Remembering these in the future will hopefully save you a lot of time and headache.

1. Rushing to Success

I have been there. My first goal when I was 13 was to be a millionaire by 18. When my 18th birthday came, a sense of failure washed over me because I couldn’t achieve my goal. Rushing to success is a mistake many young entrepreneurs make. Stop worrying about trying to achieve your goals faster; aim to actually achieve the goals because you will be surprised at how many people fail to even do that.

2. Being stingy with your ideas

You will hear this one all the time. So many young entrepreneurs think that they’ve got the perfect idea and that the world is out there trying to steal it. If you think your idea is so great, share it with people! Chances are other people have thought of it too. By sharing your ideas with like-minded people and potential customers you will learn a million things about your idea that you never could imagine.

Also, don’t ever ask anyone to sign a non-disclosure agreement to share your idea with them. It is ridiculous.

3. Overestimating your idea

If you’re thinking big and want to make serious change in the world, being an entrepreneur allows you to do that. You have the power to create change.

However, chances are if you’re starting your first business and you are 16 you will not cure cancer. If that is truly something you want to achieve, work towards it and your fourth, fifth or tenth business might just do that.

Don’t quit when your first business doesn’t make it big. Treat every single business venture as a learning opportunity and you are bound to succeed if you persevere enough.

4. Not Getting the right team around you

Building the right team is one of the most basic foundations of a successful business. Don’t hire or partner with a friend just for the sake of it. So many young entrepreneurs invite their friends along on the journey, expecting them to commit as much as them. You might find that your buddy really doesn’t care about it as much as you and this can cause conflict.

If your friend has a relevant skill set to the business and you genuinely believe in them, go ahead. But if you have to convince yourself they do, best not to.


Omer Hazer is an alumnus of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.

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