3 Tips from a Twenty-Something Entrepreneur
Many of us have big entrepreneurial dreams right out of college, but having the confidence to actually pursue for them? That’s another story. The obstacles to actually starting a business can seem insurmountable, no matter what your age. But when you’re fresh out of school and thrown into the real world, you start to ask yourself questions like, ‘do I have any way of getting the money?’ ‘Do I have the necessary experience?’ ‘Is my idea even sustainable?’ ‘Will anyone take me seriously?’ And, overwhelmingly, we begin to tell ourselves ‘no.’
But what if you gave in and instead said ‘yes’ to your dream, regardless of any uncertainties?
That’s just what 24 year-old Ali Babcock did. Now the founder of the indoor cycling studio Rideology in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ali knows what it takes to pedal towards a big dream at a young age — and hers is a story we can all learn from.
“I tried applying for different jobs after graduating but nothing was quite working out as planned,” says Ali. “That’s when I kept going back to my original dream. And I knew that if I didn’t act on it, it would never happen.”
So she went for it. And so should you! Here are Ali’s top three tips to getting your entrepreneurial dream off the ground and running.
Find your confidence. First and foremost, it’s important that you believe in yourself. And although confidence doesn’t come easily to most, Ali found that it can be learned, and that it’s one of the most crucial traits to have when pursuing a dream. “I used to be insecure and concerned with what my friends and family would think about me starting a business, but you would be amazed at the kind of power that comes from having self-confidence,” stresses Ali. “Confidence will emulate and give off the professional image that one needs when owning a business. And if you believe in and have passion behind your dream and yourself, then you can’t fail.”
Learn from others. Being a young entrepreneur, Ali says she’s learned a lot from the successes and failures of those around her, and suggests that you also find your inspiration from someone who knows what it takes. “My father is an entrepreneur himself and has been building his company over the last twenty years,” she says. “I’ve seen him have errors and successes with his company, and that has helped me know the rights and wrongs with opening a business. And anyone who has managed to grow their business through hard times — like the Nike’s or Amazon’s of the world — is a good example. They all started from somewhere not knowing what the future would hold.” So do some research on the CEO’s of your favorite companies or reach out to small business owners in your community to learn more about the joys and hardships of running your own show. It can’t hurt to turn to the experts!
Give it your all. Remember those oh so common questions about money, experience and sustainable ideas? Ali recommends pushing them aside, just getting started and learning about and gaining the resources you need along the way. “I didn’t have all the resources when I started, and it took networking and researching to get what I needed,” she explains. “But I think that if you prevent yourself from starting a business just because you don’t have everything you need, then you’re unnecessarily halting your dream. So don’t let fear or negative thoughts prevent you from getting your dream in motion. Just know you can do it and learn all you can to make it happen!”
Starting a business may not be easy, but living your purpose and doing work you truly enjoy makes all the difference in life. And if you’re still skeptical about taking the plunge, just remember Ali’s final words of encouragement, “You can’t fail if you do everything in your power to keep it going.”