(Young) Entrepreneur Checklist

July 22, 2013

5:00 pm

With the Internet and the availability of resources these days, anyone at any age can start a business for practically no money and in a relatively short period of time. A free WordPress blog, with enough of the three things below, can be turned into a profitable money-making, insight-generating machine by anyone with a computer and something to say, despite their age. That means that in order to become an entrepreneur (especially as a teenager or as a recent university grad), you truly only need three things:

  1. An idea: Something that solves people’s problems, preferably one of your own, and/or innovates by marrying two or more old ideas. Luckily for us, Paul Graham has an amazing essay on how to get startup ideas.
  2. Passion: As a (young) entrepreneur, you are always going to have people questioning your abilities, your network, your ideas, your business plan, and maybe even your haircut. Make sure you are doing something that you don’t mind staying up all night for or sacrificing free time and possibly relationships for.
  3. Persistence: No matter how smooth you dream the path will be, or how easy the press makes fairytale startup stories like Instagram and Snapchat look, there will always be setbacks and obstacles to climb. Money, advisors, vetted business plans, all-star teams, amazing code, etc., will only mean something if you have the persistence to back them up if (when!) things go wrong.

Of course, some ideas will require more capital than others, whether of the monetary, technical, or intellectual kind. I’m simply saying that fundamental entrepreneurship requires little more than the basic personality traits of a bulldog. In fact, I’ll leave you here with two lists of entrepreneurial resources courtesy of Steve Blank and Harvard Business School.

Now, go out there and make something happen!

Guest author Jared Kleinert is a 17-year-old tech entrepreneur who has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, and TechCrunch. He is currently the coauthor of an eye-opening book called “2 Billion Under 20” featuring stories from some of the world’s smartest and most talented people at or under 20; customer advocate for the enterprise software startup 15Five; and founder/CEO of Synergist. Jared has been invited to attend and speak at various events around the country focused on young entrepreneurship, social good, and lean startup methodology. He’s always available at jared@synergist and @jaredkleinert, so feel free to say hi!

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