The stress of doing your schoolwork, playing a sport and finding time for family and friends is taxing enough during your teenage years. Throw in managing a business, and it gets pretty crazy!
I founded HoopSwagg when I was 13 years old, and had no idea what the next years would have in store for me. By the time I was 17, I had grown HoopSwagg into a seven-figure business while getting straight A’s in high school and playing a sport four nights a week.
Having my own business was in some ways much better than any other job a normal teenager would get, but it didn’t come without hard work and strategic planning. Here are eight habits I acquired that helped me to grow a seven-figure business by age 17.
1. Manage time effectively.
Running a business is already difficult. Add in school, and you’ll be scrambling for time. Planning out your whole day makes it easier to stay on task.
Most of the time there are enough hours in a day, but we get sidetracked or can’t stay focused on the task at hand. If you are able to stay focused and only worry about the task at hand, you will become much more efficient at completing tasks and managing your time.
Plan out one day at a time. Schedule your entire day, from waking up to going to sleep at night. Be sure to include everything you need to get done, and always stick to your schedule.
Always be learning. The ability to learn is one of an entrepreneur’s most crucial skills. You have to have a very diverse skill set in order to handle all aspects of a business, and sometimes learning a specific skill is easier than hiring someone.
Learning doesn’t just mean reading information out of a book and digesting it. You can learn something valuable from many situations. Whether it’s a casual conversation in a coffee shop or a business venture with a partner, you can always pick up something useful.
Start paying more attention to your everyday life. What learning opportunities are passing you by without you noticing?
3. Create relationships.
Seeking out and nurturing healthy relationships is fundamental to creating a business or personal brand. You will never be able to grow as much on your own as you can with the support of others.
Knowing that the people you are working with are genuine and trustworthy is huge, not only for you but also for your clients. Sometimes it may be the deciding factor in whether you get a sale.
Make sure to not only initiate and seek out relationships, but maintain them. This is one of the most advantageous things you can do as a businessperson and entrepreneur.
4. Get outside your comfort zone.
Getting outside of your box is one of the hardest and most important parts of being an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you should always be innovating, and sometimes the best way to do this is to expose yourself to new things.
Whether it is facing a fear, or just doing something you normally wouldn’t, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be a tremendous boost for you and your business.
5. Set goals.
Having a goal to strive for is not only great for motivation; it is also great for tracking progress. When it feels like you’re working your fingers to the bone but aren’t making progress, take a step back and look at the overall progress you have made toward your goal.
Goals are also great for pushing yourself and your team. When you have a sales target, or a number of email subscribers to hit, you are more likely to be successful when setting goals.
6. Help others.
Whether you are giving back to your local community or to a charity halfway across the globe, helping others is important. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task, and you can’t do it all on your own.
Helping others is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It allows you to gain a better understanding of the world you live in, and gives you a better idea of what you can do to help the world.
Also, you never know what opportunities will present themselves when you put yourself out there for a greater cause.
Building a business will never be a seamless process. You will always have bad days and haters. What matters is how you are able to persist through these tough situations and come out on the other side.
Things will not always come easily to you, and sometimes it is requires persistence and grit to get to the place you desire. Maybe it is the job you want but can’t seem to land, or the business you have always wanted to start but never had the time. Keep pushing through, even when it seems impossible. Chances are, you will come out better on the other side.
8. Be decisive.
Decision making is one of the everyday challenges an entrepreneur faces. How you spend and invest your money can make or break your business.
Being able to account for all outcomes and make educated decisions in a timely manner are crucial skills. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is doubting yourself after you make a decision. If you don’t believe in yourself and your actions, how are your partners and employees supposed to trust and support you? Instead of putting a decision off for later, take the time to figure it out, and then stand by your solution.