Being a young entrepreneur can definitely have its advantages, but it can also cause you to be viewed in a negative light by some potential business partners and media publications. In order to prove that you are not immature or unqualified to properly manage your business, you need to take steps to set yourself apart from your age and showcase your skills. There are multiple ways to do this, but the following list will give you a quick and easy way to differentiate yourself from other people who are in the under 30 crowd.
1.) Dress for Success
According to popular men’s magazine Details, there is a huge style crisis in Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have become famous for wearing t-shirts, jeans, and hoodies, but this is not a good way to get people to take you seriously. You need to consider the fact that if even people who are as successful as Zuckerberg are being looked down at for their wardrobe, that means you need to dress impeccably whenever you are meeting investors, being interviewed by the press or hosting a press conference.
2.) Increase Your Vocabulary
Even if you have an extensive vocabulary, you might be tempted to utilize a style of speech that is more casual. Doing this, however, would be a big mistake. After all, using colloquialisms and slang during a business meeting is the fastest way to make others think that you are not properly educated. Therefore, you should save your casual style of speaking for your friends, and always place an emphasis on speaking carefully and in an educated manner when you are discussing business matters.
3.) Avoid the Feeling of a Dorm Room
Some young entrepreneurs like to have their favorite video game machine or a pool table in their office, but this is not going to inspire investor confidence. If you want to participate in a social activity with investors and other business partners, it is much more advisable to invite them to a fancy restaurant or ask them if they want to play a sport such as tennis instead of beating them in a Tekken match.
4.) Do not Brag Excessively
Although all entrepreneurs spend a lot of time discussing their latest ideas and products, it is never a good idea for someone to monopolize a meeting or social function by bragging about their accomplishments. Anything more than a cursory review of your latest career highlights might be seen as a sign of immaturity, so keep your bragging held in check until you are with your friends.
5.) Keep Your Private Life Private
Investors hate scandals, so make sure that you do not run your personal life in a manner like Prince Harry has been known to do. If you want to have a crazy night out on the town, you need to make sure that you do not capture the attention of the news media, and you definitely need to keep the pictures off of any public social networking pages that you have. In fact, even if your pages are private, you should still keep any evidence of partying off of them if any of your investors or business partners can gain access to the pictures.
As you can see, it is really a matter of following common sense if you want to be seen in a better light as a young entrepreneur. By keeping your image in mind at all times, you can ensure that your investors and business partners see you for your level of skill instead of your age.
Dennis Freud is a freelance writer based in San Dimas, CA. This particular piece was crafted for the brilliant free coupons offered by the team at Valpak.
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