Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Why Starting Elsewhere Can Make You A Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs often come from very humble beginnings. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum started out by sweeping floors at a local store. Howard Schultz grew up in socialized housing before moving on to create coffee giant Starbucks.

There are many more rags to riches stories like these. Their tales are often inspiring, but if there’s one thing that you can take from their successes, it’s that they started out doing things that they didn’t think would actually help them in the long road to financial success.

People Management.

Being a great businessman often requires you to take paths that feel like they don’t lead to your goal. Getting a temp job bussing tables at a restaurant, for example, doesn’t seem like it will help you in the long run, but you might be surprised at the number of skills you can take with you as a member of the food and beverage industry.

A lot of people who have worked in retail or in food and beverage will either tell you one of two things: a) they’re more kind to store employees or b) they’re better at dealing with people. People management is a life skill that you might be able to pick up while saving up for the capital you need to start your own business.

Financial Smarts.

Getting a job at an investment bank can teach you a lot of skills that will translate to managing your own company. Fundraising and building financial models are just some of the transferable skill sets that you will pick up working as an investment banker.

You will definitely need to hold a degree in business or finance to get into the banking industry. If getting a job as an analyst or investment banking associate might be way off from your entrepreneurial plan, you can also consider getting investment banking training online to provide you with the necessary skills you will need to support your startup in the financial sense.

Communication Skills.

Dealing with other people’s problems will become a more constant thing as you start your own business. Working in somebody else’s call center gives you a peek at what most customers think is not working for them. Being able to provide customer satisfaction and problem resolution is one thing you should experience firsthand, but more importantly, working in a call center teaches you communication skills that will be invaluable to you throughout your entrepreneurial life.

Call center employees have to be careful with not just their choice of words, but the way they phrase it, their tone of voice, and even the timing of their statements. Being a good communicator allows you to put forward your ideas to your team or to your potential investors or customers without coming across as less than genuine or pandering. Of course, it isn’t necessary for you to slave away at a call center just to learn that; there are a ton of communication skills courses that you can opt to take while preparing your sales pitch to your future backers.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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