When you first step out into the world, when you try to build something for yourself, when you try to reach out to successful people, whenever you do something for the first time, period, you are going to run into obstacles.
72% of Generation Z report they want to start a business one day, so understanding this is crucial. The challenge is to learn how to take things in stride and continue moving in a positive direction. Obstacles are part of the process, and some lessons need to be learned the hard way. But better to learn than now rather than later.
1. Being young has pros and cons.
Being a young, aspiring professional can have a lot of pros. People see you as an “early investment.”
People like your hunger, your willingness to “risk it all.” But there are also cons as well: People are hesitant to trust you (and your lack of experience).
People want to see you get some more “wins” under your belt. People want to avoid their own risk working with someone who is just starting out.
It’s important that you see these cons as just part of the process. Don’t be that person who walks around with a chip on their shoulder, seeing the world through the lens of, “You didn’t support me in the beginning.” That doesn’t help you. Just keep moving and keep proving your value.
2. Failure isn’t really “failure.”
We can call it “failure,” but it’s really not failure at all. When you fall, you learn. When you miss, you learn. When you don’t land it, you learn. Everything that could be called a “failure” isn’t really that.
It is a lesson. People just like calling it “failure” because they like to bask in the negativity. Don’t fall into that bad habit. At something point, you may feel like giving up, but instead see everything through a lens of, “What did I learn?” and you will move at a much faster pace.
3. You are the result of the people who surround you.
Especially when you are the youngest person in the room, the people around you dictate your growth a lot more than you might realize.
Surround yourself with people who are smart, focused, goal-oriented, and most importantly, good people.
Negativity can rub off on you just as quickly as positivity can, and an immediate route to becoming exactly who you don’t want to become is by hanging around the wrong people.
Be deliberate with who you spend your time with.
4. Guard your time.
If you have big goals and big dreams, you will see very quickly that your peers (and even those older than you) will want to find ways to distract you. They will encourage you to “do it tomorrow,” or to come do this other thing “just for a bit.”
There is a time and place for everything, and you shouldn’t shut people out completely. But you also need to guard your time. Know that today’s investment dictates tomorrow’s return.
5. Be patient.
Nothing happens overnight. It can be very tough to have patience when everything online (Instagram is a perfect example) seems like success is this immediate leap. It’s not.
And you have years of work to put in before you are ready for what it is you want. Don’t rush it. Don’t look for shortcuts.
Be efficient and effective with your pursuits, yes, but also be ok with taking the longer road if it means learning how to do things the right way. Patience, in the end, always wins.