Entrepreneurs are idea thinkers. They are the individuals that see a problem—and can come up with a solution for resolving it. Therefore, in order to be an entrepreneur, there is only one fundamental question for getting started:

What is your big idea?

This, in short, is how to be an entrepreneur. What new idea are you bringing to the world or what modification of an original idea can you come up with? How are you going to fix a gap in an industry or commercial sector? How will you resolve a business pain point?

Without the entrepreneurial idea, there would be no further stage of entrepreneurship to progress into. For instance, as an example of ideas, will you be a YouTuber dispensing guidance to people about how to improve on a particular niche area in business? Or would you engage in the financial markets with a financial model that is sure to increase earnings? Or perhaps, you will be an inventor because you have come up with a solution for a unique problem. The idea possibilities of entrepreneurship are endless. Once you have the concept on what to engage in as a business mogul, then the rest of the picture on how to be an entrepreneur can begin to unfold.

I will provide 4 ways on how to be an entrepreneur who is set up to succeed.

1) Find a Mentor

Female mentor giving motivational speech at business conference
Female mentor giving motivational speech at business conference

This is probably the most neglected part of entrepreneurship. Every entrepreneur who succeeds has a mentor, a teacher, or guide that teaches them the ropes of the business. The knowledge gained from a mentor is priceless and can be used to develop newer ideas or improvements to original ideas.

For instance, an entrepreneur who wants to start a YouTube channel with a focus on selling hair products may think it is as easy as slapping on a few videos on YouTube and watching the subscriber base grow. There are many YouTube business channels that have videos, but little to no views or subscription. What makes these YouTube channels different from the other channels that have grown into hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of subscribers? The answer is simple: The successful channels have some understanding available to them—It could be learned, or it could be discovered in error.

However, such understanding enables them to be able to attract audiences and grow. It could be a result of SEO knowledge. It could be due to having insight of social media algorithms. Whatever the case may be, the success stories are a good place to start looking for inspiration or mentorship for a beginning entrepreneur who wants to go into the same or similar business.

2) Trial and Error is Overrated

Defeated entrepreneur sitting on steps outside building
Defeated entrepreneur sitting on steps outside building

This point ties in with the first point of mentorship. To be an entrepreneur, start by finding a mentor. Next, be open to learn from the mentor and apply what they teach. This will remove the new entrepreneur from figuring out “tricks” of the industry via trial and error. Indeed, trial and error has been the method by which some businesses have found success. However, the best way to success will always remain learning from those who have been there, and therefore, avoiding the “pain” of the mistakes that they had to endure.

3) Become a Social Butterfly

Group of entrepreneurs socializing at networking event
Group of entrepreneurs socializing at networking event

An entrepreneur can afford to have the personality of an extrovert or introvert. What the entrepreneur cannot afford to be is a recluse. Whether meeting people via social media or in person (in person tends to be especially effective when first starting out in business), the “how-to-be-an-entrepreneur” manual should include this point about ensuring to get out there and engage with the community. Tell everyone you know about your new YouTube channel. Hand out business cards if you have them. Sign up for speaking engagements, including free ones, as this is an opportunity to advertise yourself to a wide mix of audiences. This will get the word out about your new business, and you are well on your way to grasping the “how to be an entrepreneur” mindset.

4) Be the Ultimate Salesperson

Entrepreneurs shaking hands after successful sales meeting
Entrepreneurs shaking hands after successful sales meeting

An entrepreneur must know how to sell. This is a non-negotiable entrepreneurial requirement. Without sales, there can be no revenue. Without revenue, there can be no business. Therefore, prepare elevator pitches of your business idea to present to prospective investors or customers. Ensure that you know your business well (Hint: The recommendation about having a mentor who can teach you the ropes and help you build confidence will be very useful at this point).

If you are able to engage these 4 key takeaways, you have the building blocks necessary on how to be an entrepreneur who is set up to succeed.

Have you ever had a mentor?

If you are a mentor, spread your wisdom in the comments below.

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This article originally published on GREY Journal.