OptionB she people? – Im a she,young and did NOT follow what they told me at school

Teaching young entrepreneurs new tricks Alexandra Cain August 18, 2010 Kath Purkis, 24, founder of online high fashion e-tailer Le Black Book. You know what they say about young people: they think they know everything. Or do they? Business coaches say young business owners are more willing to take advice than their older peers, are more enthusiastic and more willing to change. But unlike their older counterparts, young entrepreneurs need help understanding the areas of their business on which to focus to turn a profit. When it comes to business coaching, young entrepreneurs also prefer hearing war stories from more experienced business people than sitting in a classroom learning about business theories. At the tender age of 18, Nikki Durkin is a veteran entrepreneur, having started three businesses. She currently runs 99dresses, an online dress and apparel exchange, having started her first business at 15. The business, Kultkandy, distributed t-shirts Durkin designed and had made and printed in China. Another business, Social Sleeve, a partnership with her 16-year-old brother, Hamish, sells custom laptop and netbook covers printed with a collage of Facebook photos. A veteran entrepreneur at just 18…Nikki Durkin. Since the end of 2009 Durkin has been coached by Mick Liubinskas, co-founder of Pollenizer, a company that specialises in developing online businesses. Durkin says “being so young and inexperienced in business means I make a lot of mistakes, so having an experienced mentor and support network who have already made mistakes and can point me in the right direction saves me a lot of time and money and help me grow a better business. “If I didn’t have an experienced mentor I think I would still be trying to figure out how to execute my idea. Through my mentors I’ve also expanded my network and become involved in other support groups for entrepreneurs with web start-ups.” According to Durkin the first lesson Liubinskas taught her was “focus or fail. I’d already learned about the benefits of focus from my first little business, Kultkandy, so I was all for starting small and niche. “Mick helped me refine my vision to a minimal product. If I didn’t receive that kind of guidance I would probably still be building the product and would have overshot the budget already.” When it comes to developing budding entrepreneurs Liubinskas says it’s about experienced based-learning. “Theory and logic won’t work.” Liubinskas says to help young entrepreneurs become better business people it’s also important to give them exposure to the way more experienced people do business. “So we might bring mentorees into high level negotiations to see how seasoned operators do things,” he says. Liubinskas says goal and objective setting can be a challenge for young entrepreneurs. “We try to get young entrepreneurs to do things like write what their resume will look like in four years, or write their obituary so they think about a broader future than right now. We also try to make them understand the realities of being a business owner, the hundreds of hours you need to work and how hard it is to split your time between team members and clients.” Social media adviser Ian Lyons says one of the most difficult things about working with young entrepreneurs is allowing them to make mistakes without incurring too many costs. “It’s also never effective if you just tell them the answer to a problem. It’s about setting them up so they can have that ‘aha!’ moment.” Lyons says he also encourages young business people to put disciplines such as performance measurement into their businesses, something they are not usually naturally inclined to do. Lyons mentors 24-year-old Kath Purkis, founder of online high fashion e-tailer Le Black Book. Purkis says one of the benefits of her relationship with Lyons, who meets with Purkis for at least two hours every Saturday, is the feeling of being less isolated. “When you’re a young business owner there’s no-one to relate to. Thanks to Ian I don’t feel alone anymore, which is an amazing feeling when you’ve been running a business by yourself for a year-and-a-half.” Lyons also provides practical advice such as identifying five key points Purkis needed to focus on in sales videos uploaded to her site and how to use data produced by Google Analytics. Says Purkis: “Having that connection with Ian has just given me so much more confidence. For example, without him I would never have had the self-assurance to speak at an upcoming fashion conference, where I’ll be the youngest speaker by at least 10 years.”

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