Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat; doing so before you’ve even hit age 25 is even more remarkable. It takes an extraordinary level of dedication, perseverance and resilience to actualize your entrepreneurial goals at such a young age. Although most of us may not have quite the same dreams and ambitions as young entrepreneurs, we can learn a thing or two from their stories, lessons, and takeaways regarding what it took to achieve the success they’ve earned.
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Your circumstances may be incredibly difficult... But you will come out the other side.
Your pain provides the opportunity for you to learn, grow and ultimately help those around you heal as well. Vaneesha Devi, the co-founder of a wellness app created and launched during the COVID-19 pandemic describes the overwhelming difficulties she's encountered while cultivating this grassroots business. “The difficulties we have faced have been tremendous, from family deaths, trademark issues, marketing inquiries, funding, and hiring. It has taken the support of a humble family unit and an unfaltering belief in ourselves and our determination.” Still, Devi has powered through every obstacle and “hope[s] to one day mentor and encourage young fellow powerhouse women with untapped potential.” When it comes to staying motivated while everything is going against you, Devi recommends remembering the grander purpose you wish to fulfill and not losing sight of what made you start your journey altogether.
You can pave the way for your success—even if it’s unconventional.
Alexi McKinley, a 24-year-old solopreneur in the social media marketing industry, started paving her path when she was on maternity leave with her son and couldn’t bear the thought of returning to the corporate job she hated. “After days of endless scrolling [through jobs] with unrealistic pay salaries, requirements to start and commutes - I realized that I could start a business doing just that - but be able to work from home, take care of my son, have an uncapped salary and make my schedule.” Once McKinley took the reins on her life and, “told the lies and imposter syndrome in [her] head to take a seat,” she was able to buckle down and find organic success. She is passionate about empowering other women to push past their limiting beliefs and achieve the success they deserve. She even created a course for other entrepreneurs. However unconventional her path to success may have been, she was able to discover what was right for her and align her career goals on her terms. And that’s the epitome of empowerment.
Your past trauma and pain are your superpowers.
Morayo Olujumu struggled with body dysmorphia when she was younger. “Fashion was [her] escape because it made [her] embrace [her] body’s uniqueness and beauty.” Now, as an adult recovering from her disorder, Olujumu aims to inspire other women to “embrace the goddess within themselves,” which is why she launched her fashion label, Òrìṣà. The hatred she used to feel towards her body is what gave her the courage and inspiration to develop such a unique and empowering fashion line. Olujumu says, “Every time a person wears one of my clothing, I want them to feel empowered and beautiful. That’s so important. Everyone deserves to feel good in what they wear.” Had she not struggled to love her body and ultimately learn that she is beautiful and worthy as-is, she would likely not have the power to inspire other women to love their bodies as well.
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Your goals, lessons, and personal journey are unique to you and up for you to explore. Still, observing the paths of those who have worked hard to be successful at such a young age can be useful when defining your own story. No matter what you’ve been through or how nonlinear your success may be, you can achieve anything you set your mind to if your heart is truly in it.