There are certain key steps that a young entrepreneur has to take so as to progress in the business world. Some of them may seem to be straightforward, yet still be overlooked. I would like to point out those which seem to be important to me based on my experiences in the business world.
With an intent to give you an extra motivation, I would also like to elucidate how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education can be beneficial to acquire these attributes of a young entrepreneur.
STEP 1: HAVING FUN WITH WHAT YOU DO !
This very first step may look little bit awkward, straightforward or cliche! However, it is the most important one of all for those who would like to reach their goals in life with ease.
Unless you have fun with what you do, there is almost no way to succeed in Below mentioned steps only make sense with the presence of this one, which is also the key to invigorate the motivation you need while walking through them.
STEM Education: Students being exposed to a well established STEM Education learn the topics through hands-on experiences and through fun-to-do activities. This definitely enhances the level of happiness during the learning process. Gamification is a strong add-on into the education process, creating a stress-free environment which inherently boosts the quality and effectiveness of the class being taught. Another great benefit of STEM Education is that of possessing a holistic approach which help students make connections between different disciplines and the everyday life. Not only is this a great way of showing the full picture of the topic being studied, but also a very powerful tool for making students reach the deep understanding of the concepts. What I have noticed in the classes that I taught during my academic career is that the more students understand a concept through making connections with real life, the more do they get excited to study and learn. “Having Fun with what you do” is definitely the most crucial of all the steps that we discuss here.
STEP 2: Educating oneself continuously / Acquiring Knowledge
A young entrepreneur should reach the deep understanding of “how to learn” without the presence of an external help, should consider education as a life-long process, and should create / chase every bit of opportunity to learn. Note that “SCHOOL is NOT necessarily EDUCATION”. What we mean by “learning” here has nothing to do with “acquiring all the information about everything” but it is rather “acquiring knowledge through synthesizing the collected information and making connections”.
STEM Education: Rather than getting prepared for in-class written and oral exams, the true STEM Education requires students to prepare presentations on topics, to get involved in projects and to participate to science / technology competitions. We also witness certain schools dedicated to the principles of the STEM Education organizing field trips to internationally popular technology conferences and exhibitions. They all actually help students learn “how to learn” and get updated on the topics being discussed throughout the globe through different information channels. This type of education model is definitely of great importance for teaching a young person that there may be many different means of obtaining a required information which can well be accomplished through personal endeavors. Since, STEM Education favors the idea of skeptic thinking rather than the dark side of memorization, the students are also urged to question even a minuscule portion of a collected information. I have also experienced that the best way of learning something is only through being your own teacher. The most I learned about a topic was when I was preparing the lecture notes of the classes I was teaching.
It would also be a very good and useful practice for students to suppose themselves as the instructors of the classes that they are taking and think how they would teach the topics differently. In order to make the whole story short, the KEY here is “to be able to learn how to learn a certain topic and make good sense of what you have learned”. This then leads you the KNOWLEDGE. As you may have noticed, in Step 2, the students who have gone through the STEM Education can demolish all barriers of ignorance confronting them. They can learn anything when they want it (or need it), and mainly through their own efforts.
STEP 3: Having a good business model / Strategizing
This is basically the part where you design your business. You have to build up (create) a very strong plan and strategize well at the very beginning to ensure that your business is very likely to grow gradually. You should also devise back-up plans to support your main plan. What will distinguish yourself from others are the innovative solutions you constantly adopt. You should also always have an exit strategy. Not all start-up companies prosper or not all entrepreneurs become successful at their first attempts. There will always be risks; troubles may pop up in a very sudden and harsh way. However, you should not refrain from taking risks. As a young entrepreneur, you should just learn how to take CALCULATED RISKS and have courage to initiate the exit strategy when is the time.
STEM Education: As mentioned above, project-based-education model has a great advantage for providing students with acquiring research skills. The STEM Education should also involve great deal of lab hours where students should be encouraged to run their own experiments to demonstrate the application of theories in practice. ART Education incorporated into the STEM Education is also extremely important to invigorate the creativity of the students (For more about this topic, please read the recent article posted on my BLOG: http://www.ariferkoca.info/blogs/innovation-and-steam-education)
STEP 4: Making sure that your idea would fill the gap / Researching + Surveying
“What is nice to you” may not always match “what people really need or want”. It is not logical to hope that your business will grow even if no one wants your product and/or service. As a young entrepreneur, you should be flexible in a sense that you should always test your ideas, create alternative solutions, ask questions to people and “LISTEN” to what they say. You should observe recent trends and anticipate in what direction the people’s interests / needs may change. A must-follow-method here is definitely “sending out customer surveys”. However, one can always find alternative methods to observe the social behaviors.
STEM Education: One of the benefits (apart from others) of the STEM Education is to help students open up their senses and it encourages them to be proactive researchers.
STEP 5: CONNECTING WITH OTHERS / NETWORKING
If you would like to grow your business, you have to connect with others. It is not only about communicating with those within your environment but also with those beyond your reach. In today’s world, it is now very easy to spread your word around the globe through the use of technological tools which you should leverage to communicate with not only your potential customers but also those (experts, academia, other business owners, … etc) who can provide you with some useful feedback about your business. In certain sectors, your products and services may be looked for in other countries. You can also partner with companies / people to expand your business abroad. Certain business development techniques involve the effective use of internet; participation to webinars, conferences, trade shows; and creating your own networking events.
STEM Education: Gamification discussed in Step 1, in-class activities, group projects and many other items conveyed through STEM Education are all assisting students to develop social skills in the course of their education life at school. They learn how to communicate with other students and collaborate to complete group projects. The quality of having good communication skills is a key differentiator for the desired success in today’s world. If you do not know how to communicate with others, you probably will have no chance to ascend in your career.