13 things I’ve learned from my entrepreneurial friends under 25

It’s amazing to talk to young entrepreneurs because they’re so bright, so driven and nothing holds them back.

They tend to have so many insights.

My friendship circle has become full of these people. Here’s a few really interesting things they’ve said…

alexandre

Alexandre Dubrowolski is 23 and according to one French newspaper, the 6th most influential person in France. 

He runs DailyGeekShow… France’s most popular site, with over 5 million visitors a month. He invited me to spend the last three days hanging out with him in Paris!

He’s amazingly positive, happy-go-lucky and really fun to be around.

1.How to hire. Unlike most people in France, Alexandre ignores CVs

He invites every candidate for an interview and plays Xbox with them.

Mid-game he’ll ask questions. Because their mind is distracted… they answer truthfully.

For him, hiring people is about motivation and what drives somebody. Not what they write on paper.

2. Work smarter, not harder

DailyGeekShow has 3 journalists and they write 6 stories a day in total. They’re the most popular news site in France.

Other sites have teams of 20+ journalists cranking out 4 or 5 stories daily… yet they’re not as popular.

By being smarter with the content, they create  emotional news that people want to read.  And get a bigger audiences.

3. Raise your profile

By knowing people and helping them, his app agency has picked up France’s biggest telecoms company as a client.

He’s also co-manages a games company in Luxembourg because people he worked with, mentioned his name.

4. School means nothing

Alexandre left school at 15, went and lived in Malta, Italy and Barcelona to work. “Everything they teach you is out of date by the time you leave” he said.

“I got 80% of my knowledge from Google” he told me over an amazing Lebanese lunch. It’s so powerful

chris-monti

Chris Monti, 20, went to my old school. He was always in trouble with the teachers, and they didn’t think he’d go anywhere.

But that didn’t stop him.

He hopped between several jobs, created his own sportswear brand In The Zone and is now a buyer at Tesco’s head office. He wants to be a millionaire by the time he’s 28.

5. Things will probably go wrong, but you can pull yourself out of it.

When creating his sportswear brand, all kinds of things went wrong. Manufacturers created T-shirts where the ink leaked… and lettering came off in the wash.

But he dealt with the problem and changed suppliers.

6. It’s all about connections.

Building relationships and networking is key in business. It’s not what you know, but who you know nowadays that matters.

7. People appreciate your drive

If you visit the office of a buyer, people will acknowledge your drive and will give you some time.

If you want to speak to the boss somewhere and get yourself a job… go ahead and ask.

The fact that you show up, and most people don’t, separates you from the rest.

8. Grades really don’t matter

Someone we knew had A*A*A at A-level, but didn’t get even get an interview for a job. Why? Because they hadn’t done anything outside of academia.

9. Find a winning business formula, then scale it

While working in a cafe in Herne Bay, Chris got chatting with the owner who told him “it’s all about floorspace.”

The owners were making an absolute killing in the summer months. They gave customers what they wanted and turned over customers quickly.

They then replicated this winning formula to another 7 cafes in Kent.

Now the brothers who had that business, own 8 properties between them.

10. Learning outside your comfort zone

“I want to run before I can walk” he said. If you just dive into something, learn all about it you can get the best education in the world.

11. It’s impossible to make money in Kent.

If you’re outside a big city, people tend to be quite stingey. Chris told me about me about people in Kent moaning about paying £10 for a t-shirt.

Whereas in London, you could easily charge 2 or 3 times because there’s so much more affluence.

12. You go into a job interview/sales meeting etc. knowing you’re going to win.

Whenever Chris goes into a meeting, he has a mental checklist. He aims to make the person laugh, impress them and take the initiative.

It works.

I find myself in similar situations where you just know you’re going to get a sale. You get them begging to buy from you … so when they hear your price they think it’s really cheap.

13. Focus on results.

Don’t talk about uni. Don’t talk about X years experience in a job. It doesn’t matter about you age… it matters about what you’ve actually done.

Results are all that matters, we’ve both found.

Finally,

Chris is writing a book about how teachers said he’d never go anywhere… and how he’s proved them wrong. He wants to set up his own business once he has made enough contacts.

Alexandre is planning to keep growing his businesses before moving to San Francisco and possibly China.

I love being around young entrepreneurs because you know their drive is going to make these people wealthy, give them exciting lives and lots of stories to tell!

If you’re in a similar situation as a young entrepreneur, get in touch: alexclifford93@gmail.com It would be amazing to hear what you’re doing, and I can connect you with people I know who can help you.

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