Want to be an entrepreneur? Read this.

Meg Timbrell
Meg Timbrell
Content & Social Media Manager
3 min read

We've collated the best pieces of advice from the most well-known entrepreneurs for those who are just starting out.

When you don't know where to start

Richard Branson's advice for any budding entrepreneur who is asking themselves the question, "What on Earth should I do?" is to ask themselves two further simple questions:

Question 1:

What do you love?

Branson explains that you should make a list of all of your passions and interests, no matter how trivial or random the ideas are to you.

"Now look at your list, and think about the industries and markets it touches on. Are any of them ripe for innovation?"

He urges people not to be discouraged if there are already brands/companies out there covering each of the passion or interest areas listed as a business idea, stating that there is always room for better alternatives to arrive that can target existing businesses' shortcomings or lack of innovation.

Question 2:

What do you dislike?

Branson recommends now writing down anything and everything (uncensored) that "annoys, confuses, or even angers you".

"As a customer, you have to know when a business doesn't deliver its promises. Now, as an entrepreneur, you are in a position to build a business that fixes those problems."

Once you've made your lists, Branson encourages the testing of ideas that have come from them, and to not be afraid to take risks. After all, calculated risk-taking is a key aspect of being a good entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs should follow their instincts

Steve Bartlett - recently selected as the youngest ever Dragon on BBC's Dragon Den, writer of 'Happy, Sexy Millionaire', and founder of Social Chain - is undoubtedly a successful entrepreneur. His TED Talk below is brilliant at inspiring innovation and not following the grain, sharing his experiences of quitting school and university.

"Am I really going to learn what I need to learn about running a business by sitting in a lecture theatre?"

What we love about Steve is his courage to share his failed ventures and experiences, in order to prove the value of perseverance and resilience. He isn't afraid to quit and start over again, which he says can be the mark of a truly successful entrepreneur.

"I'm convinced that what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs

Who run the world, girls!

Did you know, women are half as likely as men to start a business, and only one-third of UK entrepreneurs are women (Elle)? However, more and more women and young people during the pandemic are turning to creating their own side hustles, with the number of teen entrepreneurs on the rise.

The Female Entrepreneurs Association is a brilliant global initiative with the aim of encouraging women of all ages to shoot for their goals and build their own businesses. They have a quiz on their website that helps guide you on your entrepreneurial journey, no matter what stage you're at. They have over 600k members in their network, and work in over 67 countries.

BBC News also has an entire female entrepreneurs section on their site here, with articles ranging from recommended apps to use, success stories, and inspiration pieces.

Grace Beverley, CEO and founder of fitness brands TALA and Shreddy, is only 23 years old, but has already felt her fair share of prejudice as a female entrepreneur. Speaking with CEO Today Magazine, she told them:

"I've certainly seen a correlation between women being more successful and less likeable, and that particularly frustrates me. My advice would be to read up on literature on the subject and learn your own ways of doing things.

Learning your own coping mechanisms without making yourself feel uncomfortable is vital to navigating a world that doesn't hold doors wide open for women."