Hey guys. I just wanted to start by saying how proud I am that you’ve been able to follow these videos, that you’re checking out this video today, and how grateful I am for all of you guys. I’ve been making videos now consistently for the last five months, and I’ve had a great time doing that.
Today, I wanted to make something a little bit different, something that I’ve talked about before. I still consider myself a young entrepreneur, even though I’m coming into my 33rd birthday here in just about a week, and I wanted to make a video to help you understand how to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and roll into it.
Hey guys, this is Adrian Boysel, and this is the Adrian Graphics and Marketing channel. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. I want to ask you guys to please subscribe, like this video, and share it with a friend. Today, I’m going to be talking about how to be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur.
Now, I have been a young entrepreneur – don’t let the beard fool you, and my old guy hairdo – I’ve been doing entrepreneurship and have been a small business owner since 2007. I have had to learn how to overcome being young throughout my entire career. Many of you guys are probably just starting off in your new business, and you’re trying to figure out how to be taken seriously, how to be respected, and how to get the pricing that you want to get.
Well today, I’m going to talk a little bit about that. We’re going to talk about five things that are very, very important for you to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur, no matter what age you are. You could be 16. You could be 26. You could be 36. I think that if you’re under the age of 40 years old, you can really have a challenge being taken seriously, especially by people who are older – in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. So, I’m going to talk to you about those things that you can do to help you become more respected.
Alright, so number one is: knowledge. Obviously, if you’re being hired or being used for whatever your skills are, whatever your passions are, whatever you are starting your business as, you want to be more knowledgeable than the person that you’re talking to – the other person sitting on the other side of the table. Or, in this case, the other person sitting on the other side of the screen, or the Zoom call you may be on.
It’s important that you have knowledge. It’s important that you practice, that you do training, that you’re always improving your craft and you’re practicing on a daily basis – not weekly, but daily. You need to be practicing your craft, always getting better, and always consuming information. When you do that, you’re going to be able to have educated conversations with the people that you’re working with. And those educated conversations are going to lead to you becoming more respected and being taken more seriously.
Now, number two is: confidence. Confidence has so much to do with your success in business and how people treat you. If you are confident in your abilities, and you’re confident in your skills, and confident in the services that you’re providing, or the products that you offer, that’s going to come across to people.
Confidence isn’t just the words that you’re saying, or the experience that you have. It’s also the way you communicate to them with your body language. So, sitting forward versus sitting backwards, or kind of hunkering down and looking at the ground versus making eye contact with somebody. That confidence is going to tell them whether or not they should take you seriously, so your body language is very important.
How you dress, also – dressing in a rocker T-shirt or a Pizza Planet T-shirt, versus dressing in a nice collared shirt, is going to make a big difference for somebody taking you seriously. If they’re dressed up to the nines or they’re dressed in a suit, and you’re wearing a T-shirt and jeans, or shorts and a T-shirt, they’re probably not going to take you as seriously. They’re going to see that you don’t take yourself seriously. So it’s important to dress for the job that you want, not for the job that you’ve got. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to dress nice. You need to dress professionally. If you’re in a business where it really doesn’t matter, like construction, you can still do that. You don’t want to overdress, but you want to dress nice enough that they can see that you took the time to take care of your appearance and the way you look. This is really, really important.
The third thing is: communication. Being very clear, knowing what you’re talking about, having a point to your conversations (not just going around in circles with people), and communicating effectively. You need to learn how to communicate. These are areas that I can actually create some more videos on in the future: all about communication and effective communication.
Communication is not just about talking. It’s also about listening. So, when you have somebody who’s telling you their challenges and you’re asking the right questions – which is also very important – you need to be able to actually listen to what they’re saying. Then, when they’ve told you about their feelings, their challenges, their problems, their hurts, their victories, and their wins, talking and reciting that back to them, and letting them know that you heard what they’re saying and that you understand them. That you want to work with them and help them. That communication is a two-way street. It’s the reason why God gave you two ears and one mouth. You should be listening twice as much as you’re talking. So it’s very important that you actually listen, and that you repeat back what they’ve said to you.
Now, when it comes to communicating effectively, you also need to be able to hold a conversation with that person and ask the right questions. There’s a book called ‘Great Leaders Ask Great Questions’ that you can pick up and read to help you know what to ask. Just as an example, when I ask questions to my clients, I ask the same questions to every single person I meet on what I call my “discovery call.” I want to know what their vision is, what are their roadblocks, and what are their 12-month goals. That gives me a good idea of who they are, what type of business person they are, and what their goals are. If they’re hungry, if they’re motivated, if their expectations are too high or too low – these are all things that you need to be aware of.
Now, when I started doing this back in 2007, I started just doing this as a hobby. Then it became a business, at the end of 2007. Next thing you know, I opened up a retail store and in just about two-and-a-half years, I had moved from a tiny little location to a large location with over 3,000 square feet. Well, one day, lo and behold, I had a guy walk in who I had actually worked for when I was younger, at a direct mail company. He walked in, and I saw him and recognized him, so I walked out of my office and approached him.
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?” And he’s like, “Hey, I recognize you.” And I said, “Yeah, my name’s Adrian. I used to work for you.” And he’s like, “Oh, wow. Hey, can I talk to the owner?” And I said, “I am the owner.” And he said, “What?” I could tell right away that he was confused. He goes, “Oh, well you must have partners then, right?” And I said, “No, I don’t have any partners. It’s just me.” So, “Oh, well then you must’ve gotten investors.” I’m like, “No.” “So did you come from money?” I’m like, “Nope. I was just a homeless broke kid from the streets. I built this all up from nothing.”
I could tell that he wasn’t really taking me seriously. He didn’t believe me. He kept asking questions, trying to figure out how I had started the business and where I had come from. So it was funny to see that as I continued to talk and share my story with him, he started to take me more seriously. And I started to earn his respect, which is the next item on the list: respect. You want to be respected. You want to show that you have knowledge. You want to show that you can communicate correctly. You want to show that you’re confident, and you want to be respected, right? It’s very, very important to be respected.
And so, as I continued to show my business, show the operations, show the people that worked for me, show the talent that I had around me, the people that I had surrounded myself with, and the operation that I had built at such a young age – I mean, I was only like 22 years old at that time – he was really impressed by that. That was able to open me up to a conversation with a guy who was a millionaire at the time, and who was interested in buying or partnering up with me in my business.
Now, the moral to this story, and this is the last point of this whole thing, is having commitment. You have to be committed. And commitment is also a two-way street: you need to be committed to that person and they need to be committed to you.
The problem is, with a lot of people who are older than you, they’re not going to be truly committed. And there may be an underlying motive there. They may be trying to figure out what you’ve done, what you’ve been used to become so successful. They want to try to take advantage of the situation. They want to make money off of you. They just want a deal. They want to save some money. There’s all kinds of ulterior motives, and those people aren’t truly committed. So, as much as you need to be committed to them, they also need to be committed to you.
I was raised in a world where a handshake deal is your word. Your word is your bond. As a human being, you don’t really have much more than that: your word. So honoring your word is very, very important. But unfortunately, we live in a society now where your word only goes so far, and you need to have contracts in place. So what I want to encourage you to do is to have agreements, have contracts, have onboarding, and protect yourself.
You need to protect yourself from people who have those underlying motives that you may not even be able to see in the beginning – you may think that they’re genuine, that they’re authentic, that they’re real, but come to find out, they had some sort of ulterior motive. Maybe it was something going on in their family, and maybe they’re not doing it maliciously; maybe they’re just doing it because they’re trying to get an opportunity to help themselves in some way, but you need to be able to protect yourself. So, having agreements in place – contracts, things in writing – and holding people to those things is very, very important.
You need to set those expectations up front. Say, “Hey, I’m a person of my word. I’m going to treat you fairly, but I need to have this agreement in place that makes you committed; that has skin in the game for you, and also has skin in the game for me. I want to be held accountable, as well as you.”
Some of the main reasons people don’t want to take younger people seriously are: because they don’t show up on time, they’re unreliable, they’re ignorant and inexperienced. They say things that just don’t make sense. They can be lazy, and overall, they just have a lack of experience. That lack of experience, the laziness, the unreliability – those are the things that take away from your credibility and work against you if you want to be taken seriously. And the whole purpose of this video is for you to be taken seriously. So, you need to show that you’re not lazy. You need to show that you are reliable. You need to show that you are committed, and you need to show that you have experience and knowledge in your field.
You may not have been doing this the longest amount of time, but you’ve got to show that you have a high level of skill, and that you’re constantly improving yourself, practicing, and getting better on a daily basis. This is very important to do; you’re always learning new things, and you can share those things and share your passions. And people will see that in your energy, in your body language, in your confidence, and in your communication.
So, that’s what I wanted to leave with you guys today. I hope this helps you. Thank you guys so much for tuning in with me. Make sure you drop a like on this video, share this with a friend, and I will see you guys on the next one. I love you guys. As always, keep looking up.