Would you like to be a successful CEO in your 20s?
That sounds like an impossible dream, doesn’t it? A careful consideration of the global trend for businesses, however, would tell us otherwise. The modern landscape is fast changing and becoming more favorable to young business owners. I recall how years back, age was such a huge factor for building credibility. The older and more experienced you were, the greater the power and respect you got. These days, however, it’s different. You no longer have to wait until you’re 40 for you to become a CEO. That’s how it went for me.
Like many individuals, I started at the bottom of the corporate ladder. I was 20 years old then. Four years later, I reached the top—I became a CEO. No, I knew of no shortcuts to the top, so I built my own. Let me tell you a secret: You too could become a CEO. How?
Principles for successful CEOs
To be a CEO in your 20s, you have to live by the following principles.
AS a rule of thumb, an aspiring CEO should understand the principle of adaptability. Keep in mind that nothing is constant. One day, you would be making crucial decisions for your company and, if you want to rise to the top, you would have to learn how to take advantage of trends. Especially, you should take advantage of computer technology and the Internet. My company, for instance, strongly uses digital marketing—an edge over competitors who mostly depend on walk-in clients. When you learn to innovate and utilize new technology, you gear your company for success.
- Experiential learning
Yes, the theories you have learned in the classroom are important, but as a future CEO, hands-on experience is going to be even more valuable. Outside the university’s portals you would have to apply theories and discover things about the business world that school has not taught you. The earlier you start a business, the more time you have to correct mistakes. So do not be afraid to take risks. Continually challenge yourself and learn as you do. All those experiences will go a long way to helping you become a successful leader.
- Network is your net worth
Here’s another thing that you have to keep in mind: Build connections; they are the lifeblood of businesses. A key connection you need to build is with a mentor. After all, no one can become an instant expert, especially when it comes to business. A mentor’s training and support will, thus, prove invaluable as you learn the ropes to becoming a CEO. You also need to nurture a relationship with investors who will trust you and the company you represent. This is crucial for your business to grow. So go the extra mile in developing your interpersonal skills. Having this skill set will do your business wonders.
- Baby steps
Patience and endurance—these are two qualities that you, as a budding CEO, just cannot do without. Remember that a business does not grow overnight. It takes years to build an empire. So learn to start small; you don’t necessarily have to invest big time on your first try. The experience that you will gain from growing your business will serve you well, as you continue to take the lead in rising to the top of the industry.
- Financial knowledge
The adage, “Knowledge is power,” cannot be taken lightly. If you want to excel as a CEO, it is important that you make the right financial decisions. The future of your company depends not only on your business acumen, but also on your ability to make profit and avoid losses. For this, you would need a wealth of financial knowledge. So keep learning! Only then could you truly make informed choices for your organization.
With these five guiding principles, I have successfully made the transition to becoming a CEO. I hope that you find them just as helpful.
Here’s a final note: The first step to becoming a successful CEO is aspiring to build your empire. When you’re strongly motivated to do something, everything else will follow, and no obstacle will be too difficult to overcome.
Good luck, future CEO!
Richard Thaddeus Carvajal is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines and CEO of Philgems Realty Corp. To learn more about personal-financial planning, attend the 54th Registered Financial Planner program from May 28 to July 2. To inquire, e-mail [email protected] or text <name><e-mail> <RFP> at 0917-9689774.