33 How to Build your Entrepreneurial Future

Build your Entrepreneurial Future: Build your future by investing in the present.

Take steps that lead to a successful career by being informed and innovative.

Make wise financial decisions that will offer stability and security for the future.

And take care of yourself and your loved ones by establishing priorities for family, health, and joy.

There are steps you can take now to improve career success, financial stability, and personal fulfillment.

Building your future begins with building your present.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

1. Evaluate your life.

When you know what you value in life, in other words.

What things make you happy, you can make decisions that allow you to have those things in your life. 

Look at your life up to this point and think about what has made you happy in the past and what makes you happy now.

  • Start a journal or make a list of things that pop up in your life on a regular basis. Include people and places that you visit or interact with regularly. Also list material things and experiences that have significance.
  • For example, you might write that you: spend time with your best friend weekly; attend art class; have Sunday brunch with your dad; buy new shoes monthly; paint at least an hour a day; etc.
  • Think about the big things (like getting a promotion) and the small things (like seeing a rainbow) that you enjoy.
  • Think about things you enjoyed as a child, as well as things you like now. For instance, you might write that some of your best memories are of your family traveling on vacations.

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2. Join a professional association.

Every field has professional associations. Each field is different.

Dues are required. But for students and young professionals, they’re often low.

  • Inquire into a mentorship through your professional association.
  • They sometimes offer them for members at the entry-level or internship position.
  • Request help in finding a job. Professional associations often have job lists that other members provide.
  • Seek help with your professional development. Many associations offer seminars, workshops, and literature related to the field they represent.
  • Attend your association’s annual conference. It’s an excellent way to network. Conferences include job fairs and a chance to connect with potential employers.
  • Check into scholarships if you’re a young association member (high school and college).

3. Move up the ladder.

Make a list of objectives and work toward achieving them.

Be its project manager or editor-in-chief.

Build on your career by positioning yourself for a successful future.

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4. Think outside of the box.

Come up with new ideas for your company through innovative thinking.

Look at the way things are and think about how they could be better.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

5. Take on projects outside your comfort zone.

Taking on more responsibility can help you to learn new skills that will enhance your career.

Solve problems rather than passing them on to other people.

Maintain a “can-do” attitude.

Ask a mentor to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to determine.

If you’re moving toward your career objectives.

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6. Adapt to new positions.

As you move up the ladder recognize that the skills responsible for your promotion may not apply to your new position.

Ask a mentor to evaluate your behavioral skill set to ensure you’ve kept pace with your promotion.

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7. Be serious at work.

Focus on your job and complete tasks with speed and consistency.

Improve your critical thinking skills.

Analytical thinkers can foresee problems and prevent them from happening.

Take a workshop or seminar that includes critical thinking methodology exercises.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

8. Network as much as possible.

Network within your company and within the community to gain visibility and to establish contacts.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

9. Consider making a lateral move when the time is right.

A lateral move within your company or to a new organization can help your career.

It gives you the chance to gain additional skills and knowledge.

It can help prevent the restlessness and stagnation.

That sometimes accompanies too much time spent in the same work environment.

There are many benefits to a lateral move.

  • A lateral move might pair you with a good boss or mentor. 
  • This is especially appealing if your current job doesn’t have either.
  • Moving to a different part of the company that’s more vibrant will lead to more visibility for you.
  • Moving from one organization or department to another will mean that you’re meeting more people, making more contacts, establishing a bigger network of resources.
  • Changing to a different department could lead to more advancement opportunities, especially if you’re stagnant in your current department.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

10. Set up a budget that’s realistic and will allow you to follow it consistently.

Make a budget that can absorb the unexpected.

A budget is a work in progress.

Your financial situation will constantly change.

And if your budget has the flexibility to accommodate plenty of variables.

You can save, pay off debt and invest to make your money grow.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

11. Track your expenses.

Log all of your expenses for a month so that you’ll know where your money is going.

You can use an App or pen and paper but account for everything.

Allocate about 10% of your income for savings.

Better to do a direct deposit so that you won’t be tempted to spend.

12. Be patient and consistent.

Depositing $100 per month means you’ve saved $48,000 after 40 years.

Assuming a seven percent annualized rate of return.

Your $100 per month deposit would equal more than $260,000.

Long-term savings should go toward a 401(k). Aim for maximizing your 401(k) deposits.

Apply about 35% of your savings to housing and utilities

Put aside another 10% if you have specific goals in mind.

Such as buying a new car or paying for you child’s college education.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

13. Cut back on unnecessary spending.

Rent a movie instead of going to the theater. Drop your land phone line.

Don’t sign up for cable TV services you don’t need.

Use the remainder of your income in whatever way you see fit.

Food, entertainment, vacations etc.

14. Reduce credit card debt.

Credit cards place you at one remove from your purchases. The process insulates you from your spending because you’re using a card (and not money) and don’t have concrete “proof” that you’re actually spending money.

Credit card debt can accumulate quickly.

  • Implement a plan to pay off credit card debt using your budget.
  • Know exactly how much you can afford to direct toward your credit card debt.
  • Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, while meeting the minimum payment requirements for other cards.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

15. Be consistent in your payments.

Many people reduce the amount they’re paying toward a credit card debt.

When they see the balance going down.

Pay with cash to avoid accumulating more credit card debt.

Use cash for groceries, clothes, vacations and non-essentials.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

16. Decide what’s important.

Knowing what makes you happy will make it easier for you to do things that make you happy.

 Examine your list and look for patterns or common themes in what you have listed.

Those are things that are important to you, your values.

Knowing what your values are will help you know what to include in your plan for your future happiness.

  • For example, if you have on your list that you attend art class and paint outside of class.
  • Then that would be a pattern. You might say you value creativity.
  • Or, for example, spending time with family and friends a lot might suggest that you value relationships and connecting with people.
  • You might see patterns that indicate you value financial independence, learning, or helping others.
  • If it helps you keep track of your values, make another list of just the values or themes you find from your master list.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

17. Prioritize your values.

When you are planning for your future happiness it helps to know what your values are.

Once you’ve figured that out, you can determine which values are most important to you.

Prioritizing your values will help you organize your plan for your future happiness.

You will know which areas are most important for you to work on.

  • Try numbering each of your values in order of importance until each value has a number.
  • If you need help prioritizing your values, you can ask yourself could you be happy without that value.
  • Or, how happy could you be without that value?
  • For example, if you could have everything else in the world.
  • But still couldn’t be happy without your family and friends around.
  • Relationships might be your top value.
  • When you are creating your plan.
  • Focus on those values that have the highest priority to you.

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18. Grow your money by investing wisely.

You can use your budget surplus to invest.

Invest regularly over time in a diversity of places.

  • Apply 10% of your income to investments.
  • Alternately, the money you’ve budgeted for savings can be split between savings and your investment needs.
  • Invest in stocks using an investment firm if you’re not stock-savy.
  • Over the past 70 years stocks have gained an average of 10% per year in value.
  • Mutual funds are a good choice for the average investor.
  • Offset the potential volatility of stocks by also investing in bonds and CDs. You’re loaning your money out at interest so the balance is growing although usually not at the same rate as stocks.
  • Consider using an automated investment service. Their fees are low. They match your time horizon and goals with your investment.
  • Try regular monthly direct debit investing. It guarantees you’ll be putting money aside for investments, taking the decision about where the money goes out of your hands.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

19. Believe in yourself.

If you have a positive perspective on life you may find it easier to plan for your future happiness.

Some research suggests that self-efficacy, or believing in yourself, is connected to planning for future happiness.

 If you have faith that you can be happy now and in the future, you may do things to try to be happy.

This will make it more likely that you will actually have future happiness.

  • Believe that you can succeed in general.
  • Remind yourself, “I can do what I set my mind to.
  • I can succeed and I believe in myself.”
  • Tell yourself that you can be happy. Try looking in the mirror and saying, “I can be happy in the future.
  • I’m planning for it and it will happen.”

20. Practice gratitude.

There is some evidence that suggests that being grateful for the good things in your life.

Can help you develop a happy mindset and be a happier person.

 If you are a happier person now, it may be easier for you to be happy in the future.

As you start to plan for your future happiness.

Starting showing appreciation for the things in life that make you happy now.

  • Make a list of things you are thankful for and put it where you can see it often, like your desk or bathroom mirror.
  • Add things whenever you can and be sure to look over the list from time to time.
  • At the end of the day, jot down a few things about the day that made you smile.
  • It could be something as small as a butterfly crossing your path to something as big as acing a test.

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21. Make time for your family.

What will you remember when you grow older? Will it be nailing the Krimsley account?

Or will it be seeing Ben ride a bicycle for the first time?

Make a conscious effort to separate work and family time and be “all in” with your family when you’re together.

  • Discuss your work hours and expectations with your boss so that you can set some boundaries to prevent work from leeching away at family time.
  • Spend time with your spouse and children even if it means getting everyone together in the morning to exercise or stretch for fifteen minutes before leaving the house.
  • Institute a “no electronics” rule at the dinner table so that the family will pay attention to each other, rather than to their screens.
  • Take regular family vacations. This is a good way to focus solely on family without the worries of the workplace that follow you home.
  • Discuss childcare with your spouse. If you’re both working you’ll want to come up with a firm and fair plan with specific responsibilities for both parents.

22. Develop meaningful relationships.

Having supportive, happy relationships can help you develop a happy mindset.

And help you plan for your future happiness. 

Your family and friends can help you be happier now by helping you cope with stress and tension and bringing fun into your life.

They can help you plan for your future happiness by encouraging you and holding you accountable.

  • Accept their invitations when people that care invite you to do something.
  • You could have a good time and be happy that you went.
  • Talk to them when you have problems or feel stressed. Just talking about it may help you feel better and they might be able to help you come up with solutions to your problems.
  • Tell close family and friends that you are planning for your future happiness and ask for their support. You might say, “I’m planning for my happiness in the future. I’d like you to support and encourage me.”

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

23. Create a circle of good friends.

Lifetime friendships enrich your life.

Friendships add texture to your connection with the world because you’re sharing experiences.

Reliving good moments, making bonds with people upon who you can rely.

  • Make a list of people in your life who you feel close to.
  • Invite them to your home for dinner or tea or to watch a movie. 
  • Your home environment allows for less self-conscious conversation.
  • Volunteer for a project or group for which you have conviction.
  • Strong friendships are more easily made when you work together on areas of mutual concern and interest.
  • Use your current contacts to make friends.
  • If there are people who you’ve met briefly through friends and liked.
  • Try getting in touch with them through your mutual friend.
  • Join a book reading circle. These circles usually meet regularly.
  • Many of them last for years. Lifetime friendships are formed over a shared interest.

Build your Entrepreneurial Future

24. Get involved in activities for which have conviction and to which you connect.

What is it that you like to do?

What activities are you drawn to that seem the most authentic.

And richest in terms of the experiences they provide? Make a list.

  • Take a class that focuses on an area of interest.
  • Cooking, coding, painting, archery . . . there are numerous classes available.
  • Sign up for a hiking or nature club if you like the outdoors.
  • Volunteer to be a big brother or big sister.

25. Take good care of your body.

The physical state in which you arrive at your future can be like a payoff from a good investment.

Take care of yourself so that you’ll benefit in later years.

  • Maintain a healthy diet that includes fresh produce, lean protein sources, dairy products, and whole grains.
  • Eat wholesome meals three times a day. When you don’t depend on one big meal daily, your body will reach a level of nourishment that diminishes cravings and helps you to naturally eat less.
  • Make regular visits to your doctor. Think in terms of “preventive maintenance.” Vaccinations, screenings and regular check-ups can prevent serious illness that adversely affect your future.

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26. Show your compassion.

Sometimes a simple compliment, small favor.

Or even a smile can make a difference in your life and the life of others.

When you are compassionate you can avoid some conflicts.

And feel good knowing that you are doing what you can to be kind to others.

Some evidence suggests that doing nice things for others.

And being an agreeable person can also help you develop a happy mindset.

  • Help others when you can. Bring in the groceries, hold open a door, or volunteer in your community.
  • Offer someone a compliment. For instance, tell the barista that makes your morning latte that you like her hairstyle when you notice that she’s changed it.
  • Remember to include ways to be continue being compassionate in your plan for your future happiness.

27. Build your Entrepreneurial Future

Be specific.

You can plan for your future happiness if you set goals that are based on your values.

And that are clear and action-oriented. 

When your goals are specific you are able to align them with your values.

And tell whether you have achieved them.

  • For example, setting a goal to ‘be successful’ may be too vague to achieve.
  • What will you be successful at? How will you know when you are successful?
  • A better, more specific, goal might be “Be successful at painting by selling at least five works by the time I’m 72.”
  • Consider setting goals for your top three values.
  • For example, you might set goals for your financial security, social awareness, and education.

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Build your Entrepreneurial Future

28. Make your goals achievable.

Sometimes when planning for your future happiness.

You may set goals that are a bit unrealistic.

Setting achievable goals not only increases the likelihood that you will achieve them.

But also increases your confidence in yourself.

When you are planning for your future happiness.

Make sure you are setting goals that challenge you, but that are also achievable.

  • For instance, planning to be a millionaire within the next month when you have $300 in the bank and no sources of income is a specific goal.
  • It may not be realistic, though.
  • Set goals that you can reach with some effort.
  • For instance, planning to graduate at the top of your class when you are in your freshman year may be challenging, but it’s achievable.

29. Create action steps.

Breaking your larger goals into smaller, more concrete action steps will help you achieve them. 

Action steps are more manageable which may help you stick to your plan better.

  • If, for example, your goal is to join the basketball team by the next season, you might have several action steps. For instance: practice every day, meet with the coaches, and ask for feedback from others.
  • Include as many action steps as you need. The goal is to make it as easy possible for you to reach future happiness.
  • Break your action steps down into individual tasks if you need to.
  • For instance, an action step to practice basketball every day might have the tasks: shooting drills, practice blocking, run for endurance.

30. Schedule check-ins and deadlines.

Doing this can help you plan for your future happiness in several ways.

Check-ins and deadlines can help you evaluate whether you are on track to reach your goals.

It can also help by reminding you of what you need to and by holding you accountable to yourself.

  • Use a calendar, agenda, or planner to set deadlines for your tasks, action steps, and goals.
  • You might also consider choosing a ‘buddy’ to run some of your goals and accomplishments by.
  • Schedule check-ins every few months to make sure that you are sticking with your plan for future happiness.

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31. Take care of your mind.

When your state of mind is good, you make good decisions about all aspects of your life.

You feel better about your life.

32. Get enough sleep.

Try for a regular sleep schedule

. Choose calming activities before bed.

No electronics in bed. Being sleepy makes concentration more difficult.

Raises stress levels and increases mood swings.

Steer clear of drugs and alcohol. Keep your mind sharp.

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33 Build your Entrepreneurial Future

  • Remember that a setback or diversion is only temporary and that you will get back on track.

  • Think of happiness as a process or a way of life, not a reward to obtain or a goal to reach.

  • Remember that each new day is your future and is leading to your future.
  • Take advantage of the happiness you can find in each moment.


Keep in mind that things don’t always go according to plan.
Try to have an alternative plan and maybe even a back-up for the alternative plan.

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