My name is Warren, and I am a 15-year-old entrepreneur. Ever since I was small, I've had a passion for the world of business, and when I was 8 years old I started a greeting card company. After that, I embarked on several other business ventures.
To date, my businesses in sectors that include media, financial services, commercial banking, Internet, technology and consumer goods have served clients from four different continents. I currently hold investments in a number of companies and in the last year I have written two books, both of which made it onto the Amazon Best Sellers list.
Every day, I wake up with the belief that anyone with determination, dedication and focus can achieve great success, and I imagine a world where everyone maximizes his or her potential. The Root asked me to share four tips that have helped me succeed in life. Though I’m still young with more to learn, hopefully these lessons can be used at any age.
1. Understand What You Have to Offer
On a daily basis, I am criticized for overpromoting myself, my books and my successes (which is shocking, because I actually believe I’m underperforming in my self-promotion). But getting out of obscurity will only create more opportunities. Getting people to know you is not bad—in fact, it is vital to your success.
It is also why I never turn down an opportunity to promote, and whenever I’m at an event, I immediately introduce myself to strangers. I understand my value, and I have clearly defined what makes me different from others. The truth is, if you do not understand your value in life, you leave it up to other people to tell you what you are worth.
2. Be Courageous … Because Nothing Else Pays
Asking influential people for their time, asking someone if he or she would support your small business, or even applying to go to an Ivy League university may be nerve-racking, but remember that everything you want is on the other side of fear. Think of it this way: How can you get what you want without having the courage to ask for it? I would never have the mentors I have today if I had never asked.
The virtue of courage can be what defines those who reach the heights that most cannot. Being courageous is not at all easy, but it can be very rewarding. And if we do not get over our nerves and fear, we may wind up missing a lot of opportunities that await us. Be courageous, because nothing else pays.
3. Persist as if Your Life Depends on It
When children want something, they cry, stomp and make noise until they get their way. However, as children get older they lose this trait. Is this a good thing?
Children lose this trait because they are constantly being told that being stubborn is bad. But highly wealthy and successful people are incredibly stubborn. I like getting what I want, and I believe that people should have what they want. How could this be a bad thing?
Part of the reason I have come so far is that when I want something, I persist until I get it. You should never settle for less than what you want. It’s all too often that we set goals, hit a roadblock, and then lower our initial target. In order to be successful, you need to persist as if your life depends on it.
4. Think Ridiculously
Thinking too small is the biggest mistake that I have made in my entrepreneurial journey thus far. When I started my first business, my focus was far too small, and as a result, my sales targets were not as high as they could have been. In retrospect, thinking larger and attempting to serve more people would have propelled my finances and business even further.
Now when I set goals, both personal and business, I make sure that they are ridiculous. This is because I prefer to fall short on an impossible goal, than to achieve something mediocre. Set ridiculous goals, and don’t be concerned with what the naysayers are saying. If you want to achieve tremendous success you need to be delusional and driven in your goal setting.
Hopefully my tips and the story I shared will inspire you to move forward with your aspirations. Success is your duty, obligation and responsibility.
Warren Cassell Jr. is an award-winning entrepreneur, published author and investor living in the Caribbean. His investment vehicle, the Abella Group LLC, currently holds investments in a number of globally diverse sectors. Follow him on Twitter.