There is something you must keep in mind if you plan to become a business advisor: wealthy young CEOs and CEOs in the making can be stubborn. They might refuse to listen and march to beat of their own drum, follow their instincts, and take remarkable risks.
That is, of course, only true when they have a safety net and their parents’ back accounts to answer to. You won’t find such risk-taking among businessmen and women of humbler backgrounds, although they make up with this through their grit, perseverance, and endurance, which their wealthier peers might lack. Sadly, this leads to a profound loss of enthusiasm and giving up despite the abundance of resources.
Either way, you’ve got the rich brave ones and the not-so-rich hardworking ones. Most belong to the in-between or have a mixture of traits. But to succeed in any business, you need a little bit of everything: money, luck, grit, and enthusiasm. How to foster all of these in young CEOs is a different matter. Here’s how to encourage them.
Being practical goes a long way, and it makes you look credible in your mentee’s eyes. You start by telling them frankly which ideas they are so passionate about might not work and which safer choices to make as they begin to embark on their corporate journey. Show them little hacks, like tricks in budgeting and branding, and encourage them to attend master classes, business seminars, and corporate events. Let them familiarize themselves with their niche. Brainstorm with them and be the realistic but highly encouraging voice that wants them to fulfill their dreams while avoiding setbacks on the way. Prepare them for inevitable failures that will eventually be followed by some success if they are persistent enough.
You can encourage these young by being a listening ear. Listen to them as they rant about their problems: whether they involve budget cuts, branding mistakes, or arguments with their workmates. If it’s the last one, diffuse the situation by giving all sides an equal chance to speak. But let them sort their problems on their own. There is a lesson to be learned with each setback. If you are glued to them all of the time or pry too carefully, they will not learn how to be independent. In turn, they won’t be able to fix their own problems and form their own solutions. For them to improve, ample encouragement and independence are needed.
The young have the potential to provide a better future, and it can be through innovations that will benefit others. Business, after all, is about solving problems, and they need to sort their internal issues first before trying to fix external problems. Whatever the case, they need your support: financially, emotionally, mentally. They need to learn to believe in themselves to the point where diligence and resilience are second nature. It is, of course, reasonable to be disappointed by setbacks, but determination conquers all. We must instill this trait in tomorrow’s businesspeople.