Should I risk everything to follow my dreams?

You’ve got the ideas, you’ve got the ambition, all you need now is your big break.

Having the smarts and the enthusiasm to embark on your dreams will definitely get you out of the starting blocks, but what about the practical resources and the emotional superpowers you’ll need to get to the finish line? Being a success on your own terms means taking risks. But just what could be at stake (and are the rewards worth it)? Read on to find out.

In our featured clip from How to be a Young Billionaire, we meet the young Brits trying to make it big in Silicon Valley and learn what it takes to be a success. Want to find out if our young entrepreneurs sink or swim? Check out the whole documentary over on All 4.

Poll

Would you risk everything to follow a dream?

or

Secrets for success

Whether life is telling you to be a fighter pilot, a chef, a clown or the world’s next tech billionaire, you’re going to have to ask yourself some big questions to get there…

Do you have the ‘right stuff’?

How hard are you prepared to fight for what you want? Being truly successful means putting in the graft to get ahead. For careers that require qualifications, that means balancing the partying with study and accepting that many of the ‘all-nighters’ you pull may well be spent next to a pile of books rather than a bar full of Jager bombs. For the entrepreneurially minded it means getting your hands dirty, working all hours and sacrificing the little luxuries until your idea begins to fly. Climbing the career ladder? Be prepared to start at the bottom and anticipate doing your fair share of the crappy jobs until your talent gets noticed.

Are you following both your heart and your head?

Success is born out of passion and it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to reach the top in a field that you don’t give a toss about. But success also requires a reality check. There’s no point convincing yourself that you’re destined to play for Chelsea if you couldn’t kick your way out of a wet paper bag. What are your strengths? What are the activities that make your spine tingle? What job would get you out of bed on every Monday morning until you’re seventy? Figure that out and you’re halfway there.

Network, network, network

Making things happen means getting out there and meeting people. Whether it’s making contact with prospective employers, scouting for clients and collaborators, attending networking events or promoting yourself online, people need to know what you’ve got to offer if they’re going to help you succeed.

Money matters

Ideas are powerful but you can’t use them to buy pizza. If you’re starting your own business then sooner or later you’re going to going to need to generate some cold, hard cash to get things up and running. The solutions are as varied as the challenges. You could look for part-time work to supplement your income, sweet-talk a rich relative, seek loans or grants, try a bit of online crowd funding or look for angel investors. Do your homework, figure out a business plan, fire up a spreadsheet and unleash your Google ninja skills to hunt out the people who can help.

Itching to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? Check out the How to be a Young Billionaire app-building guide.

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