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Not Worrying (Too Much) About Competition

Convention Wisdom Doesn't Apply to New Wave of Youthful Startups


Want to take a fresh look at entrepreneurship? Look at it from the point of view of people who have limited experience doing it -- people who are twenty-something and don't know or care about how entrepreneurship is supposed to work.

We've been profiling a number of companies that are affiliate with the Young Entrepreneur Council, a group of startup companies headed by the nowhere-near-grey set. Here are some interesting stories from which you can pick up new wisdom, even if it hasn't aged much.

Web Designer Who's Okay Being One of Thousands: Most entrepreneurs are convinced they have the ultimate gizmo or market position so that they can bat away the most intense competition. But a lot of young entrepreneurs don't care so much about being in a crowded space. There's a bit of a feeling, especially in the web design world, that there's enough -- more than enough -- opportunity for lots of people to thrive. That's the message of Logan Lenz, 26-year-old founder of Endagon Enterprises.

Improving an Old-Line Business: Think all the young entrepreneurs are interested in tech-oriented businesses? You can't get much more low-tech than kitchen cabinetry. Anthony Saladino, 29, runs Kitchen Cabinet Kings, which distributes kitchen and bathroom cabinets online. By figuring out what business to be in (Internet sales) and what business not to be in (installation), Saladino has created a thriving business.

Having a Memorable Story Line is Key: If you do something that a lot of others also do, you can often excel by creating a story line that differentiates. That's what day-trader and seminar-company leader Timothy Sykes did. He has a telegenic presence, but more than that, a great personal narrative: He took his $12,000 in bar mitzvah money and became a stock trader before he started shaving. And yes, he'll show you how to make millions, too.

Why Do One Thing When You Can Do Many? The convention wisdom says you should focus on one thing and do it very well. But here's 27-year-old Erin Blaskie, running an Internet marketing consulting firm, a virtual assistant business and a group coaching business at the same time. And it seems to be working. Maybe it's the evolution of multitasking capability from the generation that can't do one thing at a time for very long.

A Spin on Social Networking: The young entrepreneur generation is making its bones in social networking. The number of business possibilities that are hanging onto platforms like Facebook is endless. Eric Bahn, 29, has taken business school admission test-takers and created a community out of them. He's gone beyond test-prep to a social gathering place that's on target to hit seven figures in revenue this year.

Want to read more about young entrepreneurs? Click here.

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