Three tips for entrepreneurs from a rising star of the business world

Meg Fry//January 5, 2016

Three tips for entrepreneurs from a rising star of the business world

Meg Fry//January 5, 2016

When Ashley Zahabian has something to say, it’s usually in your best interest to listen.Sure, I may be close to a decade older than her — but every time we have lunch or run into each other at one of the many networking events around the state, I always learn new ways in which I can improve myself and my environments.

The girl is just impressive.

You may recognize her as one of the contributing students from Montclair State University in “The Gen(d)erational Gap” series, or perhaps from her YouTube channel in which she delivers motivational speeches and fitness tips.

And at just 20 years old, Zahabian — a strong student of economics and entrepreneurship — is also the co-founder of a promising startup, ReminU, which aims to change the paradigm of personal reminders.

Zahabian has been working with her business partner, Matthew Ferro, to develop and market the mobile, location-based application that speaks back pre-programmed information when you need it, where you need it and to whom you need it for.

She knows her stuff.

So, I’m happy to give Zahabian the floor today to share her personal beliefs and experiences on why entrepreneurs often fail and what they can do to improve their perspectives.

Please enjoy this how-to written by Ashley Zahabian:

“Oftentimes, entrepreneurs are blinded by our own visions. We lack awareness and develop what I like to call the ‘me’disease.It’s understood that entrepreneurs tend to crave more in life — a bit of power and control of their own decisions. It’s also understood that many entrepreneurs have higher confidence than those around them — but that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs know it all. On the contrary, it means that I can be extremely honest and harsh in describing the problem with most of us:

“Your opinion is not enough, and it never will be. Many businesses fail due to lack of perception and awareness of what the markets want. Our opinions do not decipher what the market wants — we have to ask our markets directly. Validation is extremely underestimated today; without it, our businesses would be nonexistent. So let’s talk about some ways to validate our ideas prior to wasting time, effort and money on ideas that nobody is interested in:

  1. Look for competition. The second I hear somebody tell me about their new, life-changing idea, I grab my computer and research existing competitors. I find it quite unattractive when I hear ideas that have clearly been implemented already, and even worse, when they’re out there and don’t do well. If you haven’t taken the time to find your competitors and study them to learn how to do the job better — get on that.
  2. Study market psychology. I personally feel this is the most important factor of entrepreneurship. Many of us get caught up in platforms we’re comfortable with and products that follow our own needs, but it’s not about our comfort — it’s about everyone else’s. Follow the trends of technology and psychology that is new and hot. Stop living in the past generation — your market is 2016. Who would have thought emoji pillows would become a booming business? They wouldn’t be in 2012, but in 2016, they are. Why? Because that’s where our minds are — we communicate our emotions through text and, even more so, emojis, in 2016. That’s a clear example of how the psychology of our market can elevate your business.
  3. Create a fan base and ASK! One of the most powerful reasons to create a fan base is to directly communicate with those you are selling to. In one year, I’ve been able to create a fan base of 7,000 subscribers to my content, and you can too. Your fan base is your business — without it, you have nothing. Many people market amazing products but have no idea how to get them seen. Give out an enormous amount of knowledge, services and products for free at first to build your audience. (Yes, this will cost you money, but if you don’t want to spend anything, don’t become an entrepreneur.) Just get momentum running. Once you have a fan base, ask them directly what they are looking for, study their psychology and see what they like most and least. Then create your business around their needs — not your own.

To learn more about Ashley Zahabian, email her at [email protected], or follow her on social media:

  • Instagram: AshleyZahabian;
  • Twitter: @AshleyZahabian;
  • YouTube: Youtube.com/PolishedOfficial.