Credit Card Tips for the Young Entrepreneur

Gone are the days where you worked a 9-5 job and stayed with a great company for 40 years before you retired. These days, it’s all about creating your own dream career, and building start-ups has been on a rise. Even little Susie from the Verizon commercials has gone from running a little lemonade stand to national distributor of ‘Susie’s Lemonade’.

The common question is, how should we be approaching this? Selecting the right credit card and financial products is just the beginning but will do great favors for the young entrepreneur in the long run. Here are some tips to starting off your business with good credit:

Invest Wisely

One of the greatest challenges for your entrepreneurs is getting the right investments in order to fund their start-up businesses. As a young entrepreneur, you are not only worried about if you can attain this funding but also where you can get yourself a relatively rewarding credit card deal and how your credit scores will reflect upon your future borrowing power to further invest in your company. As with all things, making your credit card’s minimum payments consistently may not be demonstrating a sufficient enough of income to supplement the amount you are looking to spend on credit.

Another challenge is the fact that young people tend to have little to no creditability when it comes to obtaining loans. Whether you’re just looking to apply for a personal credit card or looking to use it for business purposes, you’ll likely have to deal with the fact that your credit card will have a much lower limit than you had hoped. A lot of the time you’ll hear people suggest that you should actually lower your credit limit to prevent overspending. While this may be true, as a young entrepreneur it does you no favors to have limited credit when you potentially need more financial support.

Build Credit to Gain Credit

Building credit is essentially one of the first things young entrepreneurs should have at the back of their minds. If you’re even remotely interested in pursuing this field in the future, highly consider the steps you can take to improve your credit score. Some simple actions to be taken are starting off with a low credit card limit as a student and making the appropriate payments every month. Having a credit card is one of the most efficient ways you can start building credit right away—even your crippling student loans aren’t as efficient.

As soon as you’ve built an appropriate credit limit for yourself, make sure to keep below that boundary and continue to make your payments on time. The worst thing you can do to hurt yourself is probably build all this great credit and then burn everything you’ve ever worked for by not making payments on time. The information held by financial institutions about your credit history never truly goes away. In some sense, this makes your credit history somewhat like all the embarrassing photos you posted on Facebook the other night.

How do you know you’ve made it?

You may recall the snail mail your parents found incredibly annoying that congratulated them on their credit history and suggested them to add to their credit card limits. As a young entrepreneur you should take those as good indicators of your credit building success. Financial institutions will only invite those they believe can pay off their loans consistently to increase their limit, and as a young business owner that’s precisely what you need to reach the appropriate levels of funding.

One more important thing to be aware of when it comes to having a business credit card is the idea of  not having any personal liability for the debt that you incur for your business. This major myth has people wishing they never overspent left, right, and center. There is no such thing as running away from debt unless you decide to go bankrupt—in which case there isn’t much of a chance you’ll build good credit history ever again. So before you dive into anything for your business, know that while some risks are important to take, you’re going to be held liable for them all.

A cautionary note: Unless you can obtain loans for little to no interest, it probably isn’t worth your while to use such measures to increase your credit score. Consistent building of credit score by paying your bills on time will better serve your cash flow and have a greater impact over time. Don’t forget you can also window shop for the loans with the best terms! Bottom line is, even if you’re in a hurry to build credit, avoid incurring the unnecessary costs of a loan.

“Those who lead inspire us.”

I’m not usually one to reference specific books directly but Start With Why by Sinek spoke to me. It speaks of leaders with power and those who lead by inspiring. It speaks to those that desire to inspire and those seeking inspiration from others. Perhaps the most fantastic part of it all is realizing how the most influential people leading communities and organizations all share the talent that tells us the “why” of their presence in our lives.

If we take a moment to consider inspiring leaders, not once do we envision a 30-minute powerpoint presentation packed with specific information nailed down to the nitty gritty details of their ideas. Instead, we recall the board–inspirational statements–they make that celebrate the very driving ideals that give us the reason to believe and recall it when we wake up the next morning.

Not once did you favourite author have to tell you “I write great books”. They let you know that their written work is valuable by challenging the norms of a supposedly saturated industry. No one will ever be motivated, nor care enough, to be part of a community that only preaches on how well you do one thing.

There is a reason people thrive on inspiration. Because it can model both our personal lives and organizations we run.

Sinek developed the Golden Circle as pictured above. Just as I spoke of inspiration, the Golden Circle encompasses both people and their business interactions.

In short: It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do–people won’t care unless they know “why”.

Is this really applicable to our lives you might ask?

Fair question. I thought the same.

Last week someone asked me to map out the “why” of my life for my own personal clarification. After what felt like hours of talk, I realized I still had no understanding of what “why” really meant.

So, here’s what I’ve come up with: Your WHY can be broad. Vague. With lack of details in fact. All it has to be is something that drives you to continue moving forward every morning.

My why in this case is to inspire through written communication. To enable people to find their own place in the world–whether this be a mental state of well-being or a physical home.

We are people of change and growth. Our actions will shift its course as we move forward but our “why” is what will remain consistent.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

How We Find Purpose

Must everything in life have a purpose?

Somewhere between the great expectations set out for our lives and accomplishing self-actualization we’ve met all someone that says they want to make big changes in the world. The change in sight is extraordinary but it’s their possession of individual purpose that engages us. Out of the blue, we set out on missions to find purpose, meaning and to answer the question ‘why?’ without truly knowing what purpose we’re referring to.

There are countless names trying to nail the specifics. Businesses may call them visions; people may have quotes to live by. It comes down to finding a place in the vast population doesn’t it?

Living in the generation of differentiation, it is presented to us that we should be embracing originality and aspects that make us gifted as individual people. As if having purpose has shifted from a modest desk job that provides free hot chocolate on a rainy day to raising millions of dollars in capital on Kickstarter and starting the next big thing.

That’s a lot of pressure we’re placing on ourselves for something supposedly known to embrace individuality.

Don’t let dreaming big be paralyzing.

Embracing oneself is to know that ‘different’ isn’t always something new –just a little change. And finding a personal purpose, mission or gift isn’t always a one-person journey of isolated self-discovery, but one that may require the encouragement of others during the ‘what-if’ stages of fear, tears and exhaustion.

Purpose isn’t some great meaning behind life waiting to be found by each and every one of us. It’s more along the lines of something we mold complementary to our personal missions. Because change is good and making a small one doesn’t mean you’ve failed to find purpose.

Perhaps we try to pinpoint the abstract idea of purpose out of habit. We’re always trying to nail the best option, figure out the perfect method to attain things we want to accomplish –in the mean time having made no change.

And just as you thought you’ve finally got a hold of the best option out there, something that better suits your mission comes up. So what do you do? Do you keep looking? Wouldn’t it be better to pursue the next-best option while looking for something that fits better and make more progress in the long-run?

Maybe the feeling of purpose and personal mission isn’t as neat and tidy as hoped.

Trying to find purpose is like telling you that the New Year will bring upon change –like saying you’ll stop looking and start doing when the hand of the clock hits 12 o’clock exactly. Does it really matter? The concept of purpose is just as abstract as the concept of time.

When we talk about finding purpose it doesn’t always have to be about a great big philosophical quest, but a process that we already know. To try and shift gears when things don’t work out.

— itsfruitcakeweather.