What is the best time in your life to start a business?
Start your business now. Too young? What makes you too young to start a business exactly? Too old? At what age do you become too old to start a business? Too inexperienced, inconsistent, uncommitted, unsettled, too much of a dreamer, not enough of a dreamer, too fat, too thin, too wrong or too right? Am I writing lyrics here? No, I’m writing your excuses for not starting a business now.
Everyone is terrified to take that leap of faith. I’d be worried about you if you weren’t even a little bit afraid. It is OK to be fearful of starting a business. But since when should fear hold you back? Fear is there to push you through. It has given humans needed adrenaline since day one, but its purpose is not to hold you back. It’s to propel you forward, prepared to take on anything that stands in your way. Take that wild mammoth. Oh wait, we’re not cavemen anymore, which is even more reason to set fear aside and start your business now.
If you think you’ll be better prepared for a business venture when you’re older and more mature, think again. Once you hit your 30s, you are still trying to figure it all out, and at the end of the day, no one knows what they’re doing 100 percent of the time. That’s why, if you want to do it now, do it now. Don’t wait. If you’re waiting, you’re not guaranteed to become this sage individual you have created in your head. Oh to be naive and 20 again. Do something really original. Be sage and young.
Look at Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. What if he would have allowed fear to steer him away from his dreams? I’ll tell you. That inspiration might have hit someone else, and he’d be kicking himself for allowing someone else that opportunity because he was afraid. Or, he’d do it later and have missed out on a decade of earnings. Strike while the idea is hot, and start your business now.
You can start a business at any age.
There are some benefits to opening up shop while you’re young. When you’re young, it’s just you. You likely have no significant other and no one depending on you. You can devote as much time as you need to your business, without feeling guilty. You won’t feel like you’re giving up a part of yourself to do it. Take advantage of your “me” time now.
Use your age to your advantage. Some investors might be pleasantly surprised by your gumption and enthusiasm at such a tender age. They might just invest in you out of the kindness of their heart because you remind them of a younger version of themselves. This doesn’t feel the same when you are older and experienced, and investors may not feel so keen on investing in the older version of you. Be smart and use your strengths. It’s not often investors allow emotions to influence their decisions. Jump on board while you can.
You are young and invincible. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail. Is that so bad? Best case scenario, you succeed and do so young.
Among Silicon Valley investors, business founders over 35 are considered over the hill. They are wrong. If you are older, it is still not too late for you to start a business. Raymond Kroc was 52 years old when he convinced Maurice and Richard McDonald to franchise their business. Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he founded KFC. Research shows that older people are more likely to succeed in business. According to a Kauffman Foundation study, the average median age of U.S. born tech founders was 39 when they started their businesses.
It’s worth trying even if you fail.
If you strike out, you have time to do something else. Nothing is sadder than having not tried. I’d rather try and fail, than not try at all. If this happens, don’t sweat it. You can beef up your resume with all the cool things you’ve learned and all the skills you’ve developed for what’s next to come. It’s never a failure to invest in yourself by learning new skills. Also, many entrepreneurs who succeed have failed the first, second, or third time in business before. Because of their persistence and willingness to learn, they have managed to succeed in business.
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