3 Major Advantages of Youth in Business
We hear so many success stories from young people who turn their ideas into booming businesses; Facebook and Tumblr are two excellent examples.
1) Minimal Responsibility
One of the main advantages is that we don’t hold many responsibilities. We live with our parents who provide us with free food, shelter, and of course, wi-fi. We haven’t inherited all the responsibilities of the real world. This translates to the freedom of knowing that if you don’t make a profit all is not lost, it is a huge weight off of a person’s shoulders. It allows us to go into it knowing we have opportunities to make mistakes and those mistakes won’t mean we end up homeless and starving. So, if your business fails when you’re 16, there are minimal consequences. Furthermore, you can apply the lessons you’ve learned to your next startup. However, if your business fails when you’re 40 when you have a family to take care of, and bills to pay, the consequences may be more serious.
Risk it when you’re young.
It only gets harder to start a company as time goes on because older adults are not risk tolerant; they can’t risk their job. As young people, we can do that all day, since we don’t have risk tolerances, we can risk more time and more money. For example, let’s take David Karp, the teenager behind a highly active social media platform Tumblr. This young entrepreneur took many risks to becoming successful. He left school to become home-schooled so he could focus more on his dreams and at 17 he moved alone to Japan to hone his computer skills. These risks paid off as now, at 30, Karp’s net worth excess $200 million after selling Tumblr for $1.1 billion to yahoo in which he had a 25% stake.
Let’s also not forget about Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out of Harvard to pursue Facebook. And it blows my mind that people are still being considered as failures for dropping out high school or university, but Mark went from a college dropout to multi-billionaire, and now ranks the 5th richest person in the world. He teaches us that “The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."
3) We can leverage our Age
Although some young entrepreneurs may face occasional blatant disrespect due to their age and may be tempted to lie about their age in order to appear more competent. However, in many cases our youthfulness allows us to shine as people like the fact we are young, passionate and enthusiastic. For example, the reason I got featured on Huffington post was because I’m only 16 years old. If I was having the exact same success I am having now at 30 or 40 years old, it would probably be considered a failure. So in no way am I more successful or better than any of you, but I feel like the reason people are impressed, is simply because society shapes common mindsets to say you do this, then you go to uni, then you get a job, and then work for the rest of your life. If we break barriers and have the courage to defy expectations is what makes us stand out.
As Gary Vaynerchuk always says to teenagers and young adults is that “you’ve got time.” We could do something for 10 or so years, fail every aspect of it, and still come out very young.
If we truly have the right mindset, passion, and ambition to become an entrepreneur, starting out young is the best advantage we will have.