In todays age, the popularity of launching a business as young as possible is no secret. As millennials, we love the feeling of being ahead of our years and accomplishing things typically common for older people. However, as cool as it is being a young entrepreneur, there are some major benefits to holding off launching your business until later. Here are nine reasons why starting a business later in life might be a good move.
It’s no secret that we automatically have a certain level of respect working with people who are older than us at first (until we realize how much of an idiot they can be later). Whether it’s true or not, we typically assume that older people know more than us because they’ve been around/done it all. As a young entrepreneur, it can be awkward telling an older person what to do and trying to earn his/her respect.
When I started my first company at 18, I found myself having trouble speaking like an executive simply because I didn’t have the experience. Assuming that you’re constantly bettering yourself everyday, giving yourself time to improving the way you speak, your mannerisms, and body language can have very positive effects on the way people view you.
While the notion of dropping out of school or starting a company straight out of graduation to launch a startup is popular nowadays, choosing to pursue further education can still be very beneficial. Even if you don’t learn any applicable skills (which you probably will anyways), saying you have a masters or you are a doctor of something has weight.
“Starting a business in my mid twenties, I was experienced enough to know I didn’t know much. I went back to school and got my MBA while I worked. It opened up a whole new world to me and gave me the skill set I needed to be successful entrepreneur. Don’t fall victim to the notion that all entrepreneurs must drop out of school.” – Jon Rettinger, TechnoBuffalo Founder
When you start a company while still young, there are other things you want to experience before you’re too old to do them. This includes wanting to party with your friends on the weekends or raging hard at music festivals. While there’s nothing wrong with this, giving yourself time to get all that stuff out of your system will give you less distractions when you build your company.
When you’re younger, new experiences can get you too excited and potentially delude you from focusing on the important tasks at hand, take what Milk and Honey Shoes Founder Dorian Howard has to say:
“I’ve been in rooms with big powerful people in the entertainment business. So when there are these big powerful VCs walking in, I’m like “I can handle it.” I remember I was talking to that potential investor and he said “This is good. You don’t have to do any CEO training and you know how to carry yourself. You know how to handle a room with heavyweights.” That certainly comes from years of experience from dealing with big producers and having to not be starstruck when you’re in the room with the celebrity and just, keeping your composure has been certainly helpful when dealing with VCs.” – Dorian Howard, Milk and Honey Shoes Founder
While “going deep” and risking it all can show your passion and dedication for your project, the reality is that 9/10 startups fail. Giving yourself time to build up a financial cushion will not only help you risk not working for a year or two, but also give you funds to survive if your company were to fail.
When you start a company at a young age, particularly before you’re 23 when you’re still a student, your network is really limited to the people you’ve met in school or the clubs that you’re part of. Don’t even get me started on fraternities and sororities, I can’t count the number of people who have told me it’s been useless when it comes to building a quality business network (the parties and drugs are great though!). Unless you’re completely immersed in networking like Brian Wong of Kiip, who was able to network with some of the biggest VCs before 18, you won’t have the same network of people who have spent time in the business world fostering quality relationships. Spending time to work quality jobs and building your network can have vast benefits when you’re finally ready to start your own company.
When you’re younger, dealing with rejection and failure can be harder. Remember when you lost your first love? Everyone says the first big breakup is always the hardest. While going through it in the future doesn’t necessarily get easier, you better understand how to deal with it. This is the same in the business world, if you work in sales and get used to constantly getting reject all the time, you know how to bounce back and deal with it when, let’s say, you get rejected for funding from an investor.
When you’re younger, your skills are limited because most of your time is spent at school. You don’t developer real skills unless you’re completely hands on and experience it yourself. Even if your current job is not your passion, there are skills you can develop that you can use when the time comes for you to pursue what you love.
“I began my career practicing law – and turns out, I hated it! I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, but, I had the time to develop many skills that proved to be invaluable in starting my own business later in life. I love talking to people – and I especially love talking to people about an idea that I am deeply passionate about. As a lawyer, I learned how to listen and how to persuade people to believe in my idea. I knew how to get the right people to listen and pay attention from my time as a lawyer, and was then able to create my business and brand later in life from these experiences. It’s so much easier to be authentic and genuine when you are actually passionate about the idea. That passion was the catalyst for SCOTTeVEST and to this day, that passion is the fuel that keeps us going.” – Scott Jordan, SCOTTeVEST Founder
No matter when you decide to start, use the infographic below to remind yourself that it’s never to late to start. Don’t be in a hurry to succeed!