“Young entrepreneurs look at the world with fresh eyes and such lively determination. Some of the modern world’s greatest ideas and innovations came from people like you. Don’t ever let other people use your age as an excuse to not take you seriously” (Sir. Richard Branson)
And he is so right. Richard Branson, is one of the best examples of our time for somebody who started his entrepreneurial career when he was a student, and turned out to be one of the most admired business man in the world.
Don’t use your age as an excuse not to start something. It’s a limiting self belief. Programme your mind.
Richard Branson’s words should be enough motivation for anyone who has an idea or a dream, but postpones taking action because he or she thinks they’re “too young” or not “experienced enough” to start something.
Turn it around! Your age is exactly the reason why you should start now. Your age is your strength. Use this advantage!
Starting a business young (no matter which scale) will be the best way to get to know yourself, discover your talents, and to becoming a skilled professional, or an entrepreneur.
You will see how skills and enthusiasm will always count more than age. Moreover, it is not even about what you do but more about what you learn from doing it. I’d like to share my story with you:
Three years ago at the age of 19, I started working in a market research call center, knowing very little about business. In the following semesters me and a great team of fellow students tried to turn our student company project into a real business. I lead a team of 6 people, developed the business, got customers, got an investor, and failed eventually. The plan did not work out, but in the end it was a fantastic experience. I had no idea how much it would impact my life.
Empowered by this experience, I got several exciting jobs including my dream job when I was only 20 years old. It was a 3-month internship at Metrica-Sports a Start Up that developed an awesome tactical analysis software for the biggest football clubs in the world. Being a football enthusiast and a player all my life, this job felt like having reached my life goal. Something I had never dreamed about (well actually I my dream job was being the best football player in the world…but that’s another story).
A few months later, I ended up being the youngest and first part-time Account Manager at one of the fastest growing start ups in the Netherlands at the age of 21.
Half a year later, I also almost made it into Chelsea Football Club when I applied for an internship as a first team Analyst assistant. Despite being a business student, I made it to the final round where I impressed the analysts, but eventually they chose a candidate who was better than me. So be it: I tried it, I went for it, and it did not work out…this time. (Feel free to send me a PM if you’d like to know more about how I managed to do this).
Today I am Co-Founder of Fypster, which I run with 2 other fantastic people I met when working next to my studies in Amsterdam. We manage Fypster remotely. In my case I do this while working for one of the leading tech start ups in London called Onfido. A company founded by 3 Oxford graduates in 2012. (another fantastic example of where you can achieve by starting young).
I love the job and work with people of over 40 nationalities in the heart of London, where I get to speak 6 languages a day. And guess what…I am the youngest employee out of 140 people, so I want to stress: Your determination is what counts, not your age! Looking back all of these opportunities were linked, and one opened opportunity opened the door to the next one. Each time a bigger one. Currently I am Co-Founder of Fypster, hoping to establish a meaningful online community to empower millions of youngster in the future.
Looking back, I can say that these opportunities arose thanks to the experiences I had made when trying to start my own business. It taught me the skills, persistence, and proactive thinking necessary to create extraordinary opportunities for myself.(and others) Furthermore it helped me understand how I could use my talents to succeed in the marketplace. An understanding that I would never have gained by just reading and studying about theories from books provided by University. I´d like to emphasize that I am not different to any of you. I am just like you and I hope by reading this you understand: If you´re determined to create your own path, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve! It will not be easy, but its fulfilling. Eventually all will fall into place.
So, if you have an idea and the drive in you, don’t hesitate, start young. Your determination will take you where you want to be.
Now is the time to take risks
If you are honest to yourself, there is no risk is there?
When do you think that failing your venture/project/plan will leave a bigger impact? When you are 40 settled with family and kids with many (financial) responsibilities, or when you are a independent teenager or in your twenties?
Many young people think they will be judged when their project will not become a big success. In fact, I have experienced the opposite, and after having spoken to almost 100 young entrepreneurs across the globe, I can tell you the following: People will respect you for your courage and actions. The skills that you acquired will help you professionally and personally so you can become whatever you want to become.
Fail young. Fail often. Learn fast.
I failed not only once in my life. And I will fail again. But I realized that failure can be the biggest win, and the trigger for new amazing opportunities. So can it be for you. Don’t let anybody limit you. Don’t care about what your parents or friends think is right or what your school tells you to. (My parents never knew what I was actually doing whilst some of my friends called me a freak)
In fact, I have experienced the opposite and after having spoken to almost 100 young entrepreneurs across the globe, I can tell you the following: People will respect you for your courage and actions. The skills that you will have acquired will help you professionally and personally so you can become whatever you want to become.
Do your thing and do it whenever you think the time is right. Most importantly: Enjoy what you are doing. Enjoy the possibility of being able to realize your dream. This is a privilege! And when it get’s tough or you think you’ll fail, remember this phrase from a man that has changed the world:
Going after your ideas and becoming skilled (for the rest of your life) as a consequence is without a doubt easier said than done. It requires hard work and determination. But trust me, it’s worth it. The countless hours that you’ll invest won’t even feel like work. You will enjoy seeing every progress you make. It will bring you joy and fun!
If you are determined, convinced to make it, and not afraid of failing, there is nothing that can stop you. And who do you think will not take you seriously after you have shown that you take your own ideas seriously?
At Fypster we want to give you all you need to be able to realize your ideas and dreams when you are young. Young people all around the world come together in our social network to empower each other and to share their stories and adventures. I hope this blog has inspired you to take action. I’d love to get your feedback and to hear about how you have used your determination to achieve your goals in the comment section below. Also, feel free to send me a personal message in the community at any time for questions, help, advice, or just to say hello. If you haven’t joined our social network yet – register today and be part of our community. Change yourself through us. Change the world with us. 🙂