Older, more experienced professionals are more likely to have acquired the financial means and business experience necessary to start a new venture; it is for this reason that many new ventures are started by people in mid-life. Sometimes these older entrepreneurs wait until the timing is right for them, or they choose the start up life out of necessity. It is frequent that job loss triggers the entrepreneur to take the plunge.
Yet, the ‘twenty-something’ entrepreneurs hold a number of fundamental advantages. Younger people are less likely to be burdened by the ties that come along with adulthood. This may include no husbands or wives, no children, no mortgage, and little binding them to one location.
For an older person, any of these obstacles can narrow the scope of what is realistic and confine entrepreneurial ambitions.
Fresh out of college and full of ambition, these twenty-something entrepreneurs can benefit from taking risks. In a best-case scenario, the business takes off quickly, and initiates an exhilarating career with one successful start up after another.
Furthermore, if a young person achieves even modest success, s/he is learning invaluable lessons for the next endeavor. Even if the venture flops, the young person has still gained knowledge of how the game is played. The advantage of starting businesses at an early age is that it allows the young entrepreneur flexibility to “fail fast” and still get back up. Such failures can give them the experience they will need to succeed in the future.
The young men and women who bravely start their own businesses at an early age have the ability to fail early before there is much to lose. More optimistically, they can achieve success and create new ventures which makes for a better planet for all of us.
Young entrepreneurs rule!
John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
P.S. See the interview with Entrepreneur Naveen Selvadurai, co-founder of Foursquare talks about taking risks and making mistakes: