All too often, people think that business ownership is the exclusive right of the seasoned and experienced. That after years of working your way up the corporate ladder, you will have the wisdom and know-how needed to establish your own company.
That thinking is backwards.
In your youth, you have distinct advantages when it comes to pursuing your dreams and it is arguably the best time for you to establish a business. Here are five reasons why if you have a brilliant idea and a sound plan, you should not wait to start a business:
1. Your risk is lower today than it will ever be.
If you plan to start a business, you have to face the reality that you will probably experience failure. Nine out of ten startups do. You will work incredibly hard, day after day, to take care of a never-ending to-do list that supports a fledgling business.
While you may have to pay off college loans in your twenties, think of the expenses you will incur later down the road, in your forties and fifties. There are mortgages, car payments, children to support, health concerns and a thousand other expenses we take on as we age. Take advantage of minimal responsibility while you can.
2. You are well-versed in technology and social media.
Whether you are planning to start a tech company or sell cupcakes, technology and social media are essential tools for any modern business. With social media, you can advertise your business for a fraction of the price compared to traditional advertising. But it requires knowledge, and flexibility, to adapt to changes in social media and the newest technologies.
Playing catch-up is not always easy. As you age, technology can become a major disconnect. According to Pew Internet Research, despite “gains, seniors continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to tech adoption. And many seniors remain largely unattached from online and mobile life—41% do not use the internet at all, 53% do not have broadband access at home, and 23% do not use cell phones.”
3. You’re more resilient to stick with passion and problems.
As successful entrepreneurs will tell you time and again, a successful entrepreneur finds a market need and solves it. As Mark Cuban suggests, “Don’t start a company unless its an obsession and something you love.”
Cuban also balances this with the notion that it will take more than passion once you get going. “Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems. It is easier to do this when you are young.
4. Physical and mental stamina abound.
Starting a business requires an incredible amount of hard work. Hard work requires an incredible amount of stamina. There are times when you will want to go take a rest and go to bed, but your mind is racing and there’s more to do.
Successful entrepreneurs frequently use morning rituals to ensure they start the day energized and ready to succeed. But all of the yoga, exercise, and rituals in the world cannot compare to the vitality and energy of youth.
5. Rejection hasn’t jaded you yet.
The U.S. economy may have picked up over the past few months, but many millennials still struggle to find employment. In 2014, the youth unemployment rate was 14.3 percent compared to 6 percent for the general population.
This means the youth of today are more familiar with rejection and more likely to do what it takes to level the playing field, even by hiring themselves. Today, business ownership comes with lower risks when compared to corporate realities of standing on the bottom rung of a corporate ladder or simply being unemployed.
As author, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde observed in “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” youth is the most precious resource of all. Starting a business in your youth is not an exception, it is the new normal. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, James Murray Wells, who founded a multi-million dollar company by selling eyeglasses, or Sean Belnick, who makes $50 million selling office chairs are among the countless examples of leveraging youth in business.
“Youth is wasted on the young,” as George Bernard Shaw once said. If you have a business idea, take advantage of it. This article by Simon Crompton has been edited and condensed, originally posted here