You are never too young to be an entrepreneur. In fact, younger may be better.

Yet, when we think of entrepreneurs, we most often think of a mid-career executive who takes the plunge and starts a new business. He or she can bring a veteran’s management skills, along with hard fought street-savvy to the new enterprise. Yet, the same executive typically has a mortgage, a couple of kids, and a ton of consumer debt, which can feel like a ball and chain around the ankles. These mid-life commitments can slow or completely repress the innovative urges of the forties-something “wannabe” entrepreneur.

A typical twenty-year-old has few financial resources and has little to lose if the business fails. More often than not, he or she is single and geographically flexible and can relocate easily. We could argue that the young entrepreneur lacks relevant experience, but often this is made up with energy and enthusiasm. Who better can handle an all-nighter to get the new product done on time? Also, the younger entrepreneur may have more staying power, since they don’t need the cash flow like the debt loving mid-career types.

Additionally, the smart twenty-somethings can increase the company brain trust by expanding their personal contact networks to include members of the over forty club. Good listening to sage advice can help minimize errors.
Further, can you think of a better way to get experience than diving into your own venture? Three years as an entrepreneur with your own venture will beat ten years at GE hands down (apologies to Jack Welch).

Starting a new business can be risky and can be a lot of hard work, but I believe this fits the young entrepreneur well.

John Bradley Jackson
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