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Earlier this week I was invited to join a Zoom call with a group of young adults in California, who were eager to know about being a business owner at a young age. One of the questions from the girls was how I overcame being young and getting taken seriously. It’s a question I’m randomly asked throughout the years, yet a question I rarely think of. All of the mistakes and obstacles I overcame when I started out feel like a faint memory in my mind, because I deal with new obstacles now!
When I started out, I was fearless and eager. I still am! I was often taken advantage of because of my age (who ever decided that people who are young aren’t able to be successful when they’re young was totally wrong) and rarely taken seriously. This wasn’t just from people in the industry either: my parents were skeptical I’d be successful, so were my friends. I get it: being 16, 17, 18, even 12 or 13 and having an idea is rare. For those that it happens to, the real struggle comes down to getting people to believe in you.
How’d I overcome the age obstacle? Age, actually. The wiser and older I got, the more mature I became to get comfortable in being young, hungry and eager to make change. The background noise doesn’t matter because all that really does is your will to be successful.
My biggest career mistake was that I was too young and hungry to be able to understand business when I was younger, so I kept getting screwed over in my endeavours. If you’re young and have an idea, don’t let your age stop you. Let it fuel you to do more. If someone says no to you, then talk to someone smarter. Anyone who is successful and self-made knows that someone young with an idea is usually the one who ends up with millions in their bank account by 30.
I remember countless times when I’d work with a brand for a TV segment and the most minor thing would happen and I’d never get paid. The brand knew I was young and took advantage of that.
How’d I solve that? Simple. A contract. Take my mistakes from being young and utilize them. Age will be a faint thought in your memory if you do.