I started my first official business at the age of 17. Now, at just 21 years old, I've gained four years of experience and have a handful of businesses under my belt. Nevertheless, I still deal with many of the common misconceptions that young entrepreneurs field.
From my experiences and connections in the entrepreneurial community, I have learned a lot about these myths. Here are five of them:
1. They Are Trust Fund Babies
When I first became an entrepreneur, many people asked me what my parents did and how wealthy they were. For some reason, everyone assumed that it was impossible to start a business without a huge backing. When I started my first business, I had absolutely no money. I hustled to get the resources I needed to succeed.
As it turns out, I'm not the only one. Most young entrepreneurs aren't trust fund babies, blowing Mommy and Daddy's money. They usually come from families of mediocre or little wealth. To be a young entrepreneur, you need passion and desire — not just money in a bank account.
2. They Are Going To Fail
There is nothing wrong with failure, but many people assume it to be the fate of young entrepreneurs. Not only was I profitable with my first company — I ended up selling it after running it for two years.
I have many friends who have raised a lot of funding, sold companies and revolutionized industries. Too many people count out young entrepreneurs because they lack experience or are too “immature.” However, young entrepreneurs are proving this myth wrong on a daily basis.
3. They Do It For The Money
When I first started out, I became an entrepreneur for two reasons. I did it because I was tired of working the jobs I'd had and thought I could make a lot more money doing something on my own. Even though many people are attracted to the idea of entrepreneurship due to money, very few people are successful when they focus solely on the green paper.
I quickly realized that money is the most elusive object — chase it and you can't find it. So forget about the money — focus on passion and creating value only to see that money starts chasing you. Young entrepreneurs do not do it for the money. Instead, they do it because they are passionate.
4. Startups Are All Born In Ivy League Dorm Rooms
After “The Social Network” was released, many people began assuming that all young entrepreneurs launched startups out of their dorm rooms from an Ivy League school. While it is true that many startups are launched in Ivys, so many successful companies are launched elsewhere.
An innumerable amount of young entrepreneurs dropped out of college or graduated from a smaller school with a great idea. Genius can be born anywhere and young entrepreneurs come from places outside of prestigious universities.
5. All They Do Is Party
Media platforms have a lot to do with this one. They like to showcase successful entrepreneurs who are enjoying the rewards they reaped from their hard work. However, entrepreneurs cannot be successful if they start out with lavish lifestyles. In fact, they end up working very hard for many years, enabling them to reach this pinnacle of success. Young entrepreneurs are some of the hardest working individuals out there and they do a lot more than just party.
Those were just the five biggest myths that I have encountered. What are some myths that you have dealt with as a young entrepreneur?