4 Lessons For Young Entrepreneurs

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Personal Branding Startup Advice / September 22, 2013


Doesn’t it just kill ya?  Here you are, you know your stuff, you’ve got 5-10 years of experience and a track record of results to prove it and still, you just know that some potential clients are simply not taking you seriously.

Well, I feel your pain and not because I’m in the same boat as you (Mmm, my “kids” are 26 and 29 so that gives you some idea!) but because once upon a time I too was in my twenties and starting a business and wanted, no needed, to win clients of all ages.

27 years later and I am still running that very same business and people no longer consider me “too young” to take seriously.  Now that I’m the one getting pitched by the “younger” generation I know what works…and what doesn’t…for all of us that have “been there, done that.”

Here’s a little roadmap. Sure it might seem to be common sense but trust me, it isn’t:

Just because we’re older, doesn’t mean we’re clueless about technology.

Don’t make assumptions that we’re not able to open files, download documents and handle life in the digital space. I was recently pitched by a financial advisor that asked me if I was online. (REALLY? I guess they never looked online and learned that I actually do training on social media!)

You might have lots of good experience but recognize that someone 10, 15, 20 years your senior will have more!

Sure they might not have experience in your specific field but they have life and business experience gained through their years and it should be acknowledged appropriately.  There is nothing more galling than being pitched by a young person that is crowing about the scope of their experience yet forgetting that it is not “all about them” but all about the potential client! Stop going on and on about yourself; it just makes you look and sound insecure!

See also  5 Things You Need to Know to Take Your HR Global

Be real.

You’re 25 and unless you jumped into the workforce at 10 there is only so much that you could have accomplished by this point. Understand that I am not minimizing your successes and track record. It’s just that we (older people) start to glaze over when the list goes on for too long and your credibility, well, that goes out the window too.

Speak like an adult…or maybe I mean an “older” adult.

I’ve been pitched by 20 somethings that slip up and say wazzup and then quickly counter with a more business appropriate statement.  That’s fine but the damage is done. In any sales situation you always want to be speaking in the same vernacular as your prospect. Remember that you are trying to make a good impression and persuade someone to buy or take action of some sort. You’re NOT looking for a new BFF or best bud.

What more can I say?  Enjoy this time. The years go by quickly and pretty soon there will be younger newbies pitching you. Trust me. It happens very fast!

Adrian Miller is a business strategist, author and sales consultant. As President and Founder of Adrian Miller SalesTraining she has worked with thousands of companies and individuals looking to expand their business and market share. 

Related Post: 7 Tips for Startup Success

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


Get Funded Faster!

Proven Pitch Deck

Signup for our newsletter to get access to our proven pitch deck template.