5 Young CEOs to Inspire You

by / ⠀Startup Advice / June 7, 2013

You want to be a CEO before you turn 30, but sometimes, you may start to lose faith. The road ahead seems like a long, uphill battle. You may start to think that 30 is too soon to accomplish what you want to accomplish — if you can accomplish it at all.

Many have been where you are and have found ways to push through it and meet their goals. In fact, many who are far younger than you have succeeded in realizing their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs. When you are feeling down and like all the odds are against you, think about some of these youngest CEOs to get you inspired and get back on track:

Harli Jordean

Image Credit: www.harlijordean.com

Image Credit: www.harlijordean.com

Harli is very serious about his marble collecting. So serious that he became the world’s youngest CEO at 8 years old after deciding to start his own company (with his family) to offer the kind of specialty marbles that he wasn’t able to find online for his collecting endeavors. The company, Land of Marbles, offers some marbles that cost up to $1,000.

Harli is proof that age doesn’t matter when it comes to developing a successful business idea — the only thing that matters is your passion. He also shows the importance of finding a need and filling it. His company isn’t doing anything innovative or ground-breaking. It just offers marbles — but they are marbles that others weren’t offering. Exclusivity can help your company find success.

Sindhuja Rajaraman

Image Credit: www.iseeindia.com

Image Credit: www.iseeindia.com

When she was only 9, Sindhuja learned how to draw from her cartoonist father. At 14, she became the world’s second youngest CEO with her company Seppan, which produces animation in Chennai, India. The company has 10 other employees and creates short films. Sindhuja says she still plans to attend film school one day.

Like Harli Jordean, Sindhuja shows that the most important thing you need to be successful is your passion. She didn’t have years and years of experience in her field. She only learned how to draw a few years earlier, but her zeal helped her develop her talents quickly. She shows us all that we just need to commit to what we love and it can be successful.

Mark Zuckerberg

Image Credit: www.wikipedia.com

Image Credit: www.wikipedia.com

By the time he was 23 years old, he was a billionaire — and all because he helped start a little social network from his dorm room. Now that “little” social network has become one of the world’s leading sites. Facebook has over 1 billion active monthly users, and Zuckerbeg has a net worth of about $13 billion. Not bad for an operation that started on a shoe string!

Zuckerberg is a great role model for entrepreneurs everywhere, and businesses can learn much from his model. He didn’t offer anything new. MySpace was already doing what Facebook was doing. What he did was create demand by creating exclusivity. He limited access to Facebook, making it a sought-after commodity.

David Karp

Image Credit: www.forbes.com

Image Credit: www.forbes.com

Karp is the man behind the popular blogging platform Tumblr, which is valued at $800 million. Karp launched Tumblr when he was only 20, and the service took off within a matter of weeks. Now the 26-year-old CEO has a net worth of more than $200 million.

Karp is another example of a CEO who found success not by doing anything particularly innovative, but by finding a need and filling it. There were other blogging platforms when Tumblr was started. He recognized the need for a different format to appeal to those who wanted a short-form blogging platform but who were too limited by Twitter.

Jared Hecht

Image Credit: college.columbia.edu

Image Credit: college.columbia.edu

Jared Hecht helped found GroupMe, a group text-messaging service. He co-founded the company when he was 23 and sold it to Skype one year later for about $80 million. Not bad for one year of work as a CEO!

Again, Hecht is a great example of an entrepreneur who found a way to take something that was already available and to make it better. He also shows that you don’t need to build your company over many years to be successful. If you have a good idea, you can develop it and sell it to someone else who can turn it into something more.

It is easy to feel discouraged at times — especially when your career or your start-up plans just aren’t going as expected. It’s good to look to others who have blazed the trail before you to remind yourself that the seemingly impossible can be done with the right passion and dedication. Keep these young entrepreneurs in mind the next time you tell yourself that you can’t do something!

Kelly Opferman is a seasoned writer who at this time focuses on her autoloancalculator.org site. Her educational background includes finance, teaching, and economics.

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.