There really isn’t any age to become an entrepreneur. If you have a great idea, zeal, and determination, you can step into the world to realize your dreams and make your venture a success. Indeed, we have seen many young entrepreneurs make waves in the business world. But there’s one problem every young founder faces. Bigwigs hardly ever take you seriously when you are young.
A lot of young entrepreneurs don’t wait for their MBA programs to embark on their professional journey. And it’s pretty clear that the world is still pretty suspicious about the intentions and commitment of millennials.
Their lack of professional experience is always a soft point. So, how can you expect things to be any different and be treated with respect as a young founder? Luckily, it’s quite possible to turn things around for yourself.
Being Taken Seriously as A Young Founder: What You Must Know
Talk to a young founder of even the most successful business venture, and they would always comment on how they were treated with contempt and reluctance during their initial days. Indeed, sometimes, young entrepreneurs have to face blatant disrespect, too, many due to their age.
Before we talk about how you can be taken seriously as a young founder, we have to make one crucial point. Instead of being apprehensive about your age, you can always look for ways to leverage it for your benefit.
Being a young founder, you can emphasize how you are brimming with fresh ideas and can bring some excitement to an otherwise stagnant industry. Instead of letting others look down on you due to age, you can show them how your age can be advantageous.
Now, let’s determine how you can instill respect in others as a young founder.
1. Have In-Depth Knowledge of Your Field
If you want to earn respect as a young founder, you have to break the common misconception that you are an amateur who doesn’t know what they’re doing. You must know your stuff and that too in immense detail.
Irrespective of the age at which you venture into the business world, you have to understand the business in and out. Learn about the industry, model, and strategy even before you start.
If you are making presentations for investors, prepare extra slides. Typically investors are pretty sure that they can get the better of a young founder. You have to prove them wrong. Be prepared for ample questions and know every answer.
Prove it to everyone that you aren’t some kid who has taken a shine to the corporate world. Show them you mean business. Plus, prepare for what lies ahead!
While trying to get investors on board, don’t let them dictate the terms. It’s your job to get a good deal. And that would only be possible if you don’t let them use your age to their benefit.
2. Select Your Investors Carefully
As a young founder, you will inevitably have to find investors to fund your business venture. But no one will take you seriously if you don’t select your investors carefully. Keep in mind that the investor isn’t only a source of money. He can add much more value to your venture than you realize.
Perhaps your investor can fill a particular role. Maybe you can find an investor who would critique your business and show you how to move forward with maximum profits. Some investors even help entrepreneurs determine their future course.
Young founders often tend to accept funds for their business from anyone without taking other factors into account. But if you want to prove to the world you know what you are doing, it’s best to deal with investors who will add value to your startup.
3. Prove Your Mettle
A young founder treated with complete respect on their first day at work is hard to come by. You need to prove your worth. You can’t expect others to have faith and trust in you. After all, you have no experience. And people believe that the younger generation is more likely to make rash decisions. Give them some time.
Focus on your work. Prove to potential clients, partners, and investors that your business has the ability to deliver with perfection. Develop a systematic and strategic way to move forwards. Remember, you will have to earn trust among your peers.
Of course, your attitude matters the most. Even if you are a young founder just starting out, present yourself as the most successful person. Don’t let how you dress give away your age. Always dress professionally and focus on making a profound first impression on your investors, clients, and partners. You have to inspire confidence.
Every Young Founder Gets The Opportunity to Shine!
It’s easy for investors and clients to be distracted by your age. But in the end, no one remembers the number but your conduct. Who will know how old you are if you act beyond your years?
So even if you are a young founder, make sure to conduct yourself with maturity. You have to show others that you are capable of handling the pressure. Dress in business attire and let your demeanor speak about your confidence.
We get it! As a young founder, you are brimming with enthusiasm and ideas. At such times, being treated with disdain can feel like a setback. But this too shall pass. Surround yourself with older people with more experience. When your name holds up with them, it will enhance your credibility too. Remember, it’s in your power to use your age to your benefit!