Why Startup Young?

Monday, 12 December 2011 Written by Puneet Lakhi

EntreRev Young EntrepreneurOpinion

Now or Never

It is now more feasible than ever for young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Rather than traditional brick and mortar stores which require a lot of capital, online companies today can be created through a little bit of capital and an idea, making starting up a lot less risky.

However, too many college students and recent graduates don’t even consider full-time entrepreneurship seriously. Many young entrepreneurs cite the risks involved, along with personal doubts and concerns as a barrier to starting their own business.

These are valid concerns that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to tackle, but the early twenties is arguably the best time to start a business. Felix Dennis, the founder of Maxim Magazine and Dennis Publishing, states in his book How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets, that one of the advantages that younger people have over others is that they have the least to lose out of any other age group. Primarily, young entrepreneurs haven’t been hooked by the addictiveness of the stability of the regular paycheck, something he argues is “more addictive than crack cocaine.”

For those who want to break their bond from “wage slavery”, as Felix Dennis calls it, the steady paycheck can become a crucial barrier to taking the leap, since expenses typically rise as you get older. While the college student or recent graduate can work out of his dorm room or parents' basement, those with families and mortgage payments rely on a steady income or savings to be able to support themselves through the startup phase, during which expenses typically outweigh income.

Speaking in economic terms, as you gets older, the opportunity cost of quitting a steady job to devote to an entrepreneurial venture full time increases. The person in his 30s will likely have worked through a few pay raises and promotions, and entrenched himself into a career path, while the fresh graduate has yet to prove himself in the workforce, and can likely only gain from taking on an entrepreneurial venture. Even more, a recent graduate has nothing to lose, because in the worst case scenario that his venture fails and he needs to shut down, he can always go back out there and find an entry level position, having gained valuable experience along the way.

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