My name is Mike Podesto.
In 2015, when I was 22 years old, I thought it would be a good idea to start a business.
What I didn’t know then, that I know now, and continue to learn is, running a business is not easy.
Here’s what you can expect as a 20-something-year-old business owner.
1. People will doubt you.
2. You will be discriminated against.
3. You will overwork yourself.
4. You will face dissapointment.
5. It will all be worth it.
Let me explain what I mean…
1. People will doubt you
Unfortunately, it can be hard to trust a 20-something-year-old founder.
It wasn’t long ago that we were shotgunning beers. And really it’s only been about 20-something-years since we were getting our dirty diapers changed.
Most of the people who know you are going to be surprised at the idea of you starting a business.
“You are going to quit your job and do what!?”
It’s usually the people who know you best that are the most shocked, and sadly sometimes the least supportive.
But you can’t blame then, can you? Your closest friends and family have seen every stupid thing you’ve done.
Don’t worry about it. This is totally normal. Doubt can be a great motivator. Go out and prove them wrong!
For those of you who have only received support and praise for starting a business, your friends and family are some real keepers!
2. You will be discriminated against
Yes. If you are in your 20s and starting a business, prepare to be discriminated against.
Whether it’s your peers, competitors, customers, or employees, age discrimination is inevitable.
“You’ve hardly lived enough life to be starting a business!”
Despite the negative things people might say about you being young, it’s important to remember that many of the world’s greatest companies were started by men and women in their 20s.
Apple, Facebook, Virgin Records, Tumblr, and so many more companies were founded by 20-something-year-olds.
Age is not a limiting factor for the 21st century entrepreneur.
3. Prepare to overwork yourself
The early days of starting a business require a lot of work.
You’ll find yourself working 10-12 hour work days regularly.
Any good entrepreneur will know exactly what I am talking about.
The funny thing is, only about 10% of your work will be kept. The other 90% will be discarded within a year.
There is so much trial and error required when starting a business that it’s easy to get lost in the infinite black hole of work.
I’m here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Many people will tell you that running a business is all about balance. The proper mix of work and life.
While that’s great long-term, the reality is that starting a successful business requires a ton of effort.
It’s ok to work 10-12 hour days. In fact, I think it’s necessary in the beginning.
Now, that’s not to say I recommend doing this forever. At some point, you will want to sit back and relax while you enjoy the self-sufficient business you have created.
But that takes time. Don’t expect this to happen overnight. I’m 5-years into my journey and I still am not writing to you from my private island.
4. You will face disappointment
Without sounding too grim, running a business is filled with disappointment.
That’s not to say it’s not also filled with a ton of joys. But it’s important to understand that it’s not all unicorns and rainbows.
Since 2015, we have seen record highs and record lows. We have endured competitor harassment, lawsuits, layoffs, and so much more.
You should not expect smooth sailing. Instead, hold on for the roughest waters you’ve ever seen.
Running a business is not for the faint of heart. It’s for the modern-day warrior who will fight for what he/she believes in.
5. It will all be worth it
Running a business as a 20-something-year-old will cause you to stress, consume your time, and show you new lows.
The good news is, it will all be worth it.
Starting a business was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I could never see myself going back to the corporate world.
I can’t explain it. It’s not very logical. But if you are meant to be an entrepreneur then it is all just worth it.
You would not want to have it any other way.