“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” — Mohandas Gandhi
There will forever be a stigma within the workspace that the youngest worker in the office is the most unqualified, improper, and unprofessional individual in the room. An issue that sets impractical standards that the youngest member is inferior to the rest of the team. Even if the member is brought in to be different. To change the mentality of others and master how to lead the business to a higher standard that cannot be reached by the rest of the team. Employees are creatures of habit. When one idea or mentality works, that is what sticks, repeating the same process over and over, ruining any security for innovation in the future. For a business to work a team needs diversity. If one member of the team is under-recognized for their achievements and what they bring to the table, then the work will never be as good of quality as independent workers.
To be able to pursue entrepreneurship no matter the age, race, or mentality, everything you bring to the table must be presented with the utmost confidence and respect for others. Yet, as a young entrepreneur how is that done? How can you keep your personality and new ideas in an environment when you are expected to continuously learn and be silent? Within the workspace and independent endeavors, the mentality stays the same.
Age Does Not Matter (Sometimes)
The best ideas have come from bizarre people, places, and conversations. Know that your opinion matters and that you can be a reason that a project instantly advances or changes for the better. You are coming into a space with new ideas and perspective that only you can comprehend before explaining. Do not let anyone tell you that your accomplishments cannot be credited or have little effect because of your age. Within the business world and entrepreneurship, age should be considered and taken the same way a mother acts when she is asked about her age. She is forever young at heart, but you never “know” her exact age.
When writing documents, emails, or promotions there is no reason that you should explain or define any information about your age or position within the company/ entrepreneurship unless you want to. All social media and online conversations should be at a professional level that there is no question about your age or professionalism.
Getting Your Foot In The Door
This also goes into the mentality that nobody is ever too busy to give advice. While it is expected for you to be quiet during a learning environment, that does not mean that you must be silent. Ask questions, people have always been in a situation that you have been in, made similar or the same mistakes that you are trying to work through. If you ask correctly, people want to see you succeed. To put yourself out there and ask the hard questions and face failure head on shows much more growth and confidence within your own trek than it does of acting like you know every solution to any dilemma that you face.
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist
The connections that you make throughout your journey will only benefit you in the end. As a young entrepreneur or employee, you reach an entirely different domain than the rest of your team in the workforce. Use that to your advantage. Connecting a college campus, high school, or just some of your peers into your work is crucial. Who else would better understand the struggles that you are going through other than your peers? Your target audience may be young within the time, yet you never know when one day they will start their own entrepreneurship company, be a benefit to you, or promote your own business. Advertising by word of mouth is just as crucial as social media advertising.
Your skill set
As a young employee you have an updated forte of skills that other workers do not have. Do not be afraid to be different because of those accomplishments, yet instead utilize them. Use your own personality within the space. Promote yourself, your personality is what got you hired in the company or carried you this far on your entrepreneur journey. You are an amazing asset to the team that should be represented adequately. One perfect example of this is technology and social media. It is one of the easiest, fastest, and largest form of advertising that promotes your product or idea to large consumer groups instantly. Which strangely enough is one of the least used forms of promotion within older age groups. Utilize Instagram, Facebook, and especially LinkedIn for personal and company advancements.