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It’s called "Impostor Syndrome."
We don’t feel welcome to have the success or positive experience of others. We don’t feel welcome to be doing what we are doing, or what we want to do, because there’s something different about us – we’re younger, older, newer, more X, and less Y than those other people who are surely better than we are.
You might feel like an impostor as you consider starting a business or as you’ve just taken the leap toward entrepreneurship but you are actually right where you belong. Entrepreneurs come from all types of lifestyles, have all different sorts of ideas about business, and vary in their expertise.
Your skills, interests, and background are welcome in the business sphere, too. There’s something special about you that the world needs and this is your moment to prove – not to them, but to yourself – that your ideas and your hard work are valuable.
Let’s debunk the impostor syndrome myth by answering some of your most common questions:
Am I Too Young to Start a Business?
No way. While individuals under 18 will need help from adults to make their business possible, even kids can have successful business ideas, execute on those ideas, and earn money before they’re grown up!
If you’re a young person who has a business idea, there are tons of resources out there for you. Joining a mentorship program, networking online with other young entrepreneurs, and having a plan will earn you just as much success as adults.
If you’re a young adult who is fresh out of high school, still in college, or “under 30” and fear that you won’t be taken seriously, you’re mistaken. There are older adults who might scoff at your inexperience but they’re even more wrong and there are twice as many older adults who have been waiting for your product or service and will buy it without a question.
Young people are changing the face of our world every day and you could (should!) be one of them. While balancing your new adulthood and a business venture can be difficult, it will also be rewarding to start your career on your terms.
Am I Too Old to Start a Business?
Absolutely not – there’s no such thing as “too old” for anything. You have spent your life bringing value to the people around you and now is a time for you to pursue something that will impact your own legacy, benefit the community you hope to serve, and make YOU happy.
Your ideas are backed by years of experience in the world as a consumer and in your career – who wouldn’t want to hear what you have to say? While networking with younger people may teach you a few things about the constantly-changing sphere of technology in business, you will teach them a few things about patience and dedication.
A smart business that runs itself and brings dividends to you is also a great way to spend retirement and a beautiful asset to pass down someday.
I Don’t Have a Degree – Can I Start a Business?
Of course, you can! Education is a beautiful thing and it’s important to keep learning – but the world is a classroom.
There are webinars, individual courses, books, and conversations over coffee that will help you learn what you need to make your business possible and profitable.
You may choose to pursue college education later on – or you may not. It isn’t everyone’s path and that’s perfectly fine.
Can I Start a Business as a Stay at Home Parent?
Yes! We won’t lie – parenting and balancing ANYTHING else is very, very difficult. However, you have something special. The desire to be an entrepreneur comes from a place of determination and courage that isn’t for everyone.
You will always put your children first but part of doing so is showing them how to pursue their dreams, how to think outside the box, and how to believe in themselves. Demonstrating those qualities IS part of good parenting.
Can I Have a Full Time Job and Own a Business?
You can. If you want to dedicate yourself to your business, there may be a point where you must leave your full-time job and become a full-time entrepreneur.
You’ll know when the time is right. However, beginning to sell your products small-scale on Etsy, begin promoting your services on the side, or otherwise balance the two is possible and can be a great way to test the market before you’re all-in. T
he important thing is to make sure you still have time to rest, do what you enjoy, and spend time with loved ones. Even entrepreneurs need to recharge.
I’m Not Rich – Can I Be a Business Owner?
You can. There are many ways to fund your business that do not require self-funding. You can earn capital through a crowdfunding program, network with investors and venture capitalists, get a small-business loan, take on a partner with funding capabilities, or get creative.
You can also start businesses very lean. Some online sellers don’t keep inventory and make all products to-order, so the money comes in first. All you need to begin is the tools to create your product and an Etsy account.
For service businesses, you may only need the money for a website and any tools you may need to provide your services. As you begin to make money, you can invest it back into your business and grow slowly. You never have to be rich to start your dream.
I Have Never Managed Other People – Can I Own a Business?
You can. Some business owners never employ other people and work as “solopreneurs.” Those who do, learn and adapt to the challenge of management as they grow.
Every good manager had to learn and develop over time, and you will too! This is no reason to forfeit your dream. As long as you are open to learning and passionate about your business, your employees will be glad to work for you.
I’m Not Super Tech Savvy – Can I Start an Online Business?
Yes! You may need to delegate, budget for consultancy, or rely on simpler, more user-friendly platforms to build your website and conduct business online, but you can do this. Even brick-and-mortar businesses will need a website and some presence online to market themselves and not everyone who does this has the expertise to DIY.
There are fabulous graphic designers, web developers, e-commerce specialists, and digital marketers out there who can help you make your vision possible online and – bonus! – many of them are small business owners themselves.
You can support each other, trade ideas, and even barter for services. The world is more supportive of new business owners like you than you might think!
SO, what’s stopping you?
You will know when it is the right time to launch your business and there’s no reason to delay. Even if you’re waiting on more flexibility, more money, or more support you can begin ideating, networking, and planning right this minute!