“I don’t give a sh*t if you’re 19 or 91 – if you can deliver the results I’m looking for, we’re good.” – Angel Investor
Misconception #1: AGE
It’s either you’re too young, or you’re too old. Some people feel like they’re not old enough (or experienced) to start something and other people feel like it’s too late to get started because they’ve passed their “prime” (in their mind). It’s my belief that making an idea become a reality (what entrepreneurship is, really) can happen at any stage of your life – but, whether or not you take the leap and build the courage to execute is up to you.
Through this article, you’ll meet 6 entrepreneurs, 3 of whom are below the age of 30, and 3 above the age of 30. At first glance, it may seem that what they’ve been able to accomplish is unattainable – but just like you, they started with an idea from scratch. It’s only through hustle, hard work, and determination/consistency that they were able to create something tangible.
3 successful entrepreneurs who started early:
- Catherine Cook (20 yrs old): at the age of 18 yrs old, she created MyYearBook.com (think Facebook mixed with College Reunion) and made most of her money through advertising revenue which the site generated. Worth an estimated $30 million.
- Peter Cashmore (24 yrs old): CEO and founder of the website, Mashable.com – the leading media company for the connected generation and the voice of digital culture, which launched in 2005. The site now has over 10 million readers monthly and is set to have even more by the end of the year. Worth an estimated $70 million.
- Sean Belnick (22 yrs old): started his own business at 14yrs old which emerged into Bizchair – an internet retailer of office furniture with clients like Google and Microsoft. Worth an estimated $50 million.
3 successful entrepreneurs who were “late to the game”:
- Stan Lee: after years trying to make his comic books a success, Stan launched his first successful series ‘The Fantastic Four’ in 1961. Eventually, he partnered up with Jack Kirby to create the Marvel characters we all love. Stan was 39 years old when he started amassing success. Worth an estimated $50 million.
- Leo Goodwin: worked as an accountant in Texas in the 30’s and realized that insurance needed some disruption. So, at the age of 50, Leo founded GEICO in D.C. By the end of his first year, he had 12 people on staff and 3,700 policies enacted. Today, GEICO employes 27,000 people with over 14 million policyholders. Worth an estimated $7.3 billion.
- Carol Gardner: she was 52 years old, newly divorced and broke – you’d think that the last thing on someone’s mind in such a predicament would be to start a company. After getting a dog (at her therapist’s recommendation), Carol won a Christmas card contest with a picture of the dog and a funny joke – or what us Millennials call ‘a meme’. Winning the contest inspired Carol to start a greeting card company which she named Zelda Wisdom. Worth an estimated $50 million.
Takeaway: if you’re reading this and you’re in between wanting to start something but are hesitant because of fear of what might happen, or doubt in what you’re capable of – hopefully, the examples inspire you to at least try. Don’t live with regret, go out there and get what’s yours!