A Youthful Advantage

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Young entrepreneurs have a huge potential advantage over older more seasoned business people.

“What?” you say? “We all know that experience is the best teacher, and experience comes with time and age.”

But experience can also teach us to fear; to play it safe by tried and proven methods. Experience can condition us to miss the moment. Instead of being consciously aware of our circumstance and its potential, we file our experience in the, “seen this, done that” category.

This lack of awareness can be fatal. If we take the moment for granted, we take ourselves for granted as well. We lose touch with the essence of our creativity and personal genius — our fuel for true success in business and in life.

Turning the clock back

Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

“So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the pith of a man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours”

Those few hours are most evident in youth. Youth has not yet had time to consider the world routine. In youth we can access our creative genius; our personal way of seeing, and creatively use circumstance to express ourselves.

Creative individualism, coupled with the self-belief of youth, will transform the most stressful times into positive energy and opportunities for growth.

Thank goodness for the lack of experience in young entrepreneurs. Without the road map garnered from decades of personal experience, they instead rely on their self-belief and innovation; qualities the business world desperately needs.

It is not easy being a young entrepreneur. There is a lack of respect and credibility from the older business community and from financial institutions, a lack of respect from older employees, and a lack of funds to launch the business. Overcoming these obstacles in a healthy way requires individuality, fire, and creativity; youthful qualities that are accessible to all of us.

Yes, contrary to common belief, the clock can be turned back to recapture our youth — our youthful qualities that is. The wisdom lines are less optional. Those we must keep, and hopefully we earn them.

So what can the young entrepreneur do to capitalize on his or her greatest asset and what can the rest of us do to revitalize it?

Start with a strong commitment to personal development, and then add the following six ingredients:

Self Knowledge

Make sure you know who you are before you venture into a business or career. Ensure the business matches your aptitudes and personality. You must be passionate to succeed and react positively to stress. If you are already in a business that is less than ideal and it is not practical to change, then infuse more of your character into what you do and how you do it.

Self Belief

Once you have decided on who you are, believe in yourself. Self-belief empowers you to bring your visions into physical form, regardless of opposition. It is your entrance ticket to partake in life at its fullest.

Awareness

Take yourself off automatic, and look with fresh eyes at the world around you every moment of the day. The world is far richer than we allow ourselves to see. Extend this awareness to how your body feels; relax; breathe deeply, and see how the world transforms.

Creativity and Imagination

These are the cornerstones of your personal genius. Cultivate them with care at every opportunity. Enjoy using them; they are your means to create your business just as you want it — not as tradition or common opinion dictate.

Courage

You must develop the courage to put the foregoing into action. One of the biggest fears to overcome is the fear of failure. Put failure into perspective. So-called failure is just a refinement process; use it repeatedly if necessary to change and evolve your business direction and ideas.

Personal Growth

Recognize that if you have put the previous five ideas into action, your business is an extension of yourself. You grow as a person as your business grows. Instead of a route to an untimely demise, your business will become your route to self-actualization.

Let’s celebrate our youth. Get in touch with that youthful spark of creative genius within you, and let it shine as vision and innovation, in business and in life.

To quote Emerson once more…

“The true romance which the world exists to realize will be the transformation of genius into practical power.”

Over to you now…?

11 thoughts on “A Youthful Advantage

  1. Lance

    There is much truth in this. The older we get, the less we are willing to “chance it”. In general. We play it safe. Take the road we know. Follow the rules. Don’t color outside the lines. And why? Because that’s comfortable to us. But, then, are we doing the things we are passionate about? Probably not. Because they don’t fit to the statements above.

    So, I will try better to follow the six ingredients you’ve listed. Because I want my life to be great. I want to delve into the passions I have. I want to make a difference. So, I will remain young! Maybe not in age, but in all other aspects.

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s really a great reminder of living the life we desire.

  2. Bruce Keener

    Good post, John.

    For the youthful, I would also emphasize: take advantage of your energy. You have boundless energy compared to what you will have in your later years. Work at it 20 hours a day. Your body can handle it and your brain doesn’t exhaust as easily as it will.

    Also, do it before you have “too much to lose.” The problem that oldsters like me get into with entrepreneuring is that we have a lot to lose. Yes we have more material wealth that we can apply, but we also have more to lose.

    So, take John’s good advice and go for it!

  3. John Rocheleau Post author

    Lance: What you said about the older we get, the less willing we are to chance it, is very true. When we do chance it though all of our juices begin flowing, and when that happens, there’s no telling what we might accomplish. Thanks for dropping in.

    Bruce: I hear you regarding the “too much to lose” syndrome of getting older. A little at a time though, even us older folks can “go for it” without risking the house in the process. But yes, for those that are young in years — now is the time to begin great things.

  4. Monica

    Your six keys are bang on for any age.

    I only wish I had this perspective when I was younger and full of time and energy! That’s the way it goes though. Even though I spent way too many hours lazing around and being self absorbed in my youthful ideals, age has been a much greater catalyst for me.

    Out of your keys, I think self belief and courage to act have been the most important for me, the rest then tends to fall in line a little easier once I have made the decision to move forward.

  5. Shilpan | successsoul.com

    John – I agree with Monica that confidence and courage to act are two most important keys for the success in business. I have been in the business for almost 10 years now. I have made more mistakes than success but I try not to repeat the same mistake so that overall effect of success overshadows all of my failures.

  6. banji - Lesson In Life

    One thing from my youth that I hope to have forever is the energy. I immediately feel old saying this. 🙂

    Anyway, I’m not so sure where those energy come from, but we are very aggressively energetic being a youth. Things look so different when you are excited about everything.

    Nice tips to turn back time John

  7. Edward

    I love your outlook; It’s one that I’m only now trying to grasp at. I see people every day who are younger and more successful than myself though sometimes I wonder what they sacrificed for that..

    I want to continue to seize the moment–every day–until I no longer can. I want to continue taking chances. Now if only I can convince my girlfriend (your colleague and reader, who coincidentally got me hooked on your words) that life is too short to live in our self-imposed shackles.

  8. John Rocheleau Post author

    Edward,

    You are so right; the shackles we wear are homemade. We have spent a good deal of our energy fashioning them, not realizing quite what we were creating perhaps – but the fact remains that we hold the key, and we can choose to discard them.

    Choices that honor our spirit, and the spirit of others, lights the path to success, and happiness.

    Those choices are often contrary to common direction, but if we apply them intelligently, and if we’re willing to do the work, then we might just create an exciting and beautiful life for ourselves 🙂

  9. Brandi Magill

    Awesome post John! The older we get the more we let our fears set in which ultimately causes us the fail.

    I just wrote a similar post about failure thru the eyes of a two year old. I really enjoyed your useful keys to make better choices in our lives.

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