I would say that one of my biggest lessons in my twenties has been that the cliche “age is just a number” is all a game of perception. Your age can be a limitation if you allow it. I find that sometimes I fall into the false perceptions of society that I need to earn my keep and work my way up for a while because right now I am “too young” to be the top dog. Other times though, I am reminded that our generation is full of fresh and new ideas and there are already so many of us making a big name for ourselves. I may have the occasional limiting thought about age but I know that my age has nothing to do with what I can accomplish with my life.
This guest post was written by Nathan Snell an entrepreneurship & business development major about to graduate from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, a fitting degree for a Gen-Yer who started doing consultant work at age 11.
“This is the last e-mail I will send,” I thought, still debating whether I should make that final *click*, sending an e-mail to one of the most well known Radio Talk Show hosts in San Francisco, CA. I was 11, and Cynthia Oti had made an announcement on her show that she needed someone to create a website for her. Despite the jokes of my friends and the hesitant encouragement from my parents, I decided I was going to create Cynthia’s website. I found out the hard way that for an 11 year old, that would be a difficult decision to live with.
I’m sure we’ve all had a situation where we have the desire to challenge the odds. Not in a flippant way, but in a completely legitimate way. At first we are excited about our new found desire, this passion. We attack adversity to our passion head-on… for a while, at least. Then, for most of us, the criticism is too much as people tell us “You’ll never get there,” “you’re wasting your time,” or “you’re too young,” and we give up.
I hate to think of the times I’ve given up because those are all false, but most of all, “you’re too young” is false.
Being too young should never be an excuse for us to quit pursuing our desire to go against the odds, to do something incredible. With the struggle I have faced when I have gone against the odds, it makes me sad that age was ever a factor put into my mind, or anyone else’s. Doing something incredible is simply something that “too young” will never apply to.
With Cynthia, it turned out the last e-mail I would send was what it would take. The next time I spoke to her was in her office on the top floor of the Bank of America building in San Francisco.
I’d love to hear what kind of incredible things you all want to do either now, or in the future, so I can know what to expect!
Nathan, I think if you can put together a website at 11 I should never let myself think that maybe this business doesn’t want “some 26 year old” to develop their online branding.