"Wow, you're young!"
I celebrated my 21st birthday yesterday, marking the official start of my journey as an adult. Sometimes, I wish I was just a little older.
As the founder of my own digital marketing blog, I share tips to build and grow online businesses from scratch with new online entrepreneurs. Everyday, I interact with older individuals from all walks of life. Some are old enough to be my parents or even grandparents. Most are perfectly fine with my age as my work brings traffic, subscribers, and profits.
But occasionally, I will meet a few people who do not believe that I have what it takes - and they lose out. In today's digital age, anybody with the passion and skill can make it. Young millennial entrepreneurs are becoming founders of breakthrough start-ups, from Facebook to Tumblr to Spotify. What does it take for young entrepreneurs to prove their expertise and experience?
Here are 4 lessons I learnt from being discriminated, and how I got over it and emerged more successful than ever.
1. Make a List of Your Relevant Achievements and Do Not Be Afraid to Parade It.
If someone challenges you on the basis of your age, refer to your list of achievements and tell them what you have done. That will convince them that you have done what they need. The best way to tackle any discrimination would be to prove to them that you can bring the results, and referring to how you were able to do so in the past is a great way to start.
2. Ignore the Critics, But Learn From Constructive Criticism
Some people may become jealous of what you have accomplished at a young age. Others provide constructive criticism, which will help fix the holes that you may have overlooked. Learning to discern between the former and the latter would allow you to grow exponentially fast while remaining undeterred by naysayers.
3. Turn Your Age Into An Advantage
In an industry full of older entrepreneurs, position your age as an advantage rather than a handicap. Young entrepreneurs are perceived to be full of passion, innovative ideas and enthusiasm. These are universal traits that everyone loves. Do not be afraid to think out of the box and move your business fast.
Do not be afraid to email or interact with people in the same industry who you look up to. Most are more than willing to mentor young individuals with the passion, grit and determination.
4. Be Confident
Your age does not really matter if you are confident. If you do not feel confident, figure out what is causing your subconscious fear and tackle it. Meditate regularly and provide more value than anyone else in your industry. Aggressively promote yourself and be clear of your strengths. Unshakeable confidence would result in people trusting you as you can trust yourself.
Bringing It All Together
These are the 4 biggest lessons I have learnt that have helped me leverage on my young age and get over any disadvantages that my age would bring. Do not be afraid to promote yourself, ignore the naysayers, turn your age into an advantage and be confident. You will be ready for success.