The traditional narrative for entrepreneurs is a step-by-step process that generally looks something like this:
- Get a degree
- Get a job
- Build a network
- Save some “seed capital”
- Start your business
If you are a university student or a recent graduate in Nigeria, you may be wondering if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The instincts of majority will tell them a capital NO and the reasons are not far-fetched.
Firstly, we carry a vague mentality that Businesses are for older adults going by our traditional trend. Secondly, majority have been drowned in the belief that we need to serve before we become bosses of our own. This is believed to help learn business etiquettes, gather enough business experience and also save funds for future startups which to an extent is not wrong but is very limiting. In your early adulthood, you have enough time to learn and explore varieties with very little responsibilities to behold.
Highlighted below are some reasons why you should start up a business in your twenties;
1. Your personal expenses are likely very low
If you’re still living with your parents, you’re probably not paying rent every month. Even if you’ve already moved out, you’re probably renting a small apartment and maybe even splitting the rent with a roommate or two. You might have a car, but it’s probably not an expensive one. Whatever the case is, you’re definitely not spending as much on your monthly expenses as someone who is supporting a family, paying off a mortgage, saving for retirement, etc.
Having minimal personal expenses is a major advantage as a startup entrepreneur. It means you can take less money out of your business to support your lifestyle, and keep that money in your business to fund its growth.
2. Technology is your friend
You grew up with technology. It’s familiar to you. You use all kinds of different devices on a daily basis and when something new comes out, you’re all over it. New technology excites you, and learning to use a new program or app comes naturally to you. Technology doesn’t scare you like it does some of the veterans in business today who are reluctantly beginning to utilize it.
More importantly, the technology that is available today enables you to achieve so much more for your business for incredibly low costs. Websites can be set up for under N40,000. Calls can be made worldwide for free. Emails can be checked from a phone. You can do things today that you simply could not have done 10 years ago without spending thousands of Naira, if at all.
3. If you’re in college or university, you have access to resources other entrepreneurs don’t
If you’re a student with an idea for a business, now is the time to vocalize it. There are numerous organizations that love to support students, financially and otherwise. You have access to mentors, infrastructure, resources, and funding that is exclusive to students. You would be wise to take advantage of this. Some of your classmates might be suitable business partners, and some of your instructors might be suitable mentors.
4. You’re not totally limited by inexperience
Experience is not always an advantage in business besides, what do we have mentors for? Older, more experienced individuals often have to unlearn the ways of doing things that simply don’t work in today’s marketplace. You don’t have that problem. You have not yet accumulated a bunch of beliefs or habits that could work against you. You bring a fresh perspective to your endeavors. You have a degree of naiveté that may actually work in your favor. You believe you can succeed, because you have no evidence to believe otherwise.
5. You have fewer personal commitments
Unlike some of the individuals you may end up competing against, you have few personal commitments. Especially if you’re in your early twenties, you probably aren’t married and you probably don’t have kids yet either. This means you have more time to devote to your business.
It’s much easier to give up a night of partying or watching a game than it is to give up time with your family. Give up the things that don’t matter much anyway now, and devote every possible hour to building your business. If you do it right, one day your business will reward you with an abundance of time and money to spend on the things that are most important to you, like travelling or spending time with your spouse or children.
6. Finding talent has never been easier or more inexpensive
What you lack in experience you can make up for in team building. The world is your talent pool, and the cost of hiring people is extremely competitive. Thanks to the internet, you can find highly skilled individuals from various countries throughout the world. You can hire them on a temporary basis for specific projects or permanently for specific roles.
If you haven’t already, you’d be wise to check out websites such as Upwork to find the talent you need for your next project. Fiverr is another excellent resource offering thousands of different services at a cost of $5 per gig.
7. Time is on your side
They say it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. This is disputable of course, and there are many examples of individuals who have built incredibly successful businesses in less time. But the point is this: behind every success story is a specific process, a series of events that led to that success. This process cannot be avoided. You must go through it. There is no shortcut.
The countdown to your eventual success as an entrepreneur begins the day you get started. Many entrepreneurs fail several times before they finally succeed. Doesn’t it make sense to get those failures over and done with while you’re in your twenties instead of in your thirties, forties, or even fifties? Take action now. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will reap the rewards.