When someone makes the conscious decision of becoming an Entrepreneur, he or she is making a life changing decision. Being an Entrepreneur requires dedication, time, work and much more. It has many positive aspects and just like everything in life, it has also negative qualities. In many senses it is a big gamble that can lead us to the path of success, although this usually takes time. Summing up, Entrepreneurship is an excellent journey but one that must be carefully analyzed before taking the plunge.
In my 29 years, almost half of them as an Entrepreneur I’ve spoken and known many entrepreneur colleagues. Their backgrounds are quite diverse. Some started as entrepreneurs at a very early age, just like me. Others decided to wait some years and have more life experience. With this in mind, I’ve asked myself and I know it is in other peoples mind, when is the perfect time to become an entrepreneur? It is not an easy question to answer, as it has many aspects to answer. In the following lines I’ll try to answer this question, at least in the form of a first approach.
First of all and as I already stated, entrepreneurship can be a gamble. You can be very successful or fail (although I believe that failing is something that in the long run is positive as part of life’s learning process) and this situation must be seriously considered. For instance, if you are the head of your family and you provide most of the income, you have to analyze this risk. In this case, you must have a plan, where you have enough money for your family and also money to start your business. At the beginning you might not receive any cash and this situation can go on for several months, even years.
I became an entrepreneur at a very young age for several reasons and one of them is that I realized that being young I had fewer responsibilities and that if I failed earlier, I could reach success sooner. Well this is exactly what happened and I’m glad I did start so young. I’m still young and I’m on the ongoing process of building my career as an entrepreneur and it will take me several additional years. Currently I’m not married, I don’t have kids and I don’t have any big responsibility, so I believe I have made the right decision.
Two aspects to take into account are responsibilities and money. It might be easier at a young age. However if you are older and have this type of responsibilities, all you have to do is create a plan. For example, if after a predetermined lapse of time you haven’t accomplish your goals, then have an exit strategy, for instance returning to your job as an employee. Also, you might want to complement your entrepreneur tasks with a job that doesn’t take up all of your time. This alternative can provide some income and make the transition easier.
Another aspect that must be analyzed is reputation or the name you build for yourself. Many business projects rely on the reputation of their owners. This implies that very young people might have a disadvantage that older entrepreneurs might not have. I’ve seen this as a very important aspect, not only for doing business but also for acquiring capital.
A third component to measure in is knowledge. In this, some areas require very young people and others require people with tons of experience. For example, in some IT areas, the knowledge brought by someone who has graduated in the last years can be more appreciated than someone with many years of experience. On the other hand, subjects like financial planning and financial resources might prefer someone with experience.
There are other aspects to take into account, many more. However, the idea of this article was to introduce a couple of aspects that must be analyzed before going into entrepreneurship. There is no perfect age or time to become an entrepreneur and at the end it’s a personal decision. My recommendation is to weigh in the pros and cons and decide if at any given time, Entrepreneurship is right for you. If it’s not, then keep working as usual and make the changes so this can happen in the future