Building a Startup In Your 20’s: Benefits To Starting Early

small business might fail

Your 20’s are a great time to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow. At this point in your life, you face little long-term risks from the decisions you make. Change your major, a bunch of times and you merely delay graduation a year or so. Start a career and decide it isn’t for you and it’s no big deal as you can train for a different one. You have few expenses and you aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself. Your 20’s are also a great time for building a startup that sets you up for future success without exposing you to the types of risk faced by older entrepreneurs. Look at folks like Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook), and Matt Mullenweg (WordPress).

In your late teens and early 20’s, when these guys got their start, you don’t have a family to support (in fact, you often have your family to provide for your needs), you don’t have a mortgage and credit card payments, and your opportunities to earn a better income are limited. These all reduce the risk, making this a great time to consider building a startup.

building a startup

Naturally, in your 20’s most of you are in college and planning the future. Unlike the generation of your parents or grandparents, you have the benefit of technologies necessary for building a startup such as rapid prototyping tools, input from prospective customers from around the globe, and a low-cost means to market your products using digital marketing. If you are keen on building a prosperous future ahead, you can grow a business while your friends are out partying on Saturday nights.

The advantage of youth in building a startup

Most entrepreneurs and successful billionaires emphasize the importance of youth and the vast opportunities represented by starting early. Especially in this age of rapid technological advancements and online businesses, there are many things you can use to invest your time well and set you up for a promising future. There is a competitive advantage to building a startup that focuses on digital marketing and online technology.

You could easily create the next Facebook, become a social media influencer, or start up a fintech company from scratch. If you are of this age, you could even think about building a startup as a side hustle. For instance, I had a student who built an online business selling miniature NFL and college football helmet to fans. It was the perfect business as he carried no inventory and the supplier drop-shipped orders directly to customers. All he did was manage the website and the business took care of itself, giving him plenty of time to focus on coursework and earning a respectable income to fund his education.

Even if you are working a job, you can still be your own boss through a side hustle and, ultimately, grow your side hustle into a full-time job. Sites like Fiverr and Etsy act as a marketplace to help attract customers to your business. Meanwhile using eBay or Amazon lets you set up an online business fast and easy.

The first step in building a startup is to understand your skills and abilities as well as needs in the marketplace that match those abilities. Remember that people don’t need products, they need solutions, so work to solve problems shared by a group of consumers and doing it better than existing options.  If you excel in painting, for instance, you might use YouTube videos to promote your art and showcase your paintings. Also, you could promote them on Instagram and other social media outlets. If you love to work out, produce workout videos and charge a subscription fee for those who want to take your online classes. Focus a few hours every weekend on building a startup as a side hustle and you add to your existing income or help support your studies.

Building a startup in your 20’s – why you should consider it?

There are numerous reasons to start a business in your 20’s in addition to those mentioned above. The most common attribute that successful entrepreneurs worldwide have in common is that they begin early. In retrospect, it is never too late to become an entrepreneur but it’s also never too early. This profession is blessed with almost zero limitations, and if you have the will and the means, you can achieve almost anything.

Benefits of building a startup in your 20’s

Fewer commitments

It’s not that being young magically makes things easier. It is just that at this point in life, you have more time, energy, fewer commitments, and more edge over previous generations. In your 20’s it is easier to acquire skill sets that benefit you in the digital world. As you grow older, life gains upon you more, and you may lack the time and flexibility to run your startup entirely.

Long-term financial security

Starting a business in your 20’s gives it ample time to grow and develop into something that may well serve you for the rest of your life. Achieving your goals at an early age in your career gives you more determination to pour your energy into your business. This facilitates the chances of its success and brings about long-term financial security.

Easier to recover and start again

One of the essential benefits of starting a business in your 20’s is that, if you fail, you can try again. And even if you fail after this, you have many years to change your goals and gain other employment. For older entrepreneurs, it is not the same. Failure is a luxury they cannot afford, and it may come with bills and losses that they don’t have the time and opportunity to resolve. For instance, failure in your 20’s may mean you lose your car but, since you don’t own much more than that, you can discharge everything in a business bankruptcy without losing your house or making it hard to feed your kids.

Recovering from failure is often the start of success. After all, Henry Ford failed multiple times before hitting on the successful venture that’s now generations old and Edison claimed he didn’t fail multiple times in inventing the lightbulb, he claimed he discovered 1000 ways to NOT make a lightbulb.

Family safety net

Suppose you fail in your 20’s. Naturally, you have friends, parents, siblings, and other family members to fall back on if the worst-case scenario occurs.

Tips for building a startup in your 20’s

Choose the right jobs in and out of school

As a youth in this age bracket aspiring to own a business, you should associate yourself with jobs and internships that put you on course to develop your startup. By choosing the right positions, you learn the inner workings of how a business is run and get in-the-field experience to support your efforts. This helps enhance your existing skills, understand the realities of a business, and gain important contacts that help your business develop and grow.

Exercise patience

Most entrepreneurs in their 20’s lack patience, a fact common for everyone in this age bracket. They expect their ideas and startups to yield huge success one or two years down the line. To build a startup successfully, you need patience for the long haul as most startups take a number of years to generate sufficient revenue. Don’t become disappointed if your business fails to deliver desired results in the short term as most entrepreneurs, especially young ones, are overly optimistic. In fact, optimism is a necessary trait for a successful entrepreneur.

Exercising patience helps you plan carefully and execute your ideas thinking far into the future. In your 20’s, what sets you above your fellow entrepreneurs is patience. Always be prepared to work hard and don’t be overly focused on immediate results. Take every loss and win as it comes along and focus on the future. Recent statistics show that most startups fail in less than ten years. As the quote from the billionaire Bill Gates goes, don’t overestimate what you can achieve in one year, and underestimate what you can do in ten years. Check out the factors underlying the failure of startups to help plan for these threats.

startup failure rates
Image courtesy of Profit from Tech

Surround yourself with people who are good at their work

It is vital to align yourself with individuals who can support your efforts. Finding a mentor is key to building a startup. Find people who can help you build your business, whether they’re other entrepreneurs, prospective customers, or business folks with skills they’re willing to share with you.

Put in the work and take risks.

To succeed in any career, hard work is a core value. As a young entrepreneur, hard work and perseverance are your biggest allies. It is essential to take risks, believe in your ambitions, be flexible, and pursue your dreams.

The earlier you started out in business, the better for you.


As a youth, you are more motivated and determined to chase your dreams. You have peers to spur you on and mentors older than you for you to look up to and guide you. Your drive, passion, and commitment are at their peak. This generates an increased motivation to unlock your dreams into reality.

Your 20’s are one of the most telling points of your lives. What you choose to do and how you choose to do it sets you up for the remainder of your life. Making important decisions, chasing your dreams, starting a business, and doing the right things stand to benefit you in the long run. Your youthful days are your most active days and there is no better time to start a business than in your 20’s. A little guidance and motivation are all you need to get started with, and AbstractOps can offer you that in order to succeed. We can provide you with everything you need to launch your startup. All you have to do is reach out to us here.

Need marketing help to support business growth?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.