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The Only Two Ways To Start Your Own Business While Young

2 September 2010 2 Comments

Starting your own business is tough in any environment at any age.  For us young folks, it’s even more difficult.  Nearly impossible.

The way I see it, there are really only two ways you successfully launch your own business while you’re young:

  1. By having special connections (often family)
  2. By starting the business “on the side” without quitting your job

See, successfully starting your own business typically requires a range of experiences and skills and usually a decent chunk of startup capital.  As a young person, you probably lack both.

Therefore, you’re left with two options. First, I do know some guys in their 20s that have successfully started their own companies.  Most of these examples are due to family connections.  Either they started an offshoot of a family business or a separate branch of a family business where family experience can take the place of your own experience.  Or, sometimes family money is used to start the business and replaces your lack of startup capital.

Since many of us lack the special connections that are conducive for launching a business, we’re stuck with the second option which means starting a business on the side.  Starting a business on the side while maintaining regular employment is more difficult and often decreases your chance of success simply because you’re trying to start a business in your spare time while holding down a regular job.


However, the risk is significantly reduced and you can spend more time ramping it up (since you’re still bringing in income elsewhere).  This might actually increase your chances at success and allow you more flexibility to change strategies, find out what works, etc.  If you take the time to get a business management degree in entrepreneurship, business or finance that will certainly increase your likelihood of success as well.

For me, I’m focusing on online business because of the lack of barriers to entry and the minimal money needed to start them.  For now, I have a nice second income stream that is growing.  The future?  Who knows what it will turn into?  But because its something I created on the side, there’s no stress or urgency to try and make something else of it.  I can let it grow in time without burning out.  Plus, the extra cash obviously is huge, especially in a tough economy where money is tight all around.


  • Carol@inthetrenches said:

    I think that you make some very good points. I would add that the biggest obstacle would be education. Not in the form of a college degree necessarily but in how to actually run a business. I am reading a great book called Business for Beginners by Frances McGuckin and plan to do a review on my site soon (Amazon already has some posted). Also the SBA has a lot of online free resources. There is no reason why these skills could and should be learned at the high school level. A business does not have to start out making a tremendous profit if the person is still living at home and has many of their living expenses covered or discounted. My sons first business was in 4th grade raising and selling rabbits. Obviously it was not a full fledged enterprise but a good start. Seems like low cost small business tutoring might be a great business 🙂

  • tmgbooks.com said:

    I own a real estate rental property business and I agree that it is prudent financial planning to develop a side business to produce an individual income stream apart from the income of your full-time job.

    But even before you start a busines, I think, you can begin to develop greater financial security and income diversification simply by growing your savings. Interest on your savings will represent an individual income stream and, if you save enough, can replace your need for earned income (from a job) entirely.

    I also started a publishing business that is largely virtual and is growing as another individual income stream for me.