WALK THE WALK
Gary Vaynerchuk is a co-founder
and the CEO of VaynerMedia,
a digital media agency based in
Ne w York City.
You’re Never Too Old
to Start a Business
Don’t buy into the idea
that kids own innovation.
Use age to your advantage
on your failure to grasp Snapchat in one day, or
insecure because you didn’t grow up with
computers, or frustrated that you type slowly on
It’s not the technology that’s the problem.
Millennials are no diferent from your generation
when it comes to being afected by cultural shifts.
In the 1940s, people had their heads in the news-
paper and their ears to the radio. By the 1960s, all
eyes were glued to the TV. Today, it’s the mobile
device that rules. Big shifts are a fact of life.
Stop using the current tech shift as an excuse.
Stop dwelling on the idea that you’re “old.”
Take a hard look at your advantages. Realize that
20-something entrepreneurs don’t have the
experience you do. They’re often fresh out of
school and naive, and they lack real-world savoir-faire. They likely haven’t faced much adversity,
and the economy has been relatively benign to
them. It’s been so easy, in fact, that the entrepreneurial lifestyle has become a fad hyped by infuencers on social platforms like You Tube and
Instagram. I believe we are currently living in
the golden age of fake entrepreneurs.
Get over the notion that Millennials have an
edge because they are young. Youth breeds conf-
dence, but you have years of running a business
on your side. Use that to fuel your sense of self. If
you are an accomplished entrepreneur, there’s no
way you’re going to concede to somebody who’s
How do you do that? My best advice to you is to focus on the things you’re good at while
respecting the evolving demands of a digital world. You need to have all the ego that comes
from your experience as well as the humility to understand that the playing feld is diferent
now. Yes, we have entered a new era, and, yes, you do have to be familiar with apps and devices.
But hasn’t the ability to see and capitalize on trends in a fast-changing world always been the
challenge of entrepreneurship? If you are a truly great entrepreneur, the only thing stopping
you from keeping up is your lack of confdence.
So pick up your phone and download Snapchat and any other app that feels exciting to
you. Play with Facebook’s and Instagram’s live features. Please—don’t let this era pass you by.
Being a great entrepreneur, no matter your age, is such a huge advantage right now; you’ll
regret it if you don’t keep trying. Entrepreneurship is a mindset, and the generation gap you’re
afraid of can actually work in your favor.
SOME THING’S BEEN BOTHERING me more and more over the past couple of years. It’s the notion that older entrepreneurs don’t have the skills and talent to compete with those in their 20s. It’s disappointing to me that the macrotechnology shift to a mobile and social media landscape has siphoned the confdence from some great entrepreneurs exposed to the thinking that hey’re “outdated” or “not good enough.”
I want to tell you that there’s no set age for entrepreneurship. I
started my frst “franchise” as a kid, running fve lemonade stands;
by the time I was 13, I was selling baseball cards for thousands of
dollars at New Jersey malls. Now, I’m 41 (not 21!), and I’m going to
keep building businesses for another 40 years no matter what the
20-somethings are doing.
Whether you fall in the 40-to- 60 or the 60-to- 80 age range, those
of you who think you’re not able to compete with the younger
crowd are underestimating yourselves. You’re probably too focused
BUILD 64 - INC. - APRIL 2017