A 20 Year Old Entrepreneur vs A 30 Year Old Entrepreneur

There are some stark differences between the mindsets and approaches of a 20 year old startup entrepreneur as compared to one who is 30. I just turned 31 and have felt most of these changes myself.

Responsibilities – When you are 20, you have no responsibilities. You tend to think only about yourself and your startup. On the other hand, when you are 30, you are probably married and maybe even have a child (or two ;). Your parents are older. Suddenly everyone’s problems seem to become your problems.

Energy Level – You are younger, fitter (generally) and have more energy and zeal when you are 20. You attitude is ‘I am gonna nail this’ or as we say in Hindi ‘phod doonga’. At 30, this just doesn’t come out.

Friends Group – My friends when I was 20 were all mostly in college and looking what to do. During my first startup Bitequest, I simply convinced some friends to join me and we started. Now, when I am 31, all of my friends are in jobs or their businesses. Being 'settled', convincing them to leave and join me in a startup is much more difficult.

Network – The network of a 30 year old is wider and can be more useful.

Role of Gut – Gut has a big role to play in decisions of a 20 year old. When you are 30, ‘I feel’ turns into ‘On the basis of facts’.

Money – A 30 year old has more money to bootstrap the startup. A 20 year old has to spend time to get the initial amount to build even a prototype.

Experience – A 30 year old has more experiences of life and work. Experiences help in reducing the number of mistakes one makes in the early days of a startup.

Permission – Getting parent’s permission to startup is part of a 20 year old’s journey. A 30 year old can take his/her own decisions.

These are some of the differences I can think of and have experienced in my journey. In 10 years time, I’ll try to post about any differences I will experience between then and now.

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