Brandon Boynton is current student at IUPUI and serial entrepreneur. This post is one in a series about the lessons he’s learned as startup founder.
By Brandon Boynton, CEO, Vemity
The past six years of my career have consisted of founding two startups; completing one acquisition, dozens of software consulting projects and 136 undergraduate credits; and being honored with about a dozen awards and nominations. Yet more plentiful than any accomplishments I might have achieved are the countless failures and subsequent lessons I have learned throughout my career.
It is often said that the path to success is through failure. That concept is absolutely true, but only if one is capable of reflecting on — and learning from — their own failures. No matter how tragic it might feel, there are lessons to be learned from every experience. These failures teach us more than success ever could.
Following are lessons I have taken away from my failures that I want to share with others so they might be able to circumvent learning them the the same way I did.
1. Your age doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
One of my biggest insecurities when entering the startup scene was that I would not be taken seriously at only 16 years of age. I couldn’t attend networking events at bars, my reasoning went; that must mean I couldn’t be recognized as a legitimate founder. As a result, I was often less than honest about my age, or at the very least beat around the bush about it.
Once I got to know a handful of people and got closer with a couple of mentors, I started to realize how silly this fear had been. Yes, there are those who will look down on you for your age. But these people are vastly outnumbered by those who will either treat you like any other founder or will go out of their way to assist you in pursuing your dreams.
The fact of the matter is that being a young entrepreneur is far more of an asset than a liability. Embrace your age and use it to your advantage. Maintain your humility, but don’t hide the fact that you are accomplishing feats well before your peers, because that’s truly something to be proud of.
At the end of the day, age has very little impact on the success of a startup. It’s far more about what you are capable of than how young or old you are.