Robbie, a follower of weekly show, Coach’s corner, asks: “I want to be a motivational speaker but I’m only 21 years old and I don’t really know what to do. What would you advise me? I feel like my age in an obstacle.”
Here’s my answer to Robbie:
I’m not 21 but I do look young. Actually, I was at a restaurant a few weeks ago. I was with my parents and people ask, “How old are you?” and it was funny because they thought I was 19 or 21 years old and I said, “No, I’m 29”.
It’s funny that you asked this question because I remember exactly when I started at my French business. I was actually 21 in 2007 and I had issues at the beginning when people would find my age out. When people would know how old I was, they would be in that objection of “You’re only 21”. The best way I found is to put even more content out. I remember in 2008, I was 22, I would do live streams for hours and hours just sharing content about marketing and doing hours of Q&A. We used to use UStream or LiveStream and I would do hours of broadcast, free content and Q&A.
It was amazing because when you do Q&A, people can test you out. I remember I did a broadcast that started at 5 or 6 PM and it ended at 2 AM. I went for seven or eight hours non-stop. After a few sessions of broadcasting, it was difficult for anyone to say, “this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about”. I was very honest in a sense that if I don’t know the answer to something, I’d say, “I’m not the best guy to ask for that” but if I know the answer, if it’s about marketing or sales, I can give seminars about it because I have an extremely deep understanding of anything relating to marketing, sales, copywriting and entrepreneurship.
In my opinion, you need to prove your value first, that’s what I would do and that’s what I did. Until people take you seriously, until you can really show that you’re able to do hours of live broadcast, it will be an obstacle and the only way you can counter it and make a brand out of it, out of the fact that you’re really young is by putting as much content out for free.
It always comes back to: do you have the goods, the skills and the chops? If you do have the skills, broadcast it. Age is not an issue if you do the right things because today, people are used to seeing young kids making billions. Look at Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook. He is probably the biggest example but there are dozens of entrepreneurs who build million dollar companies or exit it for hundreds of millions in their early 20’s.
Age is not much of an obstacle as it was 20 years ago but you need to prove. You need to prove that you have the goods. Age will not be an issue if you prove that you have the skills.