When starting out in business as a young entrepreneur you may feel at times that you are struggling to be taken seriously. Whether this is due to age, appearance, or lack of experience not being taken seriously can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Although it is unfair to judge a person’s abilities on based on their age alone, it is unfortunately a reality that many young entrepreneurs face. Thankfully there are some steps you can take to help you show clients, investors, and other industry partners that you are more than capable.

In this article we will discuss ways that you can take action to ensure that the people you interact with know that you mean business. Although you cannot avoid the reality that people will judge you, you can take control over how you choose to present yourself to the world. Age does not have to be a defining factor in your success.

Practical Steps

Here are our top tips to help you with being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur. Although it may not be fair to judge a person on age alone we can’t help that judgments will happen. Take ownership of what you can do to present the best version of yourself to clients and industry partners. You can’t necessarily change how a person will perceive you, but you can take steps to interact with those around you with confidence.

    • Highlight your experience – unlike older counterparts in their industry, young entrepreneurs are constantly required to prove their capabilities. In order to not get passed over for someone older who may be more established, young entrepreneurs must work to show their worth. When dealing with a new client be sure to highlight what you have done in the past. Let your client know that you are qualified. Detail all relevant experience and don’t be afraid to show off your past success. Keep a portfolio of the great things you’ve done in the past as proof that you are qualified and capable of getting the job done.
    • Dress the part – present an image to your clients that you are a professional. If your industry is formal it is likely a good idea to dress more formal. Though there is still room to highlight your personality when it comes to fashion, it is important to present a professional package to clients. Check out our blog post on how to dress with confidence for tips on how to look and feel confident through how you dress. First impression matter in business and is it always a good idea to dress for the role you want. Be authentically you when you present yourself to the world and your confidence will show.
    • Act like you mean business – be professional and act like the successful entrepreneur that you want to be. Set your business hours and stick to them, be prompt for meetings and show those you interact with that you deserve to have a seat at the table. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than being disorganized or late with deadlines. Stay on top of your work and make yourself and your business a priority. Even if you feel like you’re faking it, work hard and own your work. Stay on top of communication and show those around you that you mean business.
    • Go above and beyond – when you can, do more than your competition. Although it is important to set boundaries it is a good idea to show your clients you care. Take the time to explain what you do and why you do it. Be patient and answer questions graciously. Show those around you that you value them and they will in turn value your dedication. You don’t have to bend over backwards for clients but if you take your work and your clients seriously they will likely feel the same way about you.
    • Let your personality shine – if you’re a young entrepreneur you may feel pressure to act like everyone else you see that is doing what you do. But, your age is one of your gifts and it’s a great idea to show your clients who you really are. Brand yourself in a way that speaks to you and highlights your confidence in who you are. Being unapologetically you, is a great way to show your potential clients that you are confident in your abilities and ready to take on any challenge that comes your way. See our blog post on how to build confidence at work for ways to help your build confidence and allow you to present your best self to those around you.

Be Who You Are

It is an unavoidable truth that we will be judged by those around us. Although we cannot control how other feel about us we can take steps to present ourselves with confidence. When we are confident and are genuine in who we are it shows to the people around us. Always make sure that you show others that you care about them and strive to provide them with the best of whatever service you have to offer. Being a young entrepreneur should not be a hindrance to your success and in many ways can have a positive effect on your entrepreneurial journey.

Remember that if you are feeling stuck and doubting your abilities it’s a great idea to reach out to your support system for help. A trusted friend, family member, or colleague can be a great resource to help you work through being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur. If you feel that you need help getting unstuck and want guidance in being taken seriously you could also consider working with an entrepreneur coach.

An entrepreneur coach can help you with building confidence, developing a plan, and set you in the right direction to achieve your goals. Consider our tips on how to find a good life coach and start making your dreams a reality and be taken seriously as confident entrepreneur you were meant to be.