Best Age to Start a Business

December 09, 2021

The sooner the better. I wish I’d learned that earlier.

When I was young I was very entrepreneurial. I’d buy out the favourite lollies at the shop across from the school when supplies were low. Then sell them at a 100% markup at school. I’d clean cars, mow lawns, deliver papers, recycle bottles, you name it, I was in there. But slowly, life started to happen.

I went to college to study computer engineering, then dropped out after a couple of years as the work seemed horrible – I’d been writing computer games before college, and loved it, but the college I went to aimed at churning out developers for the public service. All we did was work on “black box” code, we had some input and had to transform it into some output, but had no broader context. It was boring as hell and killed all my passion for computers. I imagine my life would be very different now if I had just stuck with game development 30 years ago…

Today I am back as a developer, but between then and now I’ve worked in the public service, done a degree in philosophy, travelled the world a few times, worked as a video guy, worked as a 3D animator, worked as a game developer, been involved in a couple of startups, got married, got a mortgage, and had kids.

Now I’m back trying to get my own thing going. I always had it in the back of my mind, I was just waiting for the right time. When I just had some cash built up, when I just had the contacts, when I just… It never really happens. But the main thing I’ve learned is that the right time is now. The right age is now. The time will never be perfect, you will never have everything lined up, just get started.

As soon as you get started you begin seeing things in a different way, you look at things differently, you listen to conversations differently. Even if it’s just a T-Shirt shop on Shopify, for an hour a week, start something, and you’ll see the world in a different way.

Lastly, the other fundamental thing I have learned, that took me way too long, is that all those people who say start marketing as soon as you start building are right. In fact, start the marketing before starting a business, get to know what people are experiencing, talk to them, then start to solve their problems.

But do it now.

30 by 30 #3

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Written by Adrian Gray making games in Sydney. Find him on Mastodon or Twitter.