I thought this interview that Aaron Clarey did, in part about his business, Asshole Consulting, was worth listening to.
From his telling, most of his clients are generally young men who feel that they have been badly mislead by all the authority (and-not-so-authoritarian) figures in their lives.
Probably the one piece of advice that’s most applicable is to “not expect anything until you’re 35.”
While I do know some absurdly successful 20-somethings, they are usually the exception to the rule. It takes more focus than most people have to get much success at a young age, especially when there’s no meaningful nepotism at play.
What you often don’t see from press releases about young CEOs is that many of them have significant backing from friends and family. In our culture, we tend to encourage people to hide those kinds of ‘boosts,’ instead preferring to portray people as sole heroes with no one backing them up. One successful startup CEO that I met (who dropped out of Waterloo, Canada’s most prestigious technical school) received about $250,000 in seed funding from his father, a dentist.
None of the hundreds of articles profiling him mentioned this. This doesn’t really detract from his other qualities as an entrepreneur, either, because $250k that doesn’t dilute the other investors is as close to an unqualified good as you can get.
So, if you’re a young person comparing yourselves to the people you read about in the heroes-of-fast-companies blogs, you’re going to become confused, because those are all fictional press release mills. For most people, even very successful ones, youth is often much less of an asset than experience, skill, knowledge, and connections.