I Apologize for Having the Nerve to Start a Business So Young

Gillian Sisley

To all the middle-aged businessmen who decided I wasn’t qualified enough, simply for my age.


Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

I get it.

I started my social media and copyrighting business at 22-years-old. Straight out of school.

People just don’t do that, right?

And on top of that, I’m a blond young thing — so I couldn’t possibly know what I’m talking about, obviously.

Who cares that I have two degrees, and all the education reasonably required to back up my expertise.

Who cares that, if I truly had no clue what I was talking about, my business would have failed spectacularly before it reached 1-year-old.

I’m approaching year 4, and my income just keeps going up every tax season.

So how, exactly, do you create a rational explanation for that?

Oh wait, I have one — I actually know what the f*ck I’m doing.

Clients keep coming back because I give them undeniable results.

I have the education and experience to back up what I’m dropping at conference tables.

I’ve worked and hustled my a** off to get to where I am today in my career.

Did I have a lot of balls to start my own gig straight out of school?

Hell yes, I did.

Even I look back and think,

“Who the f*ck did that kid think she was?”

But I didn’t just dream it — I made it happen.

I built it.

I put the work in to create my creative empire.

I took my earnings from my first year of business and bought myself a house in the suburbs, with my own damn money.

I paid for my wedding with the cash I make running my sh*t.

So where the f*ck is the confusion? What part of this are you having trouble making sense of?

There is no reasonable defense for changing your tune as soon as you saw me.

You called, presented your pain points, and I offered professional suggestions and solutions to said problems.

You were openly impressed, and looked forward to meeting me in person soon.

So why is it, that as soon as you came to the seating area to greet me, your face fell a little?

Why was there a shift in the air?

Why did I feel that shift hit me like a brick wall?

You had a professional businesswoman in black slacks and a suit jacket standing in front of you, and you immediately recoiled upon seeing me.

As soon as we sat down at the boardroom table, your first question was how long I’d been in business, and when exactly I graduated.

If those questions are so important, then why didn’t you ask them on our initial call?

That was the original screening call to feel out my business and what I had to offer, was it not?

And then, I sat there for a full hour as I made strategic social media marketing suggestions, and one of your hotel managers undermined my every point.

He instead offered his advice for how to proceed, and you decided to take his inexperienced suggestions over my qualified, proven ones.

So why the f*ck were we having that meeting, anyways?

Thanks for doing me a massive favour.

Thank you for showing your true colours early on.

Thank you for proving to me how you’re absolutely not the right fit for my business.

Because while you may have only viewed that meeting as you deciding if I was the person you wanted to do business with, I was doing the exact same thing.

And you failed MY test.

What do you want me to do, exactly? Have waited to start my business until you deemed my age more acceptable to be an entrepreneur?

Spent 5 miserable years in jobs I hated, only to then start my business later on, wishing I had done so sooner?

Ah, I see… I get it.

You expected me to give in to those voices who said I wasn’t good enough, bold enough, or brave enough to start my own thing. You wanted me to believe that I had no value to offer, and just decide to not even try.

So sorry that I didn’t follow your script of how I should pursue my career.

So sorry the fact that I was a successful businesswoman at 25-years-old was in some way offensive and inconvenient to you.

My bad.

Final word.

There’s a really valid reason why I gravitate towards working with other female business owners:

I avoid a lot more sexism and misogyny that way.

They see my drive to start a business at such a young age as admirable, not deplorable

They measure my value by the quality of my work, not by the youngness of my appearance or the reproductive organs between my legs.

If I had been a young man instead, would you have still reacted the same way?

Or rather, would you have patted that young man on the back and praised him for being such a driven, impressive business person, despite his age?

I think you and I both know the answer to that question — based on whisperings around our city of how you treat women in your company, and your entire team of high-level members being, oh yes, entirely men.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not interested in working twice as hard just to try and scrape my way into your glorified Boys Club.

I have better sh*t to do with my time.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” -- Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers 1959-1967

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Online solopreneur. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about trending news, viral Reddit content, and anything else that tickles my fancy.


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