Someone smart once told me this and it stuck: “Never base your brand off your age. You will only be the young person in the room for so long.”
You may have noticed, but I rarely talk about my age. While a “youth perspective” is surely a valuable asset of mine, I never want to be known for it. Why?
As this mentor pointed out…I am not always going to be the young person in the room.
This mentor was a Forbes 30U30. As soon as he turned 31…no one really cared about the Forbes’ award anymore.
If you brand yourself as the “genius teen” rather than the “genius person,” you limit yourself.
Contrary to all this, I do think that as a young person there are several advantages. People are more willing to take chances on you.
I just recommend that you save your asks in terms of “Hey I am a teenager please write about me.” Try and build your brand outside of your age. But it’s not a bad idea to leverage your age to cross a bridge when you need to.
Being cognizant of the effects of using your age as your brand is really important and I wish more young people were aware of the side effects, both positive and negative.