What age do you need to be to be a perfect successful entrepreneur?

I’m 32. 32 is a good age for an entrepreneur. It seems like the Gen X-ers finally think that since I’ve had a few years in my 30s, I get it now. Ive tried and failed a few times. I’ve had kids. I’ve done the “life” thing. I’m ready. Age is one of the big factors you have to overcome when you want to find success as an entrepreneur.

For a while, most of the success stories were of people older than me. They were the Generation X guys who had experienced the very edge of the dot com era and made their money on early websites like Facebook, Naptser and Amazon. But now, I’m finding that MY generation is up and coming. People in their late 20s and early 30s are starting to surface. This both excites and terrifies me.

Am I ready to be one of the success stories? And what will OUR generation be like?

I don’t know how old you are, but my generation is an odd one. I was born in 1983. I am definitely not a Generation X-er. I grew up using the internet, and had a laptop when I started college, and texted my friends with shorthand because it was really a pain using those flip phones. But I’m not a millennial.

More and more often, I run into guys and girls my age (born in the early 80s) who when asked, “What generation are you?” they stare blankly at me, and look kinda sad and a little confused, as if I asked them to remember their first pet goldfish’s name.

They all say the same thing. “I dunno, really. I think I’m kinda nothing.”

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line, Wikipedia forgot about those of us born in the early 80s.

The early 80s kids were REAL, right? I mean, the big hair in kindergarten and the moms wearing yoga pants and pushing us all to eat fat free foods? Personally, I remember the whole thing like it was yesterday. Playing outside on our Nebraska public school playground, talking about New Kids on the Block and being told for the millionth time I had to be April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because I was the only girl (a life long issue). Watching my mom attempt perms in her thin brown hair and my dad trying to keep us from watching episodes of Saved by the Bell because it wasn’t appropriate. I was the pastor’s kid after all.

I was born in 1983, and—like my sad lost peers—am a Generation Y baby. It’s gone now…it disappeared along with pink jellies.

What was Generation Y?

Ah, the good old days. There was something very special about this tiny and unknown group of people, born around 1980 to 1985. And it wasn’t just Britney Spears being discovered or Justin Timberlake having a fro. It wasn’t that we were forced to watch Star Wars Episode I without any prior emotional warning that Jar Jar Binks would be in it. It wasn’t that Neo blew our minds and everyone started wearing long black boots and hanging out at Hot Topic.

It was the INTERNET.

The internet changed everything. Those of us who were born during the teeny tiny generation before millennials, we saw everything. We saw dial up and thought that clicking on a page and 5 minutes later watching the next Google (what is a google???) page magically appear was pretty damn mind-blowing. We patiently waited for thirty minutes while the trailer for The Matrix loaded. We chatted with each other on AOL while our parents totally freaked out and thought we were having cyber sex. Still to this day, I don’t really know how to have this so called cyber sex.

We downloaded Napster songs before it was illegal and burned them onto CD-RWs (does your computer take plus or minus? Remember those days? What a pain that all was!). And we downloaded entire Dave Matthews Band albums using freaking DIAL UP. Dude! We worked so hard for our shit!

We were dedicated. We were dedicated to learning basic HTML to make massively ugly Angelfire and Geo Cities websites (my first website was a fan site for Clare Danes. It had polka dots all over it, and lots of pictures of her in Romeo + Juliet). We discovered the amazing concept of recording ourselves doing stupid things and turning them into Windows Media movies and burning copies for our friends. We learned and experimented and discovered and created.

Every new thing that came out, from CDs you could burn and rewrite on, to colored printers that had no holes on the sides of the paper, to laptops you could sneak into your room with, to the internet, dial up, DSL, chat rooms, and finally MySpace, we LEARNED it. We accepted that things changed constantly, and we saw it all. And when the iPhone came out, we all said, hell yeah, and we bought it. There’s an app for that? Okay, we accepted it and started using apps. We laughed at the iPad, but we bought it.

So what really makes us different?

We learn and adapt faster than anyone, because we know how incredible the world is and how fast it changes. We’re adaptors at heart.

I’m a lost Gen Y-er. If you’re out there reading this, and you feel like you belong in this lost group too, then congrats! You’re an adaptor!

If you’re older or younger than this group, but feel like you’re an adaptor, I am so happy to be talking to you. The thing is, in the world of entrepreneurs and startups, you will ONLY succeed if you are an adaptor. You must be willing to change and grow and evolve. And you must realize that in twenty years, we’ll be implanting new medical and technological devices into our body as readily as upgrading to the Samsung 8 or the iPhone 10.

So those of us who are currently in our early thirties, when the time comes and your doctor says, “So, Christy, are you interested in cutting off your arm and replacing it with this titanium robotic device? You can connect to your friends through it!” I’ll say, “Hell yeah, chop that sucker off!”

Okay, I know that’s extreme.

But is it really?

What about you? What are you willing to adapt to? Entrepreneurs are the ones trying to change the future right before our eyes. You can be part of that.

Technology is the future. And those of us willing to change and grow and evolve will be the ones who survive.

So, I say, that tiny generation that almost disappeared…its time for a reboot. Matrix style.