I’m a PR Specialist in the public relations division here at Overit. Our primary clients at OveritPR are startups. Startups are a fascinating group of people because their excitement and drive is contagious.

But I have a confession to make.

At first, the responsibility of helping these fast-paced companies build their businesses and futures intimidated me. You see, I’m the youngest employee in the office. Even some of our past interns have had a few months on me. I wasn’t sure if:

  • I had the experience I’d need.
  • If I’d understand their problems.
  • If I’d relate to the startup mindset.

However, the more I work with them, the more I realize I actually resonate with these companies on a much closer level than I could have ever imagined. I have a lot in common with businesses who are just starting up because I’m just starting up my career as well. Turns out startups and young employees like myself share many of the same competitive advantages.
Below are just a few.

We’re not afraid of what we don’t know

I’m still new to being a public relations specialist so, to me, every day is just so new. I feel like a sponge, continually learning something from the day before on how I can improve my craft. I will be the first one to admit I’ve had growing pains along the way (thankfully none of which have been on social media), but that same patience and diligence is what will get us a little bit better each and every day.

Startups are facing the same learning curve. They’re constantly learning how to do things, how not to do things and how to best support their team each and every day. They’re learning to form relationships and understand what their customer wants just like I’m learning how to navigate my new world.

Does this means we may be questioning ourselves more often than not throughout our beginning? Of course. We may not start out as a managing director of PR or a Fortune 500 company, but with patience and diligence, we can (and will) achieve that same greatness.

We have the benefit of naivety

Sometimes, people go into a startup on a whim or a midlife crisis. Other times it’s a little more calculated. While my journey into PR is the latter, there is a certain amount of naivety that we share as we start our new lifestyles. We don’t know everything that is necessary (yet) to be flawless in implementing a national media strategy or perfecting our product. We may not even know what to expect on any given day. But that’s OK. Our eagerness and motivation will only help us learn and evolve into becoming the professional/company we yearn to be.

How do we get there?

We get there by using our naivety to not be afraid, to get our hands dirty and mix it up. Like our fearless leader Dan Dinsmore wrote last week, trust your gut and don’t be afraid to try something new. For me, this meant calling reporters on the phone instead of emailing to pique media interest for our clients. Many hung up on me, some even swore at me, but I’ve been able to land some pretty cool placements that made it all worth it.

We see the potential

Sure, I’m only 22. Sure, many startups never come close to prospering and rising to the top of the tech Pantheon like Google and Facebook. But every idea and person has to start somewhere. The potential is yours to grasp. At times, that can feel overbearing, but it’s also a wildly powerful feeling to control your own destiny. Wouldn’t you rather have that than have your career already be pre-determined by someone/thing entirely out of your control?

We do the damn work

What else do the new guy and the startup share? They don’t get the luxury of feeling entitled. We’re still hungry, trying to make a name for ourselves and are trying to soak up all the information and new experiences that we can.

In short, we do the damn work.

And that’s why we’re successful. Startups don’t come with fat budgets, brand legacy, or laurels to rest on. They have to get to work and pave their way if they want to be successful. The result is they’re always trying, always testing, and always looking for ways to create cool experiences. That’s something too many companies lose once they’re out of the gate.

The moral of the story?

New is cool, new is fun, and new gives businesses a serious competitive advantage. Cherish it, my fellow startups. We’re on our way to success together.

If you’re small, how has your small size helped you to compete in business?
Or, larger organizations, what benefits do you think you bring to the table?