It seems that young entrepreneurs often make the headlines and receive most of the recognition for their achievements. Think about Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Matt Mullenweg (WordPress) Y Pete cashmore (Mashable), all of them in their 20s, and high on the list of successful entrepreneurs. But the age of the founder is not the main factor that determines whether a business will be successful or not. These six successful entrepreneurs, ranging in age from 40 to 60, show that the success of a business is not directly related to the age of its founder.
In fact, there is an argument that those who start a business later in life are more likely to be successful: Studies have shown that if you are over 55 years of age, you are twice as likely as your under-age counterparts. 35 years of starting a high growth business. Not convinced? Here are 10 reasons why you would be a better entrepreneur now than you would be when you were younger.
10 reasons to start a business no matter how old you are
1. You have life experience.
The most obvious and undeniable benefit of starting a business later in life is the fact that you now have years of life experience to capitalize on in your new company. You have experience on the roads of the world, and you have a level of business acumen that you did not have in your 20s. You are more patient and willing to take each step in the business start-up process (even the steps that aren’t much fun) one by one to give your business the best chance of success.
While you may not have hands-on experience in every segment of the business startup process, chances are good that you understand the importance of things like having a business plan, creating a solid financial plan, and conducting extensive market research. . And you know who you need to help you with the pieces that you can’t make yourself. Which brings us to reason # 2….
2. You know more people (and they know people who know people).
At this stage in your life, you have likely built a large and diverse network of peers and colleagues. And because a new business often requires a village to thrive, your connections will be invaluable as you start. Think of all the experts you’ve ever met who might share their advice or provide services to help you in your new venture: lawyers, accountants, traders, venture capitalists, financial planners, real estate agents, contractors, designers, and writers . This depth of a flourishing network often takes years to build, so age is certainly an advantage in this situation.
Having experience in the business world, you also understand the importance of networking and are able to ask for presentations when necessary to move projects forward. This can often double or even triple your network, giving you all the resources you need to get started.
3. You know how to set and achieve goals.
Goal setting is an integral part of starting and running a business, and is necessary on a consistent basis throughout the life of the business. In our younger years, we don’t always understand the power of setting smart goals to get from one place to another in life. As an expert in goal setting, the process of outlining a desired outcome, as well as the actions you will take to make that outcome a reality, will come as second nature. Your life experience will also help you stay objective as you consider the different paths you can take to achieve your goals so that you can move forward in a more efficient, profitable and productive way.
4. You can have an advantage with investors.
While young entrepreneurs are often favored by investors because it may be easier for them to gain a greater ownership stake and have more control in the business, it can be argued that older entrepreneurs offer better chances of success because of what they bring to the table. According to Entrepreneur.com, many venture capitalists are looking for seasoned, seasoned, older entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that.” As Susan Schreter points out, the best investors are opportunists, and by supporting older, wiser entrepreneurs who have already made mistakes, they are able to make smarter investments.
5. You know what you are passionate about.
Many young entrepreneurs know that they want to start a business of some kind, but they may not know exactly how they want to do it. This is because they haven’t had enough time to develop an idea of what they are really passionate about. Richard Branson says that “Passion is one of the most effective motivators when launching a business – and often one of the strongest predictors of whether an idea will lead to success.” Without passion for your work, your business idea is likely to fade at some point.
Older entrepreneurs know what they like to do – and what they don’t – and can tailor a new business to suit their needs.
6. You have knowledge that is valued in today’s economy.
In recent years, there has been an economic shift from industrial to knowledge-based, which means that most of us have the opportunity to continue working well beyond the traditional retirement age. In fact, age makes us more valuable as professionals because it often means that we bring in more skills and knowledge. This is also true for entrepreneurs. This economic shift will support older entrepreneurs who decide to move on later because they can transform their experience into a highly sought-after commodity.
7. You are financially secure.
Starting a business when you are young means that you are probably juggling the cost of owning a business along with the rest of the major investments in life that many of us face: mortgage payments, children’s expenses (babysitting , education, sports, vacations), health care, insurance, car payments, student loan repayments, and retirement savings. Although expenses never go away, the older your age, the more likely it is that you have paid a significant percentage of the important things. This frees up cash to invest in your business.
Also, having fewer financial responsibilities makes the idea of starting a business less risky, since theoretically you will have much less to lose if things don’t work out.
8. You have many startup options.
When you’re young, you have limited experience, limited network, and limited capital, so your startup options are often limited too – usually a startup startup is the only way to go, unless you can get the ever elusive financial backing. As a seasoned and financially secure professional, you have more options when it comes to your journey to entrepreneurship. Sure, you can start a new business from the ground up, but that’s not the only option on the table. You can buy a franchise, harnessing the power of an already successful brand and making it your own legacy.
You can also partner with another employer and split costs, workload, and profits. Or, you can become an investor yourself, moving to the other side of the table, providing capital for someone else’s business idea. In return, you receive a percentage of the business, leaving the job “in the trenches” for them to handle.
9. You have failed before.
Failure is part of life, and the older we are, the more failures we have on our account. Whether you have two big flops on your list or 22, they are a huge benefit for two main reasons. First, the most valuable part of every failure is the lessons learned in the process. Each failure taught him the importance of being prepared, working hard, and why you need a contingency plan. Second, your fear of failure is probably much less significant now than it was in your youth. Since being afraid of failing can result in an inability to make a decision, a lack of confidence, and inaction, being less afraid can be a powerful reason older entrepreneurs get off to an easier start.
10. You have confidence in yourself.
You know all those failures we just talked about? In addition to the valuable lessons learned, these failures also create one more huge benefit as soon as you can bounce back – they increase your self-confidence and motivate you to do better. Many young entrepreneurs naturally have high self-esteem and a certain level of confidence, but much of it stems from sheer optimism that their business idea will turn out to be a success. Optimism is definitely necessary when starting a business, but when you take that optimism and add the confidence that comes with a proven track record of success, it is unbeatable.
As a seasoned professional, you’ve already experienced both wins and losses, and have emerged with a powerful confidence that will allow you to take the challenges of business ownership in stride and move forward.
So if you are getting older and feel like your entrepreneurial opportunity is fading a little each year, think again. Now may be the perfect time to jump in and start a small business.