When hearing the term entrepreneur most people think of a 20-something, smart looking kid who has just completed high-school or college and is eager to change the world. The images of Mark Zuckerberg or Google founders come to mind. While it is true that many of the famous companies were started by folks when they were in their prime, there is certainly an argument to be made for starting small business by people who are in their 40’s and 50’s.
Popular belief is that many of the people in that age group like to settle down and enjoy their steady lives. But there are number of “old” people who want to try their hands at entrepreneurship and small business ownership. We like to call them “experienced” as opposed to “old”.
So why do we think it is perfectly alright to start small business in 40’s and 50’s? There are number of reasons and they all have to do with what you have collected along the way.
This is probably the best reason that gives edge to those starting business at a later age. These people have amassed great deal of experience by the time they reach 40’s and 50’s. They have “been there, done that!” The wisdom they have collected from working with many types of people in variety of situations is very helpful in running small business. No wonder Home Depot employs so many experienced people in their stores. They know exactly what customer is looking for and are ready go out of their way to help them.
People who have 25-30 years of experience under their belt have, no doubt, collected a large number of business cards in their Rolodex. This can come in very handy when starting small business. Small business owners do need large support network that includes different types of professionals such as lawyers, accountants, marketers and so on. This list of contact proves invaluable for counseling and customer leads.
People who have gone through variety of experiences, including both failures and successes, in their life know what works and what does not. They also had time to think about themselves and know their strengths and limitations. This is very important for anyone who wants to get into small business. It is only through self knowledge of yourself that you can hire or partner with smart people who can complement your limitations.
Now that they have reached the age when kids are in college or about to, people have more time on their hands to focus on what they like. They don’t need to worry as much about family obligations. Running a small business does need significant time commitment and old age helps with that.
Along with time, money is another factor that works in favor of old people. They have already taken care of majority of children’s education and house payments. They have also saved enough for retirement and have sufficient amount of personal savings. This leaves them with extra money they can invest in their business. It also affords them opportunity to take some risk.
As you can see it is not only perfectly alright to start a small business by “old” people; but it is even better do it at that age. What do you think? Are YOU too old to start a small business?
Are you too old to start small business?
July 13, 2011 3 Comments