Whenever I talk with people about becoming an entrepreneur or starting a business, I almost always hear the same thing. At least one person in the group will say, “I wish I could do that, but I’m just too old.”
I hate hearing this because it’s really not true. Yes, people in their teens and twenties have grown up in the new world of business that’s been evolving over the past twenty years or so. Yes, they have all the time in the world, and yes, they’ve always been told that they can be anything they want to be and that starting their own business is absolutely achievable.
But does that mean that there’s an age limit on becoming an entrepreneur? Absolutely not! If you’re wondering if you’re too old to start your own business, chase your dreams, and achieve success, then check out a few of the top reasons that it’s never too late.
SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS STARTED AT 50
When you think of fast food, what’s the first business that comes to mind? It’s probably McDonald’s, right? And when you think of coffee, you probably think of Starbucks. Well, Ray Kroc didn’t found McDonald’s until he was 52 years old, and Gordon Bowker founded Starbucks at 51. In other words, two of the most successful chains in the history of food service wouldn’t have existed if their founders had said, “Eh, I think I’m too old to start my own business.”
Still not convinced? Amadeo Giannini didn’t found Bank of America until he was 60, and Charles Flint waited until 61 to start IBM. So, when you find yourself thinking that it’s too late and that entrepreneurialism is a millennial’s game – think again.
THE AVERAGE AGE OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS IS HIGHER THAN YOU THINK
Kroc and Bowker aren’t really exceptions to the rule, either. Today, the average age of successful entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors – like aerospace, computers, and healthcare – is 40 years old. Not only that, but studies have found that the likelihood of a business’ success tends to increase if its founder’s age is closer to 40 than 20. And that success rate doesn’t drop after 40, either. You can expect roughly the same success rate for a business started by a 70-year-old entrepreneur as one in his or her 40s.
YOU HAVE MORE RESOURCES THAN EVER BEFORE
Think about starting your business. What are you going to need to ensure your success? If you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you’ll need a great idea, a solid business plan, some financial backing, and some key people to help you launch.
This is one place where you have an advantage over younger entrepreneurs. You’ve spent your career gaining experience, networking with people in your industry, and gathering resources. You can use all of this to create a business plan with all of the contingencies and exit strategies you’ll need, and you can use it to get your idea out there and to get funding and support.
Really, you can start a successful business at any age. All you need is an idea and the drive to succeed. If you’re motivated enough to do the market research, find your niche, and start building your business from the ground up, then it doesn’t matter how old or young you are – you’re an entrepreneur. The more willing you are to learn and take calculated risks, the better off you’ll be at any age.