If you read all the trade magazines for entrepreneurs and how to be successful you’d think that the only people who can start a business are twenty-something millennials. As if the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have all gone into early retirement and are considered practically ancient and unable to think for themselves. This is not the case. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and size, ages and backgrounds, and there’s no reason you can’t find success as a 45-year-old just as easily as the 25-year-old.
Benefits of starting a business when you are older
One thing that older entrepreneurs have going for them is life experience. If you’ve been working your whole life in a specific industry – retail, IT, food, etc. – and are looking to go independent, then you have the luxury of having years of experience to draw from when it comes to starting your business.
Stick to the industry you know
Your biggest chance of success is, therefore, to start a business within your industry of experience. You might even be a power player in that industry, which means that you already have a reputation (hopefully a good one) with your client base, and you already have credibility with potential investors.
Use your network
Knowing your industry intimately will give you a leg up on the millennials who are just starting out and come into the game with nothing. You already have a network of peers to bounce ideas off of, to seek advice from, and to help you get into relevant networking events. As an older, experienced person in your industry, you already have a seat at the table, so to speak, and that type of access is invaluable when it comes to starting a business.
Don’t let people tell you that you are too old, too young, too fat, too shy, or too anything to start your business. You never know when that good idea is going to hit you, and when it does you just need to run with it, do your research, talk to your network, and test your idea on friends, family, peers and strangers. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Age is just a number; a great idea is timeless!