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Think You Are Too Old To Be An Entrepreneur? Think Again

Think You Are Too Old To Be An Entrepreneur? Think Again
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Whenever you hear the word “Entrepreneur”, what is the image that strikes your mind? For most people, it is a guy in his mid-20s, wearing a simple hoodie and jeans, messy hair and unkempt facial hair.

This Mark Zuckerberg inspired idea of entrepreneurs makes certain people wonder: Am I too old to be an entrepreneur? Most of these people are in their mid-30s or early 40s. If you are one of them, you might want to think again!

You have an edge

What you have to understand is that this vision of entrepreneurs being young is nothing but a stereotype. A large population doesn’t venture into their own business unless they are at least 40. Some people don’t even think about starting their own business until they are 50 and have years of experience.

In fact, it is a better idea to start your business a little later in your life. When you’re young and venture into this field, you know nothing. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. You can’t estimate competition that well, you don’t have enough capital and you are naïve. 

When you step into the corporate world as a fresher, there are numerous things you learn. You pick up business tactics, you interact with investors, and most importantly, you save up your capital. It is a well-known saying that people become wiser with age. This is true in the case of entrepreneurship. With age, you develop the wisdom that a good businessman needs. With your years of experience in the corporate world, you set a solid ground and make a place for yourself.

In fact, history speaks for itself to prove this point. The founder of McDonald’s, Mr.Ray Kroc sold milkshake mixers until the age of 52. Meanwhile, Ms.Mary Kay Kash, the owner of Mary Kay, the iconic cosmetic company, sold home décor items until 45. There are several other examples you could take, but these two legendary business tycoons are all the encouragement you need.

Different Mindsets

When we are young, we have a lot of different ideas. Our mind is a pool of ocean which is flowing with new ideas every day. We think of every new idea that pops into our mind as a credible opportunity.  No offences to the younger generation, but more often than not, the ideas we come up with are not our best ones.

The main thing you have in your hand when you are young is time. You learn a skill, say website making, and you come up with new ideas to make money out of it. You think of a start-up idea. You make a website for it. And then you think that’s it. I have my new business venture.

It is when you grow older that you see the big picture. Starting your own business takes more than just making a website. As you grow older, you realise the concepts of business models and leverage. You analyse which ones you like and which ones you don’t, and then you carry forward accordingly.

More focused approach

When you are in your 20s, you try many different things. You venture into a number of different fields. Try several business ideas and fail at several too.

When you open start-up in your 30s or 40s, you become more focused. You understand clearly the ideas that will have potential in the market and the ones which won’t.

Start-ups for the young?

You might hear from many that start-ups are for the young. Young people can afford to waste time, try different things, and sit back in track pants and code. But, think again.

If you’re in your 30s or 40s, don’t you have plenty of time left too? You can, of course, do all these things too. As a matter of fact, you have the edge over the younger generation because you have sufficient savings and knowledge too.

Age is just a number

With age, we do become less good looking and less fit. But as an entrepreneur, it is not the looks that matter. It is the innovation that does.

Rather than giving importance to age, one should give importance to the mindset. It is your attitude which determines the choices you should make, not your age. Age is something you can’t control. But your decisions, you can.

You might be in your mid-30s, sitting behind your office desk and wondering “What if I had started my business venture”. You might dispel the thought the very next second thinking “It’s too late for me now”. This is where you go wrong. It is never too late.

When you go for a conference for entrepreneurship, you might feel like a misfit in a room full of young entrepreneurs. But you should learn to use that to your advantage. It is the outcasts who stand out and turn heads.

A wider network

The more you stay in the professional world, the more contacts you develop. So when it’s finally time for you to start your own business, you will have a wide network of successful professionals.

Young entrepreneurs have to struggle a lot a lot in this field. They have to put in a lot of effort to meet even the smallest of investors. On the other hand, a professional turned entrepreneur will already have several contacts which he has maintained a relationship with for years.

Time to think again!

It is true that there are several young successful entrepreneurs out there. It is true Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook when he was just 19. But, it is also true that Charles Flint started IBM when he was 62.

Where you might lack in youthful energy, you make up in experience. You make up so significantly that you will never feel like you’re falling behind. In fact, you will have an edge. So if you are planning on giving up on your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur just because of your age, it might be time to think again. 

 

 
Edition: May 2017

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