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All the big start-up stories one gets to hear are of college dropouts who had already created empires by the time they were 30. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Larry Page & Ritesh Agarwal (Oyo) are some of the names that fall in this august club.
These stories have a bit of romance in them that make them standout, after all entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and these folks stand at the pinnacle as they put everything on line before even starting their career.
Now don’t get me wrong but what is the risk when you don’t have anything to lose anyways, no family to support, no opportunity cost of your time, no bills to pay and EMIs to cover.
I think real risk taking is demonstrated when you decide to start up on the wrong side of 30’s. You would have all the afore mentioned reasons, a hefty salary that you give up on and no guarantee that you will get a decent job post 35 (I mean, come on).
Moreover the same folks who would have lauded your attempt at starting up during your early 20’s would look at you with anxiousness and your children with sympathy for the quixotic adventure that you have started on. As we speak, I am passing through this transition phase and going through all of this judgement turmoil. That apart, I am really happy that I started up now rather than a decade back and following are my reasons
Exposure To Best Practices And Finest Processes
Working with the best and largest multi nationals taught me a lot. There are tons to learn from the mistakes that have already been made in the long history of these companies, successful models that have been replicated across geographies and most importantly the processes which are in place to run large organization. All this knowledge helps you set better foundations for your business.
A Strong Network Of People In Position To Take Calls
After putting in a decade in corporate world even the worst networkers amongst us have friends in the right places. This can be of considerable advantage when starting your own venture. You can use your network to get introductions to prospective clients, partners, investor etc. Get expert advice in different functional domains to solve real business problems for free. Even get a free room to stay in almost any city in the world.
Ability To Think At Macro & Execute At Micro-level
Now while this sounds like Jargon, I have felt this is severely lacking when it comes to young entrepreneurs. I meet a lot of them nowadays at various start-up events where most of them think of me as an investor due to my receding hairline. The clarity of defining your own business at a macro level and being able to filter it down to what you execute is critical to success and it comes with some experience in strategic thinking. For example we at Mamaearth are here to reduce stress in parenting (WHY), we do that by providing safe, healthy products which solve everyday issues of parents day in day out (WHAT).
Stronger Understanding Of Compliance And Ethics
Another area which is severely underrated when you are young & breaking rules is still cool. After spending some years in a large organization you realize the genuine business sense behind strong compliance practices and ethics. Sustainable businesses cannot be built without them, period.
A More Balanced Approach Which Reduces Risk Of Failure
Age & experience do bring some maturity and balance to you approach in life. This balance impacts how you set up and run your business as well. You take more calculated risks, keep resourcing tight, burns low (financial and personal), make sure you keep time for family (Your personal family as well as your team) etc. Now I am not undermining young entrepreneurs at all, I am sure we can easily make a list of 5 such points in favor of that as well. I am just saying there is actually a lot of merit for us in 30’s Or 40’s to give starting up a chance as well. My worst fear was to wake up one day on a hospital bed & regretting not even giving my childhood dream a shot just because I thought it was too late.