While Facebook is a real success story, taking over social media, and Apple has become a household name for phones and laptops, it is more common for older entrepreneurs to start—and successfully maintain—a business. For example, Charles Flint founded IBM when he was 61years old, and Sam Walton launched Walmart when he was 41.
Starting a business at a young age may look like a dream for press releases; however, mature entrepreneurs have more advantages when creating, running, and sustaining a business. Here is how embracing your older age and all the good things that go with it can help you as an entrepreneur:
1. You Start from a Deep Knowledge Based on Experience
Unlike younger business owners, older entrepreneurs start with more lessons from past experiences. Whether this experience comes from being an employee, wife, mother, or community organiser, what you learn as you grow older enriches and informs you how to run your business.
For example, if you worked in marketing, promoting your business will be based on a framework from a successful brand launch. Meanwhile, business owners with experience in finance can easily manage their budgets.
2. You Have the Advantage of a Large Network
Younger entrepreneurs have a lot to prove when they launch a business. They need to sell an idea and prove they can make it work despite having no prior experience. They also need to find contacts and investors that will believe in their business.
On the other hand, older entrepreneurs such as yourself have already cultivated a network within and outside your industry. Take advantage of these contacts when building and promoting your business.
3. You Are Free to Choose Your Path
Younger entrepreneurs may go against tradition or think out of the box, but the pressures of society and the opinions of others still matter. By contrast, older age makes one care less about what people think.
Indeed, once you enter your thirties, the opinions of others do not weigh as heavily. Because of this, you can better focus on building a business based on your dreams and are now in a better financial position to follow these dreams. You are free to follow your vision while also having the ability to take calculated risks instead of acting recklessly.
4. You Have Financial Skills to Leverage
Younger entrepreneurs tend to be idealistic and want to work with only the best options to build their business. Other young business owners even skip creating a business plan, which means they work without a clear roadmap toward their goal.
However, knowing how to manage and leverage your available resources plays a big part in creating a successful business plan. That said, older entrepreneurs have a clear advantage over their younger counterparts: they likely have decades of experience in maintaining and following a budget, whether at their home, office or volunteer organisation. Many older entrepreneurs would have also set up good credit ratings and reputations. Whatever the situation, you have experience and lessons learned to draw from when managing limited resources.
5. You Have the Benefit of Perspective
What you learn as you grow older will inform how you run a business. For example, having had many past problems, you do not excessively worry about or gloss over small mistakes. Experience and hindsight have also led you to let go of what you cannot control. These perspectives will help you manage a business with a balanced and calm mindset.
6. You Can Create a Healthier Work-Life Balance While Running a Business
Younger entrepreneurs are running on a deadline and have specific goals to accomplish by a certain age. Therefore, business takes over their lives, and these younger individuals likely have no room for anything else.
Older entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have a perspective on what matters outside the business. This perspective helps you create a healthier work-life balance because you know overworking is not necessarily the path to success. While you may have long days filled with meetings and sudden emergencies, you also intentionally make more time for your family and yourself.
7. The Numbers Prove You Are More Successful at an Older Age
According to a study by Pierre Azoulay, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, the average age of founders across various US companies was 41years old. The 1 in 1,000 with the highest growth ventures had founders whose average age was 45.
Evidence points to older founders being more successful in starting a business in middle age and beyond. A lot of this success can be credited to the above reasons, including but not limited to the experience, perspective, and network that an older entrepreneur is more likely to have compared to a younger one.
Why not embrace the benefits of growing old? Get in touch with MRS V today.