Why it’s not too late to become an entrepreneur

May 1, 2022

Vera Wang was an editor at Vogue for 17 years before she became a famous fashion designer at the age of 40.

Bernard Marcus was fired from his job at hardware store Handy Dan at the age of 48 along with his coworker Arthur Blank. They later started a rival retailer, Home Depot.

Thankfully, being creative and innovative doesn’t have an age limit. Unfortunately though, most people live their whole lives wondering “what if” or “I wish I had done that”. Do you really want to go on thinking that way? If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it’s time to stop wishing, and time to start doing.

You’re never too old to achieve your dreams and goals. Let me tell you why.

The stereotype of the young and successful entrepreneur is literally just a stereotype.

Sure, some of the most successful entrepreneurs happen to be young: Pete Cashmore, the founder of Mashable, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, and of course, who could forget Mark Zuckerberg.

I believe the media is to blame in perpetuating the belief that entrepreneurship is for the young. Forbes’ 30 under 30, the TechCrunch awards – where almost every winner seems to be in his or her twenties or thirties – and the list goes on. Interestingly though, the average age of a typical startup founder is 42! Someone’s clearly lying to us and we’ve all been fooled.  

Older entrepreneurs are statistically more successful.

Once you’re in your thirties or forties, you’ve acquired important skills, industry knowledge, a massive network, and so much thanks to your corporate experience – all of which will be invaluable to your new business. A 20-year-old will unfortunately not have the same track record. They’re fresh out of school, see the world with rose-colored glasses, haven’t experienced much career adversity, and are probably ill-prepared for it. That’s where your years of experience come in handy.

A little statistical fact:

A 50-year-old is 2.8 times more likely to found a successful startup than a 25-year-old. A 60-year-old is 3 times as likely to found a successful startup than a 30-year-old.

There’s never going to be the “right” time to start your business.

They say starting a business is like having a baby – there’s never a “right” time. You just have to go for it. You’ll never feel a hundred percent ready. There’s always going to be so much you don’t know, technological tools you’ve never heard of, social media platforms you didn’t even know existed. Focus on the things you’re good at, the expertise you’ve gained over the years, and simply look into the things you don’t know and ask for some help when needed.

Confront your fears, get over your age, and make sure you don’t live your life wondering “what if”.  

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