So, do you think you are too old to start a business?
If you subscribe to the notion that you have to be young in order to start a successful business, you couldn’t be more incorrect. You may be thinking to yourself, is 50 too old to start a business? When you’re middle-aged, the uncertainty of leaving the security of that comfort zone you have settled into over the decades is amplified. The truth is there is never a better age to become an entrepreneur.
Two MIT professors and the Census Bureau recently conducted a study that supports the idea that middle age truly is the perfect time to start a business. According to the paper, Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, the best entrepreneurs tend to be between 40 and 60 years of age. What’s more interesting is that the same is true even for the tech sector, an industry often associated with younger founders.
The Study Findings in a Nutshell
The researchers created a list of 2.7 million founders with at least one hiring over a period of 7 years (between 2007 and 2014). They discovered that the average age of a company founder in this dataset was 41.9 years.
More surprising is when they narrowed it down to just the fastest growing tech companies. In this subgroup, the average age of a company founder was 45 years at the time of the founding. Some of the notable stats from the study include:
- A startup founder who is 40 years old is 2.1 times more likely to start a successful company as a 25-year-old founder.
- A startup founder who is 50 years old is 2.8 times more likely to start a successful company as a 25-year-old founder.
- A startup founder who is 60 years old is 3 times as likely to start a successful company as a 30-year-old founder. In addition, they are 1.7 times more likely to start a company that makes the top 0.1 per cent.
These interesting findings do well to help dispel the long-held view that you have to be young to found a successful startup. There are compelling reasons why many people the younger generations have a higher chance of entrepreneurial success.
Younger folks are great at keeping up with new trends (tech that can meet demands/satisfy needs). They are also more energetic (fit/healthy) and can dedicate time to business since they aren’t tied down with families or mortgages. However, there are equally or more compelling reasons as to the above findings indicate the opposite.
Reasons why you are more likely to Succeed as a Middle-Aged Entrepreneur
1. Broader Frame of Reference/Experience
The older you are, the more professional and life experience you will have gained. This means that you have great points of reference to draw from when you’re making the critical decisions.
All those years of (sometimes painful) lessons you have learned can come in handy when recognizing opportunities, identifying tasks and tackling challenges. You can definitely use this experience to your advantage in the business world.
2. You Are More Financially Secure
While this may not be always the case, as a 40-year-old plus entrepreneur, you are more likely to have some financial cushions or saved some money.
At the very least, you are more likely to have developed good financial habits, so to speak.
You will hopefully have something to fall back on when the times are hard as your business is in its early growth stages. Younger entrepreneurs usually lack this financial cushioning.
3. Better Understanding of Strengths and Weaknesses
In your middle ages, you’re likely to have worked in different positions and had diverse responsibilities over the years. You’ve had the chance to assess and discover what your good at and what you aren’t.
As a new businesses owner, this can be a powerful advantage. You are able to determine what you should do yourself and what you should outsource or delegate.
Other reasons include better and wider network, greater confidence and an increased desire to pursue your passion.
Tips for Starting a Business in Mid-Life
So you may be thinking to yourself; how do I start a business at 50. The first step is believing that you can. Below are some tips for starting your business in your 50s or even 60s.
1. Know Your End Game and Plan Accordingly
Starting your business at 50 or 60 means fewer years to develop it. So, you must carefully consider your strategy. A business will bring changes to your financial life. Therefore, you have to downsize and plan it. Plan your budget and figure out the areas that you can trim expenses and make savings.
2. Utilize Your Professional and Social Network
At an older age, you have likely developed a wide network of like-minded individuals and believers that can help you succeed. Now is the right time to put your networks into use. Reach out to people in the industry you are interested in and ask for their help to help your business grow.
3. Undergo Additional Training and Education
What’s one of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs? Successful entrepreneurs develop a habit of constant learning. Take the time to improve yourself by learning new skills and obtaining certification that are pivotal to your business. When you’re offering people something, they are more likely to subscribe if they feel you know what you’re doing. Never underestimate the power of knowing your industry.
4. Use Your Alumni Network
Alumni associations are a great place to find new clients or fish for people or resources that can help you out regarding your business.
5. Don't Forget Your Health
During mid-life, your health becomes more important than ever. Starting a business has its challenges and you want to be healthy and fit enough to tackle them with a smile. Becoming physically fit doesn’t mean endless hours in the gym or on the tracks. Just ensure that you walk daily, go for swimming regularly and eat a healthy diet. Physical fitness will give you the energy, stamina and positivity necessary for success.
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Yes, most definitely and they are more likely to succeed at it! If you are middle-aged and ready to start this chapter in your life, you have to believe in your abilities.
If you are willing to work hard, commit and persevere through the challenges of starting a business then success is on the horizon. Science backs you up too. It proves that your experience, your networks, your skill sets and your age, all work in your favor. Start now and put all these aspects to work for you.
Start a business together can bring your family together, and allow you to build something that can generate income, wealth, and opportunities. A legacy that you build for your future generation.
Let us know if you have an experience on the above topics, or perhaps you have more tips and ideas on how to grow a successful family business online, we always love to hear that, leave comment below.