Today, when younger entrepreneurs get so much media attention, it may seem that they have a head start, but in fact, there are twice as many successful entrepreneurs over 50 as under 25 (yeah baby). Apart from life experience, a 50 or 60-something entrepreneur has a couple of other advantages over a young entrepreneur, even if he or she is only starting their first venture. Listed below are just a few reasons why 50+ is a great age for anyone to make his or her dream of being an entrepreneur come true.
Richer Network Connections
By the time you reach 50 or 60, you've probably built at least a few strong professional connections, some of them perhaps even reinforced by strong friendships and other ties. This is especially true if you've been working in the corporate world. Knowing other people in an industry you are interested in, whether they are on the management ladder or not, can be a treasure trove of insight, advice, business opportunities, and perhaps even partners and staffing resources.
Stability and Endurance
Being an entrepreneur is rewarding, but it can also be demanding, especially with your time and money. By the time they turn 50, many aspiring entrepreneurs have a family, own a house, and are more secure financially than they were in their 20s or 30s. Many are even likely to be grandparents. Having a strong and stable personal and financial foundation gives entrepreneurs in their 50s and 60s the stability and endurance needed to steer a business on the path to success.
Clarity and Focus
Entrepreneurs over the age of 50 are more likely to invest their time in projects that have a social, cultural, or environmental impact that matters for future generations. By the time you're 50, time has likely helped you filter your passions and embrace those which are not only the most important for you, but which have the power to do good. From this understanding springs the clarity and focus of applying all your energy and resources on building something that matters, not just for you, but for others, too.
Patience is a virtue in the world of business. There are plenty of young entrepreneurs who have it, but it's one of those virtues that the years tend to polish and refine. An entrepreneur in his 50 or 60 has seen enough in his or her life to know that rushing things, making impulsive decisions, or acting on the spur of the moment is often bad for business.
With 50 or 60 of years of life experience behind you, you will be less likely to force the growth of your company, quit when the going gets tough, or go to market too early. You have the patience of experience.
As we grow older, we tend to become more aware of the problems and challenges those around us are facing. The same is true for entrepreneurs. After 50 or 60, entrepreneurs tend to have deeper reservoirs of empathy for those around them. This can translate into a more considerate approach to management that creates a pleasant workplace environment which naturally attracts people.
Better Fear Management Skills
Fear of failure, fear of stagnation, or fear of competitors getting ahead are only three of the fears entrepreneurs have to manage. All too often, these are background fears that can surge at any moment during challenging times. The 50 or 60-something entrepreneur knows fear and, like most people, has likely battled with his or her own fears during his life. He or she has developed a natural fear management and response mechanism that minimizes fear as a factor for their decisions.
As CS Lewis said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." Being 50 or 60 years old is not only a great age for being a successful entrepreneur today, but it's actually good for business.