You’re Never Too Old to Start Your Own Business

by | Feb 24, 2015 | Financial PLanning

The young whippersnappers who start highly successful businesses in their teens or early 20’s get lots of attention. Think Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. But there are many examples from the other end of the age spectrum too. Martha Stewart got into home decorating at 35. Sam Walton was 44 when he started Walmart. Charles Flint was 61 when he created The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company that was the forerunner to IBM.

Fewer Distractions in Youth
It’s well known how much work is involved in starting your own business venture. It is true that the entrepreneur in his or her 20s or early 30s may not have the family commitments of marriage and kids to split the focus. However, the numbers tell us clearly that the older entrepreneur has figured out how to effectively balance both a busy career and home life.

The Upward Trend of Older Entrepreneurs
More than 53% of the new companies started in 2013 had entrepreneurs aged 45 or older at the helm, according to the Kauffman Foundation’s annual Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. That is up from 44% just ten years earlier. In fact, when someone 55 or older launches a high-growth startup, the chances of success are almost double when compared to those started by founders in the 20 to 34 age group.

Experience Matters
Older people have something that younger people simply don’t have: experience. Younger people who want to start a business may have passion, but they’ll often make mistakes that older folks might avoid. The key to successful young entrepreneurs is how fast they can learn from their mistakes and how willing they are to take advice from mentors. Older people who start their own businesses often benefit from all of the education and experience they’ve gain through the years. That sort of real life education may be more valuable than a fancy Stanford or Harvard entrepreneurship degree.

Industry Veterans
Silicon Valley is flooded with internet startups comprised of a youth culture. In fact, that’s what has helped feed the perception that you need to be youthful in order to start a successful business. In the internet sector, a youthful outlook can be quite compelling and powerful in launching a startup. Compare that, however, with other industries like biotech or other more mature industries – where the experience and knowledge offered by older founders is a definite advantage.

All that’s required – at any age – to start a successful business is the idea, the resources (both financial and human), the opportunity, and a can-do attitude. You’re never too old to start a business.

Thinking of starting a business with the help of accredited investors? Visit Verify Investor for more information on how you can accredit an investor.

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