As the Jethro Tull anthem says, “You’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll if you’re too young to die.”
As a Boomer, I find myself thinking about this from time to time. Don’t you?
I work with professionals who range in age from 45-65. Many of them feel that they are ready to really make a big push in their careers or grow a business.
These professionals have life experiences, skills, and judgment. They also may now finally have the time to start a business.
If they have recently sent kids off to college or gotten them settled in careers, they may feel that they have lots of time.
It’s true that we have an aging workforce. Some Boomer professionals want to spend time in and around corporate as an employee for as long as possible. Others want to consult to corporations. Others want to start or work with a non-profit and do work that is truly meaningful for them.
And then there are you guys – current or would-be Boomer business owners. You’re ready to grow a business.
I have some really good news for you: Contrary to popular sentiment, older entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful. Tech startup wunderkinds aside, we Boomers have a pretty good shot at creating the businesses we want.
I came across this great article in Forbes “Does Age Matter For Entrepreneurial Success?” and I was waiting for some nonsense about how you had to be young and living in your parents’ basement, or be in an incubator or in grad school. Instead, I saw this:
“The collective summary of [many studies done on this topic is that] the average entrepreneur is 40 years old when they launch their startup, and people over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth startup.”
Many (maybe most) of you may not be looking to start a high-growth company – but I still found this very encouraging. And I absolutely loved the way the author, George Deeb, wrapped it up:
“So, to answer the question posed by the title of this post: does age matter for entrepreneurial success? No, age in itself does not matter in trying to forecast entrepreneurial success. But experience does, and often times that comes with age. And smart entrepreneurs that lack experience can offset that by surrounding themselves with experienced mentors.”
And here is some more good news: My friend Ali Davies, who coaches adults over 50 on life and work, had a client who started a successful business at 76 against all odds. Four years later, she is still in business and doing well. I highly recommend you read this for a jolt of positivity: “An Inspiring Story of Creating Success When The Odds Are Stacked Against You.”
I hope you will agree that I have made my case. You’re never too old to start a business – or to rock ‘n’ roll.
Actually, I strongly suggest that you do both.
Catherine Morgan is a business consultant to consultants and a career transition coach through her company Point A to Point B Transitions. She also is a professional speaker who presents on topics related to small business, entrepreneurship, and career transition. She is often described as “appropriately irreverent” – and is not afraid to poke fun at herself or the issues we all face. Listen to Catherine’s interview on The Boomer Business Owner Podcast by clicking here.
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