Your age is one of your greatest assets when entering into the world of entrepreneurship – and we’re not talking about tech-savvy young Millennials who think they’ve come up with the “next big thing.” Here are just a few reasons why you should consider starting a business when you’re over 50.
< With thirty working years behind you, you have been there, done that and probably bought the t-shirt. All the skills you have learned, the networks you have built and mistakes you have made are right there with you, bundled into one big ball of experience. You've never had so many skills that you can now use to propel your business.
Mature entrepreneurs experience a new freedom to pursue their dreams when they turn 50. The children are older and need less looking after, you probably have more financial security and there is less pressure to conform to society’s expectations. For the first time in a long time, you can afford to be a little selfish. The focus is a major asset in business. It impacts hugely on your motivation and energy levels and can make the difference between success and failure.
During your 30s and 40s, your life was probably full of career, family and childcare considerations. For many people, and especially women, it isn’t until you hit your 50s that you finally have some time to think and define what’s really important to you. You have the opportunity to spend the next twenty years of your life doing something that makes you truly happy.
Perhaps you’ve paid down the mortgage, or you have an inheritance, or a pension, or a healthy savings account. Whatever your circumstances, you are far more likely than other generations to have a pot of cash to start your business and to fall back on if things don’t go to plan. Young people, by contrast, may be forced to take out personal loans to start their business. They have to worry about paying back debts and making enough money from the business to do so – you don’t.
It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters. And by 50, you sure know a lot of people! The connections you have built over a lifetime are invaluable when it comes to launching, financing and publicizing your business. They can save you so much time when starting out.
The so-called seniors market is booming and opportunities are plentiful. By some estimates, the over 50s have twice the spending power of later generations. Yet most companies do a terrible job of marketing their products to this valuable segment. How many campaigns have made you cringe because they you were so patronizing and out of touch? You, by contrast, are perfectly in tune with the needs and aspirations of your counterparts. This puts you way ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing to them effectively.
Most new businesses face setbacks. These obstacles can be disheartening for a young entrepreneur who has yet to suffer any major life blows. You, by contrast, have likely encountered, and overcome, your fair share of trouble. And the one thing that separates people who succeed from those who fail is an understanding of the power of failure. People make mistakes. But unlike your younger counterparts, you have shown that you have the perseverance to handle those mistakes like a pro.
Starting a business is a big step, and there may never be a better time if you are over fifty. The days of making someone else rich are behind you and you can now channel all your knowledge, skills and energy into your own venture. So why not scratch that itch and go for it?