Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, so many people fall into the mindset that being a business owner is a young man or woman’s place. The idealized image of an entrepreneur today is someone who’s up all hours of the day and night working. They focus 100% on their business 100% of the time, and that’s the only path to success.
How could you possibly commit so much of your life to running a business when you’ve already got so much on your plate? Maybe you have a family to worry about and bills to pay. Additionally, all the young business owners of today are so tech savvy. Do you really want to play catch up?
In reality, many of the greatest business owners of all time got their starts later in life. Martha Stewart didn’t start her first business until her mid-thirties, and she was almost 50 when she created Martha Stewart Living magazine.
She’s not the only big-name in business who found themselves revving for the business world later in life. Colonel Sanders of fast food fame didn’t open his restaurant until he was in his forties. The list goes on and on, and you’ll be surprised to learn that there are many late bloomers in all industries. Now you know that it’s completely possible to start a business, even if you think you’re too old. It’s time to talk about how to actually do it.
Recognize Your Advantages
First, know that your age is something that works to your advantage. No, you probably didn’t grow up with a cell phone or the internet, but that doesn’t mean your experience goes out the window. Those 20-something entrepreneurs have nothing on your experience. They’re fresh out of college, and they’ve never faced much adversity in their lives of careers.
Basically, they lack real-world know-how. Today, being an “entrepreneur” is something that’s hyped on social media. Young people see influencers and startups with their slang words like #girlboss and #hustle, but these are empty illusions. Entrepreneurship is really just hard work, and that’s something you know plenty about.
Focus on what you’re good at. Even if you’re just now starting your first business, you likely have years or even decades of industry experience or service skills that can be put to use. These are things young people don’t have, even if they seem to boast all of the confidence in the world. Don’t fall for the “fake entrepreneurs” you see online. You know how to spot the real thing, and you can’t fake experience.
Don’t Overlook Technology
While you shouldn’t be intimidated by technology, you also can’t ignore it. It’s true that we’re living in a digital age. The world runs on the internet, and if your business isn’t also online, you’re going to fall behind. Don’t fret, it’s not as big of a challenge as it seems.
Yes, the playing field is different now, but don’t let that make you any less confident. Now is the time to get familiar with apps and devices. It’s as simple as downloading the new apps, clicking around on social media, and learning all you can. Stay up to date on the latest tech trends, whether it’s a new social media platform or marketing idea. These things can be learned no matter what generation you’re in.
Statistics are on your side. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the average age of successful business founders is 42 years old. Perhaps the entrepreneurial landscape isn’t as young as it appears to be.
Now is the Time
There are no more excuses. It’s time to get to work. When it comes to learning how to start a business, age really is just a number. The world is changing rapidly but that doesn’t mean you can’t change with it.
Older entrepreneurs know their customers. They already have a lifetime of networking experience. They’re advisors and mentors in themselves. Stop falling for the 20-something image of the up-and-coming business owner. They’re just a single piece of a very big puzzle. You too can start a business at any age.
This article is brought to you exclusively by The Business Transformation Network.
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion in providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.