What if you are in your thirties, forties, fifties or even sixties? Does that make you too old to launch your startup?
We look at the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur in each of these age brackets.
What is the best age to become an entrepreneur?
The early twenties
Some might argue that the early 20’s would be the best age considering that people of this age are full of energy and enthusiasm.
They are more technology savvy and don’t mind taking risks. They have fewer responsibilities and they have the drive and passion to pursue their ideas and dreams. They also have more time in hand.
The ideal example would be Mark Zuckerberg who was much younger and started Facebook while in his late teens (19). He dropped out of college to fulfil his dreams.
Does that mean that young budding entrepreneurs should give their college education a skip?
The Thiel Foundation, founded by Peter Thiel actually encourages young minds to think out of the box and drop out of college to dedicate two years to the Thiel Foundation’s 20 Under 20 Fellowship program. During this period, each of selected 20 teens would receive a $100,000 funding to give shape to their business ideas.
However, it cannot be argued that college education is an important aspect for every individual. While each person cannot be a Zuckerberg, so there’s a chance that the venture you undertake may or may not be successful.
It may also be noted that Zuckerberg had with him one of the biggest brand name ‘Harvard’ when he decided to drop out.
A lot of technology and internet-based start-ups are being launched by the younger age group. But it’s also true that innovation can happen at any age. Some may wait for some financial stability, so they may wish to continue working for a few years before deciding to take the plunge.
The early thirties
The older you get, the more experienced you are. This experience can help you be aware of the potential pitfalls, so that you can tread carefully. So, the early thirties is also a good time to launch your business ideas.
Now, you may possibly have completed some higher education and worked for a substantial period, so there’s more maturity and balance as far as approach and decisions are concerned.
Though you’d have greater responsibilities (children, home loan, car loan), you are in a better position to take lower risks and manage your finances efficiently.
The late thirties or early forties
As you move on to your late thirties or early forties, you develop greater contacts, a better reputation and a wider experience in the industry, so you’d be in a better position to figure out what would work best and what wouldn’t.
You’d be aware of the industry trends and accordingly be able to decide whether you’d invest your time and energy in any existing industry or an emerging one. You’d also have figured out how to stay ahead in the competition.
You’d be better equipped at being able to leverage your existing network to get referrals, generate new leads or manage product marketing.
The fifties and sixties
Though some may say that the fifties or the sixties are too late, that certainly doesn’t mean that you start falling short of brilliant business ideas or motivation at this age. If you’re successful with your venture, you’d have a lot to look forward to post-retirement.
And if you didn’t do it now, after a few years, you’d perhaps look back and regret your decision not to do so.
Though at this age, you may not have the energy as in your twenties or thirties, it is essential that get involved in something that you love and you’re passionate about.
You are now an expert in your field; you’re aware of your strengths and you’ve the required contacts and experience not to mention the wisdom that come with age.
It is very essential to invest very carefully. You may possibly consider options like consulting or guidance/coaching or some business requiring lesser monetary investments.
A lot of businesses do not need investing in an office space, instead you just need internet access and you could be running your business from home. You can thus keep the costs low.
At what age did the top entrepreneurs start their business?
Here’s a list to support the belief that there’s no age bar for starting your own business.
|13||Richard Schulze||Best Buy||25|
|22||John Mackey||Whole foods||27|
|42||James Gamble||Procter & Gamble||33|
|43||William Fargo||Wells Fargo||34|
|44||William Procter||Procter & Gamble||35|
|47||J. C. Jacobsen||Carlsberg||36|
|53||Hugo Boss||Hugo Boss||38|
|55||Wayne Hughes||Public Storage||38|
|58||Amancio OIrtega Zara||Inditex||39|
|64||Christian Dior||Christian Dior||41|
|72||Charlie Ergen||Dish Network||43|
|74||Macon Brock Jr.||Dollar Tree||43|
|79||Thomas Edison||General Electric||45|
|81||Henry Wells||Wells Fargo||47|
|82||Marcus Goldman||Goldman Sachs||48|
|83||Bernard Marcus||Home Depot||48|
|87||Harold Stanley||Morgan Stanley||50|
|89||Chung Ju-Yung||Hyundai Motor||51|
|91||Joseph Campbell||Campbell Soup||52|
|93||Yoshisuke Aikawa||Nissan Motor||53|
|94||Estée Lauder||Estée Lauder||54|
|95||Sheldon Adelson||Las Vegas Sands||55|
|98||Amadeo Giannini||Bank Of America||60|
Data Source: Funders and Founders | Image Source: Sugarslam