Before the owner of Amazon vacated his well-paid job, the question he asked himself was “in 50 years’ time when I’m 80, what would be my regret?”
He replied, “If I fail, I would regret, but I will regret more for not trying”. He also added, “the biggest guilt of our actions is omission.”
This thought does not insinuate that one must initiate the act of becoming an entrepreneur before reaching middle-age. Instead, the answers are only trying to make it known to us that once you have the opportunity to do something, it’s important to seize it.
As a middle-aged individual, it’s your responsibility to take charge and responsibility, particularly concerning your family’s finances and future. This could include health and wellness expenses, living expenses, and finances that concern your spouse, children, and even grandchildren. Although many attempt to successfully plan for the future, considering potential healthcare needs, this may not always be sufficient.
Combining that fact with the idea that living a traditional retiree lifestyle may not be fast-paced enough for most, there may a more practical and exciting solution in order to create a prosperous financial situation for your future.
What Is The Way Out?
Many individuals are intimidated by the idea of becoming an entrepreneur later in life as a reliable way to make a steady income. Equally, it’s common for individuals to think entrepreneurship is an innate ability, something you have to unleash as early as possible, or a kind of ability you have to groom from your youthful age.
There is certainly a track record of world-known entrepreneurs that began their success from an early age. Some of these include household names like Gates (Microsoft), Jobs (Apple), Zuckerberg (Facebook), Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), Michael Dell (Dell), Larry Page (Google), and Drew Houston (founder of Dropbox). However, there are a multitude of other famous entrepreneurs who started late.
Take, for instance, entrepreneur Raymond Kroc, founder of McDonald’s. He started his journey with the now world-famous franchise at the age of 52. As a few additional examples, John Pemberton, founder of Coca-Cola (55), Colonel Harland David Sanders, founder of KFC (65) all started building their empires after reaching middle-age. Also consider Arianna Huffington who established Huffington Post in May 2005 in her early 50s, and later launched Thrive global December 2015 at the age of 66.
Researchers like Kauffman Foundation have helped further debunk the idea that entrepreneurs must start young. This foundation disclosed that in a study surveying 500 successful founders, the typical successful entrepreneurs were those in their 40s and had 6-10 years experience in the industry prior to starting their own businesses. While starting young may be beneficial in some areas, the advantages of becoming aged before kick starting a business cannot be overlooked.
Aged businesspersons are filled with sundry of experiences which they’ve garnered from the industry. When issues related to payroll, decision-making, dealing with employees, negotiation and more prevail, older entrepreneurs are better equipped to deal with these issues and decisions due to their knowledge.
Also, when one has dwelled in a given industry for many years, they are likely to have met a large network of business contacts, making them have a bigger connection to leverage, and this goes a long way in helping a business flourish when it’s built from the ground up.
The director of research from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, Vivek Wadhwa pointed out the following:
- Successful entrepreneurs around age 50+ make
up double the population of those under age 25
those 60+ make up twice the entrepreneur population as those under 20
- 3/4 of the prosperous
businesspersons introduce a years of industrial experience to the table
Following the above-listed research, in his own sentiment, he said, “ideas come from need; understanding of need comes from experience; and experience comes with age,” giving more recognition to aged entrepreneurs.
Conclusively, this has made us realize that business success is not synonymous with age, give the fact that there are countless successful entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s and aged business persons older than 40 are also numerous. The most significant thing is the nature, type, relevance and the demand for your idea in the market.