There is no one-size fits all approach to starting a business. What works for some, most definitely will not work for others. When we think about start-up companies, traditionally we think of the likes of Facebook, Google or maybe even Innocent, but despite media speculation about the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger generation, the average age of an entrepreneur in the UK 47. So, can we really view ourselves as being ‘over the hill’?
For many years, and many reasons, women in their 40’s or above have historically lagged behind their male counterparts when it comes to the number of entrepreneurs. However, this group now account for more than one in six business start-up’s in the UK.
For me, starting my own business was never something I never intended: I was a single mother for ten years, with two lovely daughters to provide for. The thought of going self-employed was an duanting one – full of risk and income uncertainty. But fate worked in my favour, and after completing my MBA when the girls were tiny the phone just didn’t stop ringing. So, I became a business turnaround expert and a self-employed contractor. It didn’t feel like I was an entrepreneur, as I still went to a huge office every day and managed teams of thousands!
Anyway, to cut a very long story short; in my 40’s I fell out of love with corporate, built a strong network marketing business, and I learned so much about small businesses and myself. I was always coaching and helping others- just not charging for it. I also got ill with ME, went through early menopause in the same year, and honestly thought I was losing my mind! So at the ripe old age of 51, I formed a business coaching business called The Master Fixer. Don’t be fooled- it wasn’t an overnight success, it took a lot of hard work to get where I am now! But by this point in my life, I knew what I was good at and what I wasn’t. This made the decision to outsource tasks, such as website design and accounting, simple. I knew the areas that I enjoyed and that made me money, and I was aware of the areas that (for me) would be laborious and time-consuming.
Like many first-time fortysomething entrepreneurs, my business came as a result of years, perhaps even decades, of thinking, planning, and experience in my field. Although becoming a business owner was accompanied with a sea of risk, my desperation to give my daughters the best start in life took over and drove me to where I am today. Like many of my clients, my family were the driving force behind every late night, every early (early!) morning, and every sale I went after. I had a determination that was not available to me during my 20’s or 30’s.
As a Business Coach, I work with many female business owners in their 40’s. My primary focus with the a large number of these women is to help them balance the daily struggles of being an active, present parent whilst also succeeding within the business world. It is not an easy task, and if you are reading this and find yourself in the same boat then you should never expect overnight results. But, if you are to take anything from this, know that it ispossible to have it all. There will be tough days, tough weeks, and tough months but an important lesson to remember is that you are not supposed to be able to do everything- ask for help where and when you need it.
One trend that is most definitely apparent with female entrepreneurs of this age is that they have the experience, the skills, and the knowledge that enables them to avoid costly mistakes that would have occured should they have started earlier. This is not to say that entrepreneurs of this age do not make mistakes, of course we do- mistakes are a part of all human endeavours, but the mistakes we make at this point in life tend to take a lot less time to clear up. They are little bumps in the road, and on the odd occasion that they are more than this, we are equipped with the knowhow and self-belief to overcome them.
There is the occasional millennial that has broken the mould, but according to statistics, starting a company in your 20’s is almost five times as risky as starting later in life; you are inexperience, riddled with student debt and surrounded by uncertainty. Your forties, on the other hand, represent an attractive combination of (slight…) financial security and business experience. At this point, you know what you want from a career, so you are in a good place to create a business and a lifestyle that is right for you.
A large number of women later in life that have decided to go solo have done so on a small scale. They are freelancing with a handful of clients because, and this is a common misconception, they feel as though they have to choose between financial success and quality family time. To battle against this, and to break down these invisible barriers to a greater lifestyle, I have created a movement- The Non-Millennial Revolution.
The Non-Millennial Revolution is a movement created for the forty plus business woman, by the forty plus business woman. We are building a community to support women of this age to create the business of their dreams, to balance their hectic life-styles, and to see unimaginable results. We’re ready for whatever comes our way, and now is our time! So, move over Millennials.
Come and join the movement. Be a part of the next big thing.
If you want to see what I do as a Business Coach, head over to my Website. If you and your business could do with support, expert knowledge or just a push in the right direction you can book your Free Strategy Call with me now.