Some of the most iconic names in business started when they were well out of their bright-eyed teens and twenties. While we typically think that starting a business is up to the young fire-starters, there’s also a wise saying that youth is wasted on the young.
Maybe you have a business idea that you are afraid to pursue because you feel like your time passed years ago. Maybe you think there’s not enough time or you aren’t capable because of your age.
Don’t underestimate yourself. The wisdom and experience that comes with decades in the workforce can’t be replaced or imitated. You have to earn it. When you do, you will be better equipped to start your own venture than you ever were as a fresh-faced twenty-something.
Designer Vera Wang started at 40. Harlan (Colonel) Sanders turned 65 before he sold the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Samuel Jackson was 46 before he had his acting breakthrough in Pulp Fiction. Sam Walton’s first true Wal-Mart store opened when he was 44.
These aren’t exceptions, either — there are a lot of experienced and successful entrepreneurs who never had their big break until later in life.
Here’s why being older better equips you to start a successful business venture.
4 Advantages Age Gives Entrepreneurs
1) You Know How to Handle Failure
One of the most devastating experiences for young entrepreneurs is failure. When you’ve struck out on your own to try to make a success of yourself, so much of your blood, sweat, and tears goes into the process. It’s hard not to take failure personally or to get lost in it. If you don’t know how to deal with failure, it can be a paralyzing and demoralizing experience. However, people who have been around the block, either through other ventures or careers, have tasted failure. They’re familiar with it and it doesn’t rock the foundation of their dreams.
Experienced individuals have seen it before and act accordingly. Not surprised or devastated, but prepared to do what it takes to get back on track.
2) You Recognize What Really Matters to You
They say that college is the season of finding oneself. I would argue that you don’t know what you want to do and be until much later. One of the greatest advantages afforded to older entrepreneurs is that you actually know what you want. You recognize what is truly valuable to you, what you’re really passionate about, and what you want to spend your life pursuing.
This will help you have staying-power as you find your niche and passion — not just in work, but in life.
3) Your Experience Informs Your Decisions
Perhaps the most popular and most overlooked advantage to being an older businessman is your experience. We all know that with age comes wisdom, but we often downplay it or ignore it entirely when pursuing other ventures. No matter what your job has been or what your career looks like now, the experience that you’ve earned through working under a boss, problem-solving, and working diligently all serve you well.
Because you have a solid background, you are better equipped to make solid business decisions for yourself. It’s likely you’ve seen just about every situation you can imagine in real life, which greatly reduces your uncertainty.
4) You Have Less to Prove
It’s no surprise that people who have been in the professional world have far less to learn that the fresh startup. Because you’ve been around the block, people recognize you. They know your vision and your proven work ethic. Not only can you reap the benefits of a pre-established career, but you have all of your contacts, too.
Building up a professional network takes time and effort. If you’ve been on the scene for a while, it’s one less thing to worry about. Finding a team, investors, and supporters is easier than when you have to start from scratch.
The advantages of starting a new venture later in life are clear. Even if you aren’t opening a store, producing a new product, or directing the next big cinematic release, you can benefit from waiting to make your magnum opus. Gather your resources, experience, and supporters. And take your time.
Start a new venture today. Invest in turnkey real estate with Memphis Invest. It’s never too late to begin!