Some of us believe that you have to be young to be an entrepreneur. Our mind’s eye sees young, slick professionals trying to make out in the Wild West of business. That’s a young man’s game. I’m here to tell you something you might not be used to hearing: you’re not too old to start again.
A mature businessman can be a great asset to a company that’s just starting out. If you want to start a new business but feel your age disqualifies you, don’t. Here’s why you can actually be a boon to your new business ventures.
5 Reasons You Can Start a New Business as an Older Entrepreneur
1) With Age Comes Experience
While we often think of entrepreneurs and new business owners as young and bright-eyed 30-somethings, we must consider the advantages of starting a business when you’re older. You may think that age is a disqualifier, but in fact, it is a qualifier. Who better to start a new business than someone who has “been there, done that” for years?
Not only do you reap the benefits of your experience—seeing other business fails, watching how the economic climate affects business, and more—but you have a perspective that people who start their careers with their own business lack. You have an understanding of what it’s like to work for someone, and you know all of the bad management decisions that have caused you headaches.
You don’t have to learn on the job as much as the young entrepreneurs of the world. You know how things work by merit of existing in that system for years.
While it’s easy to look at the new guys and envy their energy and youth, remember that you have something even more valuable. Your experience means you don’t have to expend energy on fixing mistakes. You don’t have to clamor for attention and recognition. You command it instead.
2) With Age Comes Authority
What comes to mind when you think of authority? We might imagine a police officer, a judge, or even a high-power executive. The truth of the matter is that when you are older, you command authority. This is because your word is packed up with all of that experience, all of that knowledge and know-how, and simply because, well. You’ve been around.
It’s easier for an older entrepreneur to get recognized and taken seriously versus a young buck with little real-world experience.
The key here is to exercise your authority responsibly.
3) You’ve Figured Out What You Want
When you’re young, you can feel torn between many different paths and passions. This is no less true for entrepreneurs. While they may stay with their business until the bitter end, it’s fairly likely that they will realize that it’s not all that it is cracked up to be.
With age, it’s a lot easier to be a realist. You are able to see past the glitz and glamour of business owning and instead, you can view things objectively. You’ve had the time to figure yourself out and you know what you want and how to go after it.
In the long run, that means you avoid costly mistakes and poor-decisions. You know what you want and what you need and you’re going for it. Period.
4) You Have a Network
One of the most valuable things to any businessman is who they know. If you’ve been in the game a while, chances are you have a lot of professional connections. These connections can help you expedite the building and scaling of your business and its client base. Having an existing network going into a new business venture is hugely advantageous.
With these people, who in turn know more people, you can leverage your connections to bring in both business and essentials.
5) You’ve Made All the Mistakes
For anyone in the business world, one of the most telling indicators of whether or not you will succeed or fail is how you handle mistakes. As an older entrepreneur, you have another advantage. You’ve wrestled with disappointments, mistakes, and lapses in judgment. You know what to do and what not to do because you’ve been there.
You have the maturity and know-how to overcome any roadblock that stands in your way. You’re not caught off guard or left surprised by issues that may crop up. Simply put: you’re well-equipped to avoid and recover from any mistake.
What About Your New Business?
It’s valuable to understand that new business, for you, might not mean starting a company totally from scratch. It might be an expansion of your role. For example, turning your attention to the business of real estate investment! You can invest passively and, as the owner, lean on your experience and the expertise of your turnkey provider in order to growth your wealth at any age.
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