When you think about entrepreneurs, you might think about plucky young kids who forgo the college experience to chase their dreams. However, the idea that all successful entrepreneurs are vivacious, twenty-somethings is a myth. In fact, a recent study by MIT showed that the average age of startup founders is 41 and the average age of founders of highly successful companies is 45.
Entrepreneurs have to be creative and passionate. These qualities do not have an age limit. In addition, experienced workers are directed and focused. They know what they want out of life. Entrepreneurs seek to understand and solve problems in innovative ways. Middle-aged (and older) entrepreneurs have had plenty of experience knowing what works and what does not. The calling to be an entrepreneur does not wane as you get older, in fact, it may become more necessary and immediate to come up with solutions for the people you care about.
Take a Look at What “Older” Entrepreneurs Have Accomplished
- Netflix CEO Reed Hastings started Netflix DVD rental at 37 and Netflix streaming at 47.
- The founders of McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken were all over 50.
- Michael Grottola started his consulting business at the age of 65 after losing his job during the recession Olive Lynch explored the idea of recycling food waste and founded a new composting technology company at 52.
- Gerry Fioriglio founded her own nursing and caregiving business at age 57.
- Geico Insurance was founded by Leo Goodwin when he was 50.
- At age 52, Carol Gardner founded the Zelda Wisdom greeting card company.
Why Consider Later in Life Entrepreneurship.
There are many reasons why entrepreneurs who are older can have great success in business. Here are just a few of those reasons.
1. You Have Lived Through Ups and Downs
Starting a business is no simple task. It takes perseverance and a belief that you can succeed despite the obstacles. Young entrepreneurs generally have not had enough ups and downs to weather those storms confidently and may bail as soon as things get rough. Older entrepreneurs know that life will settle down eventually. They know how to look toward the future and work toward goals despite setbacks. In fact, many older people start working for themselves because of layoffs, forced retirement or recession.
2. You Have More Experience
It takes confidence to be an entrepreneur. And behind that confidence is usually life experience. It is not always enough to think that you are strong enough to run a business but you have got to know that you can. Older entrepreneurs have a vast array of experience and can make educated guesses about how things will turn out based on those previous events.
3. You Have a Wider Network
Older entrepreneurs know more people. Throughout your lifetime you have amassed quite a few friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances. You have sought professional development and worked on building up your network. And everyone you know has their own network. Making your circle wide and far-reaching. Younger people may be friends with more people online, but older entrepreneurs know more people who will actually lend a hand in business.
4. You Have Emotional Support
The support of family and friends is crucial to the success of entrepreneurs. When things get rough, as they inevitably will, older entrepreneurs can turn toward the close knit community they have spent years developing. Family members will listen and offer advice. Friends that you have helped in the past will repay the favor now.
Becoming an entrepreneur later in life is a great idea for people who want to solve problems. Get some formal training before you dive into opening a business by checking out the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies at Grand Canyon University.
To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business provides entrepreneurs will all the skills for success, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.
About Colangelo College of Business
Business Buzz is a blog that features content written by faculty, staff and students from Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business. In addition to profiles about events, students and faculty on campus, you’ll also find insight and perspective on the ever-changing business discipline and current global business topics. Learn about the modern business landscape, and how business today continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of organizations and consumers in the 21st century. Check in every week for the latest news from the business community and around GCU.