You might have had a burning desire to become your own boss but too scared to quit your job and pursue your dreams as an entrepreneur due to financial engagements like family needs, house rent or mortgage, school fees, etc. Because of these you stuck to your career, now probably retired and feeling it’s too late or you are too old, you are not alone.
Everywhere you look, there are such stories of men who let their dreams die and all they have now is tales of their heroic past, and how important their signatures used to be or how many VIPs they have net or count as friend. All because they watched their dreams sail away because of the fear of the unknown. But it is never too late to become an entrepreneur; what you might lack in youthful energy, you will make up for with experience.
Of course Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at 19 and nurtured it into a blue chip company but for every such success there are hundreds of undocumented failures. As much as the world would love the story of a college kid who started a billion dollar tech-company in his dorm room, a study by the Kauffman Foundation’s annual Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, stated that the rate of new businesses being started by entrepreneurs between 20 and 34 has actually been falling in recent years. Meanwhile, the number of businesses created by older entrepreneurs between the ages of 55 and 64 is rising drastically. In 1996, just 14.3% of new entrepreneurs were older than 55. By 2012, that number had risen to 23.4%. Apparently entrepreneurship or start-ups are not the exclusive reservation of whiz kids.
A lot of successful businesses were started by entrepreneur in the 50s and above; Ray Kroc started McDonald at 52, Amadeo Giannini started Bank of America at 60, Charles Flint founded IBM at 61 but the most inspiring seems to be the story of Harland Sanders who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) at the age of 65. After a military career as well as several failed previous ventures, Mr. Sanders took his first social security check and founded the famous franchise which went on to become the world’s largest fast-food chicken chain.
One major advantage 50s and above have in starting up a business is experience. As they say: a fool at forty is a fool forever. This is because it is expected that by forty, life experiences ought to have taught one enough lessons. Also, professional experiences help prepare this age bracket for business success. Another major challenge which the young entrepreneurs face is lack of capital. But starting at the ripe age of 50+ is easier as the entrepreneurs in this age bracket have saving or properties easy access to loans.
In conclusion, age is nothing but a number. Explore, conquer, your dream might be the next big thing.