Starting young can seem like the best way to build your business. This is true more than ever. You have nothing to lose when you are young and plenty of energy to invest. Your whole life is ahead of you, so you can make mistakes and learn from them. It’s not bad to start older. Many people find that starting at 50+ is better than starting young. Yes, that’s right.
A Few Illustrious Examples
Entrepreneurs over 50 started some of the most successful and well-known businesses in the world. Raymond Kroc, 52, was driving around the US selling milkshakes machines when he founded McDonald’s. John Pemberton, a physician, and the pharmacist were 55 when he created a substitute for morphine by removing the French Wine from his French Wine Coca recipe. He also founded the Cola company. Colonel Harland David Sands was 65 when he started a small service station. He also began working with franchises and established what would become one of the most well-known brands in the world: KFC.
One could argue that “that was back then” but the times have changed. Things have changed to an extent. It’s easier than ever to start a business and become an entrepreneur. This is why many young entrepreneurs are choosing to start early. Here are some current facts that will inspire anyone over 50 to start their own business.
Entrepreneurs aged 55 and over are twice as likely to create successful businesses than those between 20-34 years old. This holds even in the highly competitive tech sector, where young entrepreneurs have an advantage because they were exposed to 21st-century technology and the Internet.
In the United States, entrepreneurs between the ages of 55 and 64 have had the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity over the past 10 years. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the new way that technology and modern living makes it possible to retire, strong professional connections, and the ease with which almost anyone can start their own business.
According to a Kauffman Ewing Institute study, startups that survive are more likely than those whose owners are over 45 years old. This was based on 5,000 startup cases. Sixty-four percent of the startups that survived were led by entrepreneurs over 45 years old.
Over 50-year-olds have greater potential to invent new products and companies. Although it may seem surprising, innovators get better with age. The experience gained from being 50+ can make a difference in your ability to start a business in an industry you are familiar with or pursue a passion in a different industry.
Over 55-year-olds are more likely than those below 35 to start a high-growth startup. This is not a trend that’s restricted to certain industries but can be seen across all sectors. The experience, skills, insight, and wisdom of older entrepreneurs can help them guide their venture to success. They are better at managing expectations and fears, and they can persevere despite obstacles.
When 50 is Just Right
All these fascinating findings combined will reveal a simple message: Age is not an obstacle to becoming an entrepreneur. However, being 50 or older can increase your chances of success. This insight will not make it any easier to create your startup, nor will it remove the challenges, but it can be a great incentive to you to finally start the business you have always wanted.
Pamela Wigglesworth is an international entrepreneur coach, speaker, and CEO of Experiential hands-on learning. She has lived in Asia for more than 20 years and is the 50-60 Something (TM), Start-up Entrepreneur. She supports other entrepreneurs in business growth and development.