It is always hard to dispute cold facts, especially when all odds are stacked against you. In business, this is even more pertinent because you are investing your hard earned money and you need to leverage numbers to evaluate your rate of success.
The Glaring Numbers
If you are a budding entrepreneur, the issue of age is one you can’t ignore. Take for instance some contemporary billionaires; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg started off at only 18 years, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 23 years and Bill Gates was only 20 years when he set out to revolutionizing the computing world.
As an aspiring entrepreneur over 30 years, these numbers will surely discourage you. Every entrepreneurship forum you visit today is heralding the era of teen billionaires and you can’t fault these analysts for such enthusiasm.
However, such numbers should not dim your resolve to invest, whether you are in your 40s or even about to start your retirement. Indeed, this is the information age where you can capitalize on numbers that are not always cited to get a competitive edge over your competition.
A study by Kansas based Kauffman Foundation in 2012 showed that entrepreneurs who started late in life were more likely to succeed despite what populist media wants you to believe. Of course you have to understand that a story about a teenager making billions is more likely to sell than that of an old geezer making it later in life.
Another study by Founders and Funders extensively published on renowned publications including Forbes, CNN and U.S Money proved that indeed older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed compared to the younger ones.
A mentorship study program by Virgin Group in 2013 showed that among 100 hot entrepreneurs picked by participants, over 67% started late. Well, this should be a confidence boost to you if you are struggling with a startup even as you tackle other advanced age issues. But there is still more to egg you on; keep reading.
Successful Late Starters in Entrepreneurships
You must have been to Famous Daves for their finger-licking BBQ available in their chain of restaurants. Well, did you know that Daves Anderson only started his now successful business at 41 years, back in 1994?
But Dave is not alone in going against contemporary entrepreneurship trends. Take Ray Kroc, who sold milkshake mixers until he was 52 years. Ray went on to start McDonald’s, which is one of the most recognizable restaurant brands. Others include Twitter’s Evan Williams, who started the venture at 35 years, PayPal’s Reid Hoffman, Siebel and Intel’s Thomas Siebel, who found success at 41 years, KFC’s Harland Colonel Sanders and Carol Gardner of Zelma Wisdom, who started off at 52 years.
Indeed, the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) has a section dedicated to 50-years plus owned startups. In its own study, SBA has found that 55-plus startups make for 28% of new businesses.
In simple terms, while geeks in college might be hogging the limelight, there are your peers out there, who should be a motivation for you as an entrepreneur.
Refreshing Tips on making it as a Late Bloomer
With this hindsight, it becomes relatively easy to start off, but there is a catch; you have to work extra hard to make it as a late bloomer in entrepreneurship. A mentorship program by U.S SBA that brought top entrepreneurs, who started late, gave some insight on how these billionaires made it against all odds.
Here are some of these factors for success:
- Leverage Life Experience
With age comes experience as they say, but it is not all positive as you would expect. Indeed, most successful business owners who start late had to go under heartbreaking entrepreneurial moments including business failure, collapse and bankruptcy, among other debilitating situations. This is the experience they brought to their new ventures and by using what works and discarding that that doesn’t, they made it eventually.
- It’s all About Persistence
Persistence and resilience go hand in hand for a successful business venture. These two character traits are even more important when you start off late. Just ask Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player, who’d even been rejected by his college basketball coach only to become the greatest.
- More Insight on Life
Any successful business requires strategic thinking based on extensive observation of the market. Late bloomers have this insight by virtue of having seen it all before. They never rush to make decisions, and it is no wonder you will always find them as advisors in most successful conglomerates boards.
The memories they can draw upon in decision making are more compared to those of teenagers and as such, there is never any guesswork for them. More importantly, their brains are fully optimized to solely concentrate on business decision making.
- Unrivalled Commitment
If you are trying something for the umpteenth time, it is obvious that you will give it all you have. Say, for instance, if you have an idea that you know can revolutionize a certain niche; wouldn’t you give it all to see it succeed? PayPal’s Hoffman had tried again and again before the online paying model eventually paid off. Such dedication to an idea is not common with young entrepreneurs because they have a lot of time for trial and error, which you don’t.
- Optimize Technology and Innovation
If you think you are entering a certain industry with only lots of experience to back you, then you are in for a surprise. The contemporary business is highly competitive, and to survive, you must capitalize on technology.
Luckily, you will not have to go back to school because there are many qualified IT experts who can advice you on how to click with the modern market. From production, communication to PR, you must get an idea of how technology can cushion your investment from modern risks.
A study by the Kellogg School of Management shows over 72% of the most successful Nobel Prize winners were between 30 to 50 years. In business, this wealth of experience is also evident in multiple successful investments started by late bloomers.
Well, you can now heave a sigh of relief; forget the teen billionaires who are overly glorified and concentrate on making your business work. Just imagine if Ray Kroc had given up on the idea of McDonald’s because of age and you will realize the many opportunities for you as a late blooming entrepreneur.
Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many articles on technology, internet, software, hosting, etc. Through this article, he has given some information on the Myth of the Young Successful Entrepreneur. To know more about him, visit his blog: BigDropInc.com.