5. You know what you’re passionate about.
Many young entrepreneurs know they want to start a business of some kind, but they may not know exactly how they want to do it. This is because they haven’t had enough time to develop an idea of what they are truly passionate about. Richard Branson says that “Passion is one of the most effective motivators when it comes to launching a business — and often one of the strongest predictors of whether an idea will lead to success.” Without passion for your work, it’s very likely your business idea will fizzle out at some point. Older entrepreneurs know what they enjoy doing — and what they don’t — and can tailor a new business to fit that.
6. You have knowledge that is valued in today’s economy.
In recent years, there has been an economic shift from industrial to knowledge-based, which means most of us have the opportunity to continue working well past the traditional retirement age. In fact, age makes us more valuable as professionals because it often means we bring more skills and knowledge to the table. This holds true for entrepreneurs, too. This economic shift will support older entrepreneurs who decide to make a go of it later in life because you can transform your experience into a highly sought-after commodity.
7. You are financially secure.
Starting a business when you’re young means you will probably be juggling the cost of business ownership along with the rest of life’s major investments many of us face: mortgage payments, children’s expenses (childcare, education, sports, vacations), healthcare, insurance, automobile payments, student loan repayment and retirement savings. While the expenses never really go away, the older you get, the more likely you are to have paid off a significant percentage of the big stuff. This frees up cash to invest in your business. Plus, having less financial responsibilities makes the idea of starting a business less risky since theoretically you will have a lot less to lose if things don’t work out.
8. You have a lot of startup options.
When you’re young, you have limited experience, a limited network and limited capital, so your startup options are often limited as well — usually a bootstrapped startup is the only way to go unless you can secure the ever-elusive financial backer. As a financially secure, seasoned professional, you have more options when it comes to your path to entrepreneurship. Sure, you can start a new business from the ground, but that is not the only option on the table. You can buy into a franchise , leveraging the power of an already successful brand and making it your own legacy. You can also form a partnership with a fellow entrepreneur and split the costs, workload and profits. Or, you can become an investor yourself, moving to the other side of the table by providing capital for someone else’s business idea. In return you get a percentage of the business, leaving the “in the trenches” work for them to handle.
9. You’ve failed before.
Failure is a part of life, and the older we get the more failures we have on our tally. Whether you have two big failures on your list or 22, they are a huge benefit for two main reasons. First, the most valuable part of each failure is the lessons you learned in the process. Each failure taught you the importance of being prepared, hard work and why you need a contingency plan. Second, your fear of failure is probably a lot less significant now than it was in your youth. Since being afraid to fail can result in an inability to make a decision, lack of confidence and inaction, having less to fear can be a powerful reason why older entrepreneurs have an easier start.
10. You are self-confident.
You know all of these failures we just talked about? In addition to valuable lessons learned, these failures also create one more big benefit as soon as you are able to rebound — they boost your self-confidence and motivate you to do better. Many young entrepreneurs have high self-esteem and a certain level of confidence naturally, but much of that comes from pure optimism that their business idea will turn into a hit. Optimism is definitely needed when starting a business, but when you take that optimism and add in confidence that comes with a track record of proven success, it’s unbeatable. As a seasoned professional, you have already experienced both wins and defeats, and have emerged with a powerful confidence that will allow you to take the challenges of business ownership in stride and come out ahead.
So if you are getting older and feel like your chance at entrepreneurship is fading away a little bit every year, think again. Now just may be the perfect time to take the plunge and start a small business.