I got a really interesting question the other day — someone asked me how to know if it was too late for her to start a business?
Well, the short answer is: IT’S NOT! I don’t believe it’s ever too late to start a new chapter in your life. Whether you’re 30 or 60, if you’ve got the idea, the drive, and the energy, I say go for it!
The media tends to focus on child geniuses — the kid who starts a billion dollar company from his dorm room, that sort of thing — because it’s interesting and UNUSUAL. Loads more people come to their big success later in life. In fact, the average age for someone to start one of the top companies in the world is 35 — not 19.
In fact, research has shown that people over 35 or so tend to have lots of qualities that make them MORE qualified to start a business. They tend to have a more positive outlook, more patience and more problem-solving skill. Plus, they come to a new business with more contacts and networking skills than a kid in his dorm room could hope for.
Many successful business owners started at a time that other people might have considered ‘too late’
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s was a milkshake mixer salesman until he was 52! J.K. Rowling was on the dole until Harry Potter made it big when she was 31. And Arianna Huffington didn’t start the Huffington Post until she was 54.
While you might think that online business is a young person’s game, that doesn’t have to be the case. I believe it’s never too late to make a change for the good in your own life.
Beyond that, It’s not like all the spots are taken. There is always room for your take, your spin, your twist on the status quo. People still need problems solved.
Don’t worry about the competition
It’s also not as though you are taking anything from anyone else by starting, either. Tara Gentile has a wonderful analogy about business and competition. She says instead of wondering how to get a bigger slice of the pie, MAKE ANOTHER PIE. That is to say, be different so that you’re not truly in competition with anyone.
Finally, if this is a question that’s coming up for you, I encourage you to examine it closely. You might be using “is it too late?” as an excuse to not risk starting – so ask yourself what do you really want?
If starting your own business is what you really want, you’ll find a way to make it happen — no matter your age or circumstances.
If it’s NOT what you really want — and there’s no sin in that! — you won’t be willing to do what’s necessary to succeed and you will be doomed before you start not because of your age, but because you don’t have the drive and mission to sustain you in the long run.
Ask yourself: is it really your age or stage in life that’s holding you back, or something else?
If you truly want to start a business, I say go for it! Today age is no prerequisite for success — in one way or the other!
Have you ever worried about your age or stage of life and how it impacted your business or chances at success?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below.