Do you think you’re too old to start a new business? Are you scared to do what you love because you’re feeling insecure about your age?
If you’re holding yourself back from starting a brand new business because you think you might be too old, you’re not alone. I get dozens of emails every week from women who think they’re over the hill and that it might be too late to follow their dreams.
This is totally understandable and one that I can relate to.
I was a late bloomer myself and didn’t get into the Internet until my late thirties. In fact, I didn’t know my Facebook from my face paint and it took me ages to understand online marketing. It was like learning a new language!
The World May Say You’re Too Old
Unfortunately we live in a society where youth is highly prized – even when it comes to starting a business. The online space is dominated by younger people so it’s easy to think that you need the beauty, exuberance and energy of youth to succeed.
After all, how many tech start ups do you know that are the brainchild of someone in their 40s, 50s or even 60s? It’s usually a 20-something whizz kid!
In Silicon Valley you’re considered “past it” as an entrepreneur if you’re over 35 and this attitude exists beyond the tech sector.
Tell a colleague or someone close to you, including people you love, that you want to quit your job to start a lifestyle business and they will give you a dozen reasons why you’re too old to start over.
So if you are having doubts about your age, feeling insecure about not being as hot as the younger women you see in videos, or as smart as the young tech-stars who hit the headlines, here are 3 reasons why you should stop limiting yourself and start following your heart.
#1. You’re Never Too Old Or Too Late
There’s no such thing as being too old, or too late. The most wasteful thing you can do with your life right now is to never start.
If you are worried that you might be too old by the time you launch your business, think about how old you’ll be if you don’t.
That’s right. The same age!
As Earl Nightingale says in this quote, the time will pass anyway so you might as well put it to the best use possible. Ask yourself how you would feel 10 years from now if you didn’t start up. Would you regret not doing it? If your answer is yes, then go for it.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you keep going because every day that you take action will get you closer to your dream. Don’t let anyone’s perception of age, including your own, hold you back.
#2. Don’t Use Your Age As An Excuse
Sometimes it is not being too old that we fear but fear itself. It takes courage to reinvent yourself and then stand up and tell the world about it. Especially when there’s a chance that you might fail.
Perhaps you’ve been known for doing one thing all your life so changing direction is a scary prospect. Or you’ve attempted a dozen different ventures that have all failed so you’re afraid you’ll never be good at anything ever again.
The truth is that if you have a deep desire to do something then this feeling will never go away. It will keep tugging at your heart until you either accept your current situation or take the plunge. Although I contemplated starting a business and quitting my day job many times the fear of failure held me in bondage for years. I avoided doing what I knew I should do until I finally decided to go for it.
So if you are using the excuse of being too old as a crutch to avoid making decisions in your life, I encourage you to look within and see that it’s really fear talking.
You can dissolve these disempowering feelings by taking small steps like finding out what you’re passionate about. If that’s too hard, look at what you’re interested in and start exploring whether your ideas could create a profitable online business for you.
Remember to never stop learning and evolving. Fully participating in life helps keep you young. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, not age and there is no reason why you can’t master what you need to know in order to live your dream life.
#3. Age Brings Experience With It
When I worked in recruitment, I had many clients who were over 50 and trying to transition into new careers as well as self-employment.
My experience with these clients highlighted what an asset their maturity, experience and wisdom was to any employer and in business.
They were often the most reliable employees and many of them went on to build thriving businesses.
I’m convinced that one of the key benefits of being that bit older when you start your business is that you have plenty of life experience under your belt. You can’t short cut this life experience and neither should you try, because it can be the valuable gift that you offer others.
What’s more, if you have held a senior position during your career or handled any amount of responsibility then this will all serve you well when it comes to your online business.
Skills that you relied on in your career like negotiating, presenting to others or coaching and managing staff will be essential for your new venture because you will still have to negotiate with outsourcers, juggle priorities, pitch your ideas to clients and manage employees – even virtual ones.
As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better too.
If something or someone doesn’t feel right, you’ll probably be able recognize it earlier and have the confidence to pull out of a deal if necessary. Rather than being a disadvantage, your age will make you a wiser, better entrepreneur.
Studies show that entrepreneurs get better with age and that our creativity actually accelerates as we get older. Entrepreneurs over 40 are more likely to leave a legacy and do work that matters for generations to come, while billionaire Carlos Slim, 74 himself, argues that most of us don’t even reach our prime until we are in our 60s.
All the talent, expertise, wisdom and strengths you have accumulated in your lifetime can be packaged into your business idea. These transferable skills never get lost or go to waste.
You just need to figure out how to channel your brilliance into a business.
Famous Entrepreneurs Who Weren’t Too Old
Think you’re too old to start a business? Think again! Take a look at the famous entrepreneurs in this infographic from Funders And Founders.
You may be surprised to discover the ages and life stages of these inspiring entrepreneurs when they started their businesses.
The main thing to remember is that these entrepreneurs didn’t believe that they were over the hill or too old to start and neither should you.
Time is our most precious resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You may think you have forever to make important lifestyle changes but the reality is that none us know when our time is up. You may have years ahead of you or you may not.
So don’t wait too long.
We are living in a new era and for the first time in history, starting a business is easier and lower risk than ever before. It’s never too late and you’re never too old to start pursuing the things you love to do. And who knows, you could be living your dream sooner than you think.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you worried about being too old to start over again? Are you an older entrepreneur who has reinvented yourself successfully? Please share your insights below.