You are never to old set another goal or dream a new dream – CS Lewis
Entrepreneur, it’s a word that has been around forever but a word that feels so new. Twenty or thirty years ago people starting out on their own, having a new idea or starting new business ventures were not called entrepreneurs. In the past the entrepreneur just seemed to blend in and make it happen. There was no social media and perhaps this is the reason why entrepreneurs were never heard of and today they are everywhere. Back in the past they were called inventors, visionaries or even just plain crazy… are they any different today?
No matter what they were called each of these people were essentially dreamers who had the gumption to do something about their dream. They were the ones with balls of steel, the itchy feet and the ones who believed in what they were doing who ignored the naysayers and just made it happen. Things haven’t changed. Entrepreneurs are still visionaries, dreamers and even just plain crazy and today we hear about them all the time thanks to greatly improved media.
To be an entrepreneur many assume, and assumption is the mother of all catastrophes, that to be one you must be young and have lots of young friends. People assume only young people can make themselves a millionaire by selling out to Google, Microsoft or Apple and they would be so wrong in their assumption.
Age has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur, in fact being a little more senior in years is an advantage. An older person has something no younger person can possibly have, no not grey hair and a failing memory, they have experience. At an older age you still dream and you still have everything a younger person has, but your way of thinking and doing things is more likely to succeed, in a lower number of attempts. You know from experience what really won’t work.
There are countless older entrepreneurs. Remember, retro is in and retro is new for a younger generation. But what is retro? Retro to an older generation is the norm. Taking something that is known and just making it work better is pretty much the name of the game and always will be.
You are never too old to make your dream a reality. The Golden Arches of McDonalds, a name we are all familiar with was started by an entrepreneur and not a young entrepreneur. Ray Kroc was 52 at the time and he had EXPERIENCE, but not in restaurants, he knew about the machines that make milk shakes. He was 52, yes 52! This visionary has created not only a hugely successful restaurant chain but also what we know as fast food. If he can do it, so can you!
According to Dr. Juan Enriquez, a renowned Harvard researcher and TED fellow, the average age of the successful start-up founder is 54 years of age. Tha’ts right, 54 – Ray Kroc was a youngster!
54 is nothing here are some older ones…
Harlan Sanders, yes the Colonel Sanders for Kentucky Fried Chcken (KFC) was 65 when he started the finger lickin’ good chain. 65 is retirement age in many countries!
And how’s this? 80 year old Tom Elliott is an entrepreneur who in November 2014 saw his Snooker App taken on by Apple’s App Store. 80 years ago phones were still uncommon but all he has done is do the retro thing, taken something old and made it new!
If it’s not your age it’s your sex that says you can’t be an entrepreneur and there are plenty of women who have found entrepreneurial success but what about those over 50? Don’t fear, ladies over 50 you can be an entrepreneur just like these…
Many of you perhaps know about Build a Bear, the store where you build your own stuffed toy. With over 400 branches globally and known to be one of the best companies to work for Maxine Clark, 64 is the brains behind it.
What does it take to supply make up for a Royal wedding? A great product and a more mature entrepreneur is the answer. Bobbi Brown is over 50 and has taken the makeup world to new heights. She has had her share of ups and downs but now is hugely success with Pretty Powerful.
Diane von Furstenberg, 66 married a German Prince but wanted financial independence. A woman who had everything going for her but wanted more for all the right reasons is perhaps one of the most inspiring of older entrepreneurs. Her fashion empire is global and her the simplicity of her designs is what set her productions apart. In 2013 she was voted one of the most powerful women in the world.
Females over the age of 50 are dominating entrepreneurship globally and research is showing this is the age and demographic speaking to banks and financiers for advice and assistance. Age is no barrier and should not even be a barrier, your sex makes no difference. We all dream, we can all set new goals. How old is too old to be an Entrepreneur? The answer is you are never too old, if you have dream, the vision and just that little bit of crazy in you can do it.
Written by Matthew Newnham