How to be an entrepreneur at any age
Entrepreneurs aren’t limited by age, and you can start a successful business at any stage of your life. There are plenty of tech or .com millionaires floating about that started at 18 or 20, but what if you passed that age, or even passed it some time ago? There are probably just as many older people who became successful entrepreneurs later in life, but someone slogging away at a good business idea for a few years before it pays off isn’t such a glitzy story as a kid who invented (or ‘borrowed’) Facebook.
So don’t let the news put you off. Becoming an entrepreneur, and a successful one, can happen at any age. Even people well into retirement have the potential to set up their own business or enterprise. However, becoming an entrepreneur later in life has its own unique challenges. When you are younger, you might not have any clue how the world of business works, so you forge ahead, making your own rules, or breaking the existing ones. By the time you get older, you have a better idea of what the punishments can be for breaking the rules, so you may find yourself more cautious, more prone to putting things off because of negative consequences.
So there is a lot to think about, whatever age you start. Just remember, whatever age you are is the perfect age to start. So read these tips, and then get cracking on your ideas!
Don’t let other people limit your goals.
This is one for any age, but as you get older, you will probably have more people in your life who try to persuade you away from the entrepreneur lifestyle, or anything perceived as ‘risky’ by the general public.
Your family and friends may have good intentions, but they can also limit your dreams, and remember, they are your dreams, not their dreams!
They may remind you that it’s more difficult to start a new business as you get older because you have other responsibilities. Children, aging parents, and others can take up a lot of your time and present challenges when starting a business. Not to mention the financial responsibilities of life such as mortgages and bills. However, knowing that these challenges exist can also help you make contingency plans for when time is tight.
Ignore your age
Dreams don’t have expiration dates, and entrepreneurs don’t have age limits. As they say, “you’re only as old as you feel.” So if you feel like taking on the rigors of starting a new business or project, let your age be the last thing on your mind as you move forward with your business plans.
Be open to learning from others
The most successful entrepreneurs are open to learning new ideas, in fact they learn from nearly everything that happens around them. There is no such thing as failure, only a learning experience, after all.
Stay up to date on new advancements in your field, either by keeping in the loop yourself or by hiring employees or contractors that incorporate this into their tasks. Make sure to learn what you can from them as well, they might just put you onto something tremendous.
Finding a mentor with successful business experience in your field can help your new business see profits quickly and plan for successful growth.
Get your family involved
Successful entrepreneurs often have their family members involved in the business, however if they are more the doom and gloom types, you might want to wait until your business is enjoying a modicum of success before you broach this topic.
Do your children want to help you build a business? Does your spouse have interesting ideas and want to collaborate with you? Do your parents want to invest in your business for a portion of the profits? Your family can help you make your dream come true.
Consider the impact of the business on your personal life
How will the business affect your family and ability to continue working your regular day job? Will you find yourself too exhausted by the rigours of bth to spend any time with your family? Will they be understanding of this, and for how long?
A new business venture may be exciting, but it has consequences, and the personal ones are probably the ones with the longest lasting ramifications. You can always make more money, but you may never be able to repair badly broken relationships.
It’s important to consider the full impact of the new business on your personal life. Will you be able to spend time with your children and spouse as you launch the business?
Your personal finances are another area that can be deeply affected by a new business. How do you plan to pay for the business? If your plan involves draining personal finances or getting new loans, then this can affect your entire family. It’s important to discuss the changes with them before you take action.
Consider the impact of your parents on the business
If your parents are still around, then it is important to consider your relationship with them. As they age, they may become more dependent on you, either physically, emotionally or financially. Possibly all three. Can you handle the complexities of being an entrepreneur and caring for your parents?
Younger entrepreneurs may have decades before they have to worry about caring for their aging parents. However, as an older entrepreneur, this may not be practical or possible.
You may have to handle multiple roles at the same time. How will you balance your lifestyle and finances to manage everything? Can you afford to start a new business if your parents need your help?
You can become a successful entrepreneur and build a strong business, product or service at any age. However, it’s important to stay aware of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and make plans that will help you overcome these challenges. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail!