Think You're Late in the Game? Think Again - The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Started in Their Mid 40s.
Full disclosure - I am 41 years old and a mom to a three-year-old. Last spring, after flirting with the idea of creating a business out of my part-time writing gigs, I finally made the plunge. I left my stable teaching job (after 10 years) to hop on the entrepreneurial road. I was 100% committed and 100% terrified.
Actually, I’m still a bit bi-polar when it comes to my business. Some days I wake up motivated, excited, and eager to get a head-start on the day. Other days I wake up with uncertainty, wondering if I made the right decision.
I mean, who was I to leave a secure profession, mid-life, when I have a child to support, to start a new business??
Making the switch from full-time teacher to full-time business-owner in middle age - gasp! - gave me some misgivings, to say the least. Would I be able to support my family? Would I even enjoy it? Do I know enough to succeed? I’ve never owned a business, will I be able to figure it out? How was I going to stand out among all the younger entrepreneurs that are so tech savvy?
I believed the odds were stacked against me. I didn’t know enough, I was a single mom, and I was no spring chicken. The question plagued me: Am I too old to be starting a business on my own?
The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding no.
Studies show that the most successful start-ups are created by entrepreneurs who are in their mid-forties.
According to the Harvard Business Review:
“...when you look at most successful firms, the average founder age goes up, not down. Overall, the empirical evidence shows that successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged, not young.”
The reasons for this have not been fully explored yet, but one theory is that us older folks have more work experience, and thus have the skills needed to run the back-end of a successful business.
My biggest challenge has been navigating the social media marketing landscape. Fortunately, there are countless materials available that have taught me about Facebook ads (which I haven’t even tried yet), content marketing strategy, storytelling, and branding like Hubspot Academy, Google Analytics Academy (by Google), and Facebook Blueprint. So, if we do our research, there is no reason we can’t be competitive in our markets.
The lesson? Our age should not deter us, nor hinder us, from moving forward with pursuing our enterprising dreams of working for ourselves, working from home, or finally opening the doors to a more purposeful life. Because, according to the same study:
“...it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”
So get out there and slay! I want to see your business succeed. If you need help with your content marketing, your blog, or your SEO friendly website content, please reach out!
Or just sign up for my Friday newsletter to see what five things (books, articles, music, random stuff) I am finding interesting and helpful in running my business.