Are you concerned that your gray hair is a sign that you have lost your chance? Do not eat – you are not on the hill of entrepreneurship yet.
6 minutes read
The views expressed Pioneer Shareholders are their own.
The media is full of stories from young entrepreneurs who have made it big. Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 years old when he founded Facebook. Evan Spiegel's Snapchat application already had one million users when it was twenty-two. Of course, both founders became billionaires. See a little closer, though, and you will see clearly that these founders are a commendable exception to a completely different rule.
This rule is related to the concern that you are too old to be a businessman "- something that you may be thinking of at this time of the year as the new year approaches.
Using data from the US Census Bureau and the US Tax Administration, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northwestern University found that 2.7 million entrepreneurs began business between 2007 and 2014. 42. If not surprising, researchers also learned that entrepreneurs The highest-growth businesses were Even bigger than that: 45 on average.
Not only is it not too late yet because you found an emerging company that you've been dreaming of for years, but you have a better chance of succeeding than someone younger than 20 years old. If you are worried that your gray hair is a sign of your lack of opportunity, do not worry – you are not on the hill of entrepreneurship yet.
Related: The only thing you can control as a founder and CEO is you
There are many possible reasons why older entrepreneurs tend to perform better. Better access to capital, a more sophisticated network of professional contacts, and a wealth of experience compared with their younger counterparts are all potential contributors. As an older founder, it's up to you to take advantage of these benefits. Here's how:
1. Make smart financial choices when financing your project.
When starting a business, their founders have much more mature for them. Tasks such as obtaining licenses or a tax identity and applying for loans are easier for older entrepreneurs, according to the Kaufman Foundation in 2018. Country of Business.
For example, the survey showed that only 14 per cent of owners of startups aged 45 or older felt that applying for loans was difficult, while 21 per cent of respondents under the age of 45 said they were struggling from Order this task. In addition, the company's 50-year-old founder is 1.8 times more likely to build one of the top growth companies than the 30-year-old founder. This data can help you sell yourself and your idea to investors, who tend to favor young founders.
Of course there are some side effects here: First, because of your age, do not be too quick to pay $ 401 (k) to help fund your project. You will not have enough for two years to get what you get, especially if your new business is struggling to make a profit in the first few years.
Similarly, make sure that you continue to contribute to your retirement rather than dedicating all of your extra income and savings to your business. Like US News and World Report Note that you need to protect your assets while you create your business so that you do not lose everything if your business is struggling. The best way to do this varies from state to state, but choosing the right business entity type and buying business insurance are good steps you can take wherever you are.
Related: How old entrepreneurs can turn their age into their advantage
2. Communicate with younger mentors and teachers.
Mentors do not have to be gray in age who can start each story with "Back when I was your age …"
There are many young people, too, who have a lot to offer, including valuable social connections with members coming from the workforce. After all, networks have probably contributed to the success of your career so far. So keep in touch with members of new generations entering the job market and will be of great help when it comes to hiring the best talent. In addition, your guidance or younger guidance may inspire you to maintain an innovative mindset.
If the word "communication" makes you waste, relax. You do not have to have annoying jobs and business cards scattered to strengthen your network. Instead, you can help people around you as best you can. If you have experience in hiring, a fellow businessman is looking for the first employee, let him take this entrepreneur for lunch and explain the mistakes you have made in the past. When you offer help without expecting anything in return, people feel comfortable to return the favor.
Related: 4 reasons you need a mentor younger than you
3. Be proud of what you know; be humble about what you do not do.
These 19-year-olds who beat them rich have every reason to feel competent, but youth and immaturity can lead them to become stubborn and arrogant. Almost everyone familiar with the social network has heard the story of the original Zuckerberg Facebook card, which reflects the adolescent's position on the founder who did not understand the responsibility of his position.
Obviously owning a few years of work experience does not mean you know everything, but it is still priceless. David Dezier, founder and CEO of QEO Insurance Group, advises aspiring entrepreneurs to "take confidence from your past experiences – both personally and professionally – no longer tolerate the naivety of young people."
However, remember that most industries are constantly evolving and will require a great deal of work to make your vision a reality. Whatever your previous triumphs, it is your continuous personal growth that will determine your long-term business success.
So, adopt a lifelong learner mentality: read a lot and enroll in seminars or college courses that teach the skills you seek to support. Do not be afraid to ask young mentors / mentors to see everything from technology adoption to marketing to Gen Z. They may not have all the answers you're looking for, but they can help you ask the right questions.
Surely there are many reasons why you keep your daily job: tolerance for less risk, lack of adequate funding or good idea without a viable market are smart reasons to give up your founding ambitions. New, however, is one factor that should not deter your entrepreneurial spirit.