When we were young, we couldn’t wait to grow up. As we get older, we wish we could be young again. Such is life. Heh.
Not me. I am perfectly fine with where and how I am at my age. Yes, like many old sentimental fools, I do suffer from bouts of nostalgia. I do think about the very first time I set eyes on my wife Jan more than four decades ago with great wistfulness. But to be young once more? Again, heh. I have a good deal of fond memories, but I also had enough embarrassing youthful follies to cobble dogs with. I wouldn’t trade off the wisdom and understanding that I’ve attained through the process of ageing for the ignorance of youth, not even if I was the last geezer on Earth.
While I do admire many of today’s young entrepreneurial luminaries who dared to follow their dreams despite the odds, I cannot help but wince and shake my head at the obvious hubris of some. Ask a prodigy like Facebook’s Zuckerberg how someone young can be as successful as himself and he’d tell you as a matter of fact that “young people are just smarter”, like he did to a Standford crowd back in 2007. A number of sporadic success stories and they think they’re God’s gift to the business world. Youthful hubris is just stupid, and, Mr. Zuckerberg, you’re dead wrong.
Before I rant some more, if you’re serious about running your own business and have entrepreneurial aspirations I recommend you get a copy of this book, Entrepreneur Revolution, by Daniel Priestly, one of the young entrepreneurs that I do admire.
Older entrepreneurs are a better bet, and here are reasons why:
1. We possess the financial means to our desired ends. Thanks to our extensive credit histories, crucial for credit card and loan applications, and personal assets, such as retirement savings, we can sufficiently fund our own start-ups. Meanwhile, young aspirants will have a wealth of ideas but a scarcity of funds. Even with ample resources, their businesses will be operating at a deficit because—
2. Money can’t buy experience. Years of deep experience is necessary to comprehend the needs of the market, and this ability to empathise with consumers is priceless to the process of entrepreneurship. Older entrepreneurs, more likely than not, have acquired the management skills required to start a company and run it. Though the younger ones may think outside the box and burst with new and exciting ideas, they may be at a loss where to begin. Plan implementation is a complex process that can make even the most overeager of newbs to lose his bottle. Specially if that someone lacks the preparedness, patience, and mental dexterity. Ha!
3. Because, you know, grey matters (pun intended). We make great use of that part of the human brain that processes information. We have lovely grey hair and lovelier grey matter! Young people can’t be smarter just because you say so, Mr. Zuckerberg.
4. Along with grey hair comes credibility. Call it shallow, but it is what it is. An entrepreneur must have a certain degree of reputation and qualification. It comes with years and years of fostering a network to strengthen ones base of influence that is rewarding or has the potential to be profitable in the long run. Entrepreneurship banks on both skills and recommendations. An unconnected newcomer, on the other hand, is the picture of solitude and loneliness.
Heh, that’s just sad.
— Seniorpreneur (@seniorprnr) September 25, 2014
If you want to start a business later in life, don’t just sit there stewing over things while your energy and inner resources dissipate. Here are some reasons why its never too late for you to start your own business.
Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.
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