Four years ago when I decided to quit my corporate job and get into something I always wanted to do, a lot many people said to me “Dude, have you lost it?”
Logically speaking, they made sense. Having spent 23 years in the corporate world, a reasonably successful one at that, it was a decision not many 45-year-olds would take. But then, there was this “inner voice” that kept pushing me towards entrepreneurship. It was perhaps an audacious, if not an outrageous, step to take.
Four years hence, I do not regret that decision one bit. If anything, that decision pulled me out of a status quo. These last four years, I can say without any hesitation, have taught me things I probably wouldn’t have learnt in 15 more years of corporate life. I am not in the least trying to belittle the corporate profession.
My only point here is it’s never too late to take that audacious step if you have the desire and the passion to be an entrepreneur.
Several people believe that the right age to be an entrepreneur is between the ages of 25-35. But research conducted in 2013 by Vivek Wadhwa blows this myth.
“The average age of a successful entrepreneur in high-growth industries is 40. Twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 as under 25; and twice as many, over 60 as under 20. The vast majority — 75 percent — have more than six years of industry experience and half have more than 10 years when they create their startup. Nearly 70 percent start their companies to capitalize on business ideas that they have — which they see as a way to build wealth,” says Duke University scholar Vivek Wadhwa, who studied 549 successful technology ventures.
So, if you are not yet convinced, here are five reasons why it makes great sense to be an entrepreneur even at a late age.
You Have Experience
This is perhaps the biggest plus. You don’t only have the business experience but also the life experience. As an entrepreneur, you will be faced with different challenging situations. Your ability to manage these situations from your prior experiences will help you in a big way.
You have made enough mistakes in the past. The experience would help you avoid some mistakes as also to quickly realise when you make another one and take corrective steps immediately. Experience is priceless, and as an entrepreneur, perhaps your biggest investment.
You Have Strong Connections
Over the years, as you built your corporate career, you have also built a credible network of contacts. As an entrepreneur, you can now leverage these connections towards enhancing your entrepreneurial career.
You Are Used To Challenging The Status Quo
You have been a part of a significant shift in the way work gets done. Over the last two to three decades, you have been part of a rapidly changing work ecosystem. You have been part of a generation that moved from a pre-digital to the digital era. An entrepreneur needs to be not just willing to embrace change but be able to drive it as well. Your experience in changing the status quo helps you doing just that.
You Know How To Manage People And Teams
With a minimum of two decades of corporate experience, you have probably worked with all kinds of people. Managing people and teams doesn’t come as easily to the younger generation as it does to seasoned professionals. Right from hiring the right resources to managing them, training them and building successful teams, is an added advantage for this generation of entrepreneurs.
You Can Handle Rejection
You have probably been down but not out. That’s why you are where you are today. Your ability to bounce right back is way better than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
An entrepreneur will face rejection multiple number of times. And every single time, you need to pick up the pieces and bounce back.
So, the truth of the matter is, there isn’t a more appropriate time than now to be an older entrepreneur. We have the experience, the skill, the perspective and the connections to be successful at what we undertake. So why wait? Let’s get out there and show the world what we are capable of.