How old is too old to start a business?
Well, as long as you are healthy, and not descending down into Alzheimer’s, you are never too old to start a business. You have a world of experience, much more than the average person that would be starting a business when they’re younger. Your temperament and ability to deal with BS, generally far exceeds what it was while you were much younger. There are a lot of people that have started businesses, or new careers, in their 50s, 60s, 70’sand even older. It’s not so much a matter of how old you are, it’s about how much spirit you have and your desire to do it. If you are looking to retire, starting a business is probably not the right path, unless you love business so much that it feels like retirement to you. We don’t mean to sound cliché, but it’s all about how old you feel. And even if you feel old, starting a new business can bring a new life to you. We know somebody that had retired in their 60’s and felt that their life was over, then on a whim started a business with China and felt that they had started their life all over again. In fact, they even got married again, and have a social life that younger people would envy. Here are a few things that you can take into consideration to help you along.
Experience is one of the things we accumulate as we get older. One of the advantages you have is you’re going to have experienced a lot more than younger people starting the same way. Whether it’s going in to get a loan, taking a business meeting, or just knowing how important it is to have a lawyer, you are a few steps ahead already. Experience beats College any day. So if you look at all the experience you have, you’re walking around with a couple of PhDs in knowledge. So put it to use.
Although you might not know more people than you did when you were in college, the ones that you know you have known for a longer period of time and you know whom you can rely on. Those contacts will probably know other contacts as well. Because of the age of most of your contacts, the people that they know will probably be much higher in the hierarchy of things. The chances of knowing somebody in a position of power is much higher when you’re older and can help tremendously with a business.
Okay, are not exactly indestructible. In fact, you may even feel like you’re falling apart as we all do as we get older. But the reality is that is a strength. Just consider this, if a small child burns their finger, the tears and cries are immense, it feels like a life-changing event to them, but when you’re older, burning your finger is like “whatever”, you notice it, deal with it, and move on, because it just isn’t that important. This is the same as business setbacks, if something goes wrong it does not bother you as much, you deal with it and move on.
You just have to believe
People have spent a lifetime telling you that you’re too old to do things. In fact, many commercials for products imply that you have no ability. Can’t open a bottle, can’t walk, and need help on doing everything. Well, while these things are based in fact for the few, they are physical things and not mental things. In the old days, being old was respected and people thought you knew more, but these days being old makes it seem like nobody takes you seriously. Let’s be honest, you may not be stronger or faster than the younger ones, but you are definitely better. You just have to start believing in yourself and start believing it is the start of your life and not the end of it.
While not a huge thing, every little bit helps. There are large senior organizations around to help you. They will help you apply for money, help you with advice, and even give you monetary discounts on services you might need. You can get a senior discount on that business lunch, how cool is that.
If you want a bit of inspiration, go check out YouTube and search senior bodybuilders. You will probably be shocked and amazed. There are people that started bodybuilding in their 60s and have put on enough muscle to look like they belong in a contest. Go look at their bodies, and realize if they can do that at their age, then really there are no limitations and you can do anything. There are no limitations other than those that are physical, and even the ones that are physical can be worked on. When people say you are as old as you feel it is not often taken seriously. But when you look at some of the seniors that have accomplished miracles in their 60s and 70s and more, then you have to think that there is more truth to that statement then people really give it credit for. Put down that ensure and go conquer to world.