Younger people generally assume that most entrepreneurs start at an early age such as Mark Zuckerberg – a Harvard dropout who established a multi-billion dollar company. The truth of the matter is that entrepreneurs tend to be older than we think. A 2018 article from Inc. shared a study that found the average age of a first-time entrepreneur is 40 years old. What’s more, they found that those who are older are more likely to start a business and succeed.
What is the answer? Is there an age that is too young or too old to become an entrepreneur? Here’s my take on the subject:
There Is No Ideal Age
In my experience, age is not something that makes you a good or bad entrepreneur. I’ve met people both young and older that are absolutely brilliant first-time business owners.
The public generally perceives young people to be more likely to quickly pick up on rising market trends. On the other side, people view older people with more industry experience, knowledge, and connections to pull their business plan together.
Both scenarios have some merit but at the end of the day, these are stereotypes. Unfortunately, stereotypes such as ageism do discourage people from fulfilling their dreams as an entrepreneur. But I’m telling you today from my 18 years of experience and chatting with numerous business leaders that there is no magic number to be a successful entrepreneur nor does it affect your chances. It’s more than just a number.
Life Responsibilities & Entrepreneurship
I believe that age is just a number, it’s about your mentality – your attitude, confidence, willingness to learn and listen from experts. However, there is without a doubt that your own personal life responsibilities will impact your chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Consider starting a business for the first time at the age of 45 with a family of three children. In this case, can you really give your 100% effort and accept the risk that your choices as an entrepreneur may negatively affect your dependents? Probably not. And even if you’re a 22-year-old father, the same case still applies.
If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, ignore the stereotypes and focus on what drives you to become an entrepreneur. Specifically, focus on your “why”.
Why Do You Want To Become An Entrepreneur?
Is it a desire for flexibility? To be your own boss? To do something brand new? Or to make a difference because you believe you can do it better than the competition? Whatever it may be, focus on the reasons why you want to be an entrepreneur and ingrain it in your mind every single day. Use it as fuel and never let age and any discouraging remarks derail you from your dreams. Good luck!