Here’s another great question that was asked on Quora … a topic that I’m hearing a lot about lately.
What is the biggest disadvantage of a 50 years old man starting up a new business if he has strong experience in corporate business but no experience as an entrepreneur?
Charles M. Alexander, former founder of 17 successful businesses at Entrepreneurship (1988-2017)
The truth is that the advantages you have at 50 far outweigh the disadvantages.
In that you asked about disadvantages let’s take them first;
- Coming from corporate you are accustom to operating in a “fill in the blanks” management style. E.g. all the systems and expectations are provided and you just track the outcomes.
- Most likely, your creativity has been suppressed. This does not necessarily mean creativity in the art form sense, it can mean creativity in problem solving and developing new ways of looking at old problems.
- You have become accustom to having all most all support provided for you e.g. HR functions, sales, marketing, production, vision, finance, etc. A small business owner must wear virtually all of these hats themselves.
Before I get into talking about the advantages let me share this FACT with you – based on data from the US Census Bureau and the Kauffman Foundation the highest success rate for startup businesses bade on the age of the founder is in the age groups of 45–54 and 55–64, in other words middle age people are more successful at starting successful businesses than any other age group. Let that sink in.
Now lets talk about a few of the most important advantages;
- You have superior “Maturity of Thought”. You do more research and analysis than your younger counter parts.
- You have more resources available to you, in many different forms; money, the knowledge of how to work efficiently, critical thinking skills, and the maturity to seek out experts and ask or pay for advice and guidance.
- You are more ingrained to stick to a project and have patience in developing ‘what needs to be done’.
- …there are plenty more….
Let’s revisit the fact I shared above. That is NOT an opinion, it is a fact supported by non-biased 3rd party data. It is super important that you understand, appreciate and absorb that fact. More middle aged people are successful at starting a business than any other age group..!!!!! WHY??
Well, most of the reason is derived from the #1 advantage I listed above = they have greater “maturity of thought”. That single ingredient leads to a much more developed and well planned execution of a business startup.
I have studied this exact topic extensively and even commissioned a focus group of middle aged people at a local university. Some very interesting points came from that group but probably the most critical was around the ides of “having a shorter runway”. That reality leads most middle aged people to what I refer to as the “Threshold of fear”. The vast majority stop right there because they are overwhelmed by the risk and all the negative information about starting a business. However, the small percentage that put in the effort, study the data, do the research, plan carefully and execute properly have a tremendous opportunity at success.
The people that get past the threshold of fear and take the step find themselves living a life that most can only dream of. They have a successful business, they have hope, they feel a massive sense of accomplishment (they beat the odds), they a flexibility, they have freedom… they are in charge of their lives and not answering to a boss.
I can help you begin to “Live in Entrepreneurial Freedom”, please let me.
My book, by that title is available on Amazon.
To all your success and fulfillment,