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You Can Teach an Old Dog, New Tricks - Just Ask a Senior Entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs over 50Entrepreneurship is not just the province of the twenty-somethings. When it comes to creating new businesses, it's the "old dogs" who are leading the pack.

An entrepreneur at 40? 50? Maybe even 60? And why not? Whether because of an economy that has wrecked retirement funds or just because there's still a lot of gas in the proverbial tank and they're not ready to retire, it's happening more and more, these days. "Old dogs," that for one reason or another have chosen to learn "new tricks."  

In fact, a study funded by the Kauffman Foundation, found that twice as many successful entrepreneurs are more than 50 as under 25.  And be inspired.  Colonel Harland Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 65.

And what's even more interesting is I believe that being an older entrepreneur has its advantages.  From a broader range of experiences to a more settled personal life, "greybeards" often bring a more solid foundation to underpin a new business concept.

Their contact base is broader and senior entrepreneurs, usually, either have or have access to more available capital than their younger counterparts.  With their maturity, most of them have learned how to overcome adversity and, most importantly, gain patience.

However, it's not all perfect. There are also some potential issues that can hold "older" entrepreneurs back.  

Sometimes, it's technology that has either not been embraced or has just passed he/she by.  In this day and age, that is significant, because not being computer-savvy can seriously slow down or even stop a good business concept in its tracks.

In other cases, it could be the inability to shake loose from years of operating in a large company environment and the associated lack of sensitivity to cash flow (never something folks worry about in a big company); creating constraining processes or unnecessary infrastructure that can knock a fledgling operation off its tracks.

All that said, if they can avoid these pitfalls, senior entrepreneurs, with their more "steady as you go" approach, borne of their experience and their more settled personal life, can actually find as much or more success as their younger counterparts.

So, entrepreneurship ain't just for the young, but also for the young of heart…regardless of age.

"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things.  He's been there.  May success be with you!

Have you been considering starting a new business but thought you were too old?  Still feel that way?  Share it with us.  It can help another entrepreneur.

If you like this post, by all means, share it with your networks and colleagues.


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1 COMMENT(S)

2014-08-25 08:28:02 by Joel Porter

I am a senior Entrepreneur and I am a Yoda aficionado. To paraphrase a couple of quotes from Yoda… "Age (Size) matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my age (size), do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the wisdom (Force), and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the wisdom (Force) around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship."
My favorite… "Try not. Do or do not, there is no try." JLP

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