Hollywood often portrays entrepreneurs as geeky men in their early to mid-twenties, who dropped out of university and made it big without stopping to shave or change out of their Converse sneakers and hoodies. The Mark Zuckerbergs and Evan Spiegals of the world make it easy to believe that youth is a necessity, or at least a major benefit when starting a business.
But the truth is older people can do much more than simply slave away at dead-end jobs until they’re old enough to collect superannuation. The Kauffman Foundation’s annual Index of Entrepreneurial Activity
shows that while the rate of entrepreneurs aged 20 to 34 starting new businesses has fallen in recent years, the rate of entrepreneurs aged 55 to 64 doing the same thing is rising. Indeed, the average entrepreneur is 40 years old when he or she launches his or her start-up; and entrepreneurs over 55 are twice as likely as those under 35 to launch a high growth start-up. Age is clearly less of a driver to entrepreneurial success than previous start-up experience.
Take a look at this infographic… Unsurprisingly, many people’s twenties are a jumbled mess of mi goreng, missed rent payments and poor life decisions. It isn’t until these people reach their thirties that they achieve the necessary clarity and experience to take a chance on their dreams. Take finance guru Suze Orman and angel investor Pejman Nozad for example: the former waited tables until she was thirty while the latter sold rugs. Meanwhile, MacDonald’s founder Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers until he was 52! All three ended up earning millions upon millions of dollars and you can too!