Some things get better with age such as wine, cowboy boots, blue jeans, rib-eye steaks, balsamic vinegar and some human beings. Older people are not quietly go into the sunset and retiring. Successful entrepreneurs are getting older! The young entrepreneurs may get more press, but there are many older people becoming entrepreneurs. Are they more productive and creative?
There is no age requirement, minimum or maximum on entrepreneurship! It can happen when you are in your teens as evidenced by some very young entrepreneurs and much later such as your forties, fifties, and sixties or even later. Young people are wary of older people and vice versa. Certain industries seem to attract younger people such as technology, but there are many more industries which attract older entrepreneurs. It is usually a continuation of a successful career, but now as an entrepreneur.
Mac Lewis worked for IBM, but co-founded FieldSolutions when he was 60 years old. FieldSolutions has a network of 27,000 service technicians (independent contractors) who provide field service to large technology companies throughout North America. The Baby Boomer generation are creating a new definition for retirement! Some will quietly live an active retirement by volunteering and yet others feel it is their time to start a business or just keep working. It is an individual choice!
They are not necessarily building the next Apple or Microsoft. They start small companies that are successful because of the years in the particular industry. What are they doing? They are fulfilling their dreams by starting companies they have thought about for years. Some of these entrepreneurs are people who are fifty (50) years old or older. They may be retired from many years at one or more companies, laid off, or following their dream. There are many reasons, but what may trump all of that is a desire to remain active well past retirement.
Technology has given us an opportunity for independence for young and old. Is it easier to start a business now? In some ways, the bar is lower because of technology, but opportunity sometimes shows up at different times. Being over fifty (50) years old makes it difficult to find work. What can you do? You can reach for that dream rather than just drain your savings. This may not be good for everyone, but there are more over fifty (50) year old entrepreneurs than young (20-34 year old) entrepreneurs.
Many older workers just want to avoid the instability of working for someone else. They become consultants, independent contractors, temporary position or start a business. You have 25-30 years of skills and experience and you want to work. You are too young to retire and you want to be active It is hard to go from working to nothing so starting a business seems to make sense. You can always cut back sometime in the future.
The recession and accompanying high unemployment has motivated older people to start businesses. If you look for work for months or even a year and unsuccessful, you can start a consulting business and market your skills and experience and make some money too. If you are successful, you may never want to return to working for someone else. This is not new, but older workers had no other choice. The number of entrepreneurs is growing particularly for people over the age of 50 years old. More than five (5) million Americans age 55 or older are self employed and growing.
Everything is changing, older workers see retirement differently! They do not want to just sit around and do nothing. The recent recession has forced many older people to start businesses. They may have retired, lost their jobs or pursue a new interest. Whatever the reason, more older workers are starting businesses. It may be a trend or it may be a realization that we no longer have careers for life. It may not be a surprise to young people, but it is a shock that experience and skills may not matter to an employer. In your own business, you are rewarded for your skills and experience. Some things get better with age and you can benefit from it!
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