What is entrepreneurship?
In the face of a changing global economy, how to become an entrepreneur is a question on the lips of many. In this article, we will walk you through the rudiment of becoming an entrepreneur even at a later age.
A person (man/woman) who conceives a viable business idea and undertakes the risk of developing it into a profitable business venture is an entrepreneur. The process of setting up a business starting from idea conception to its development is known as entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs are indispensable in every economy. They take significant initiatives amidst market forces to turn ideas into marketable values in products or services. If they are successful at the end of the day, they are rewarded with profits. Otherwise, they count their losses and either go back to their drawing board or go home!
Becoming An Entrepreneur
While the vibrancy of youth can be helpful to a startup, the experiences acquired through age contribute to adult success in most cases. You may wonder, “Is there an age at which it is too late to become an entrepreneur?”
Well, let us find out.
10 Entrepreneurs Examples Who Started Late
Popular opinion holds that an entrepreneur is that young man or woman who is already making business strides right out of his dorm room or, in worse cases, fresh out of college. The success story of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of college to concentrate on his idea, does not seem to detract credence from this popular opinion.
What about you, do you think this opinion is entirely correct? Does it mean no late starters joined the entrepreneurship game much later in their lives and still succeeded at it? History has it that there are! So what we can infer is that it is never too late to start your self-employment. Age is not a barrier to becoming an entrepreneur, QED.
A brief rundown of stories of these ten entrepreneurs who ventured late into the business and still become successful entrepreneurs may be all you need to get started. Let us see!
1. Harland David Sanders (KFC)
Harland Sanders got the inspiration to start KFC after the service station where he worked was destroyed. Mr. Sanders was popular back then for his uniquely delicious chicken recipe. Sanders was 62 when he franchised his Kentucky Fried Chicken. Today KFC has over 18,000 outlets in 118 countries operating as a KFC franchise.
2. Amadeo Giannini (BoA)
Amadeo Giannini founded Bank of America at the age of 61. The tall-standing success of Bank of America today proves that it is never too late to start as an entrepreneur.
3. Arianna Huffington (HuffPost)
Arianna Huffington, an immigrant from Greece, launched the Huffington post- one of the most influential blogs in the world in 2005. She named herself the editor-in-chief of her blog.
Before that, Arianna, an immigrant from Greece, worked as a writer. The idea to launch the Huffington Post in 2005 turned out to be her big break at 55. Today, her company is known as HuffPost and is a widely read publication.
4. Julie Wainwright (The RealReal)
Former CEO of pets.com, Julie Wainwright, was 44 in 2000 when she decided it was time to shut down the business. About a decade later, in 2011, aged 55, she got her big idea to launch The RealReal, an online marketplace that resells designer items.
RealReal made $10 million in sales in its first year and is still thriving till today.
5. Wally Blume (Denali Flavors)
Wally Blume used all of his life savings at the age of 54 to create Denali Flavors – a company making specialty ice cream for smaller diaries across the US.
Today, the company makes $50 million in annual sales. Experience of age played a significant role in Blume’s success. Before founding Denali Flavors in 1989, he had worked in the dairy industry for 35 years.
6. Ray Kroc (McDonald)
Ray Kroc is the brain behind the McDonald’s food brand. In 1954 when Ray Kroc ate food in a restaurant run by two brothers Dick and Mac. He was convinced their food will do well in the marketplace. One year after, at the age of 52, Kroc came back and turned their business into a franchise. Three years later, McDonald sold their 100 millionth McDonald’s burger – a massive success.
7. Bernie Marcus (Home Depot)
Bernie Marcus was 50 years old when he decided to start his home-improvement store, Home Depot. Just like Wally Blume, Marcus had the advantage of age and industry experience. Before starting his own business, Blume had worked as chairman of Handy Dan Home Improvement Center before being fired in 1978. He then joined forces with his business partner Arthur Blank to start Home Depot. Today, Home Depot has over 2,200 stores and is the largest home-improvement retailer in the United States.
8. John Stith Pemberton (Coca Cola)
John Pemberton, an American Pharmacist and Army veteran, invented the early version of Coca-Cola Syrup at 50. However, he was a success of circumstance.
Dr. John Pemberton, who served in the Confederated Stated Army, sustained a saber injury in 1865 during the Battle of Columbus. This led him in search of a suitable painkiller to replace his then morphine addiction. His experiment led to the recipe that was later adapted to make coca-cola.
9. Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living)
Martha Stewart quit her job as a stockbroker on Wall Street and moved to Connecticut in 1972. In Connecticut, she restored a 19th-century farmhouse which sparked her interest in homemaking. A few years down the line, she started her own catering business.
By 1990 at the age of 49, Stewart’s catering business turned successful. She decided to publish the first issue of her magazine called Martha Stewart Living. Next to follow the magazine were Martha Stewart books and TV shows. Today, the company is worth a whopping $1.2 billion.
10. Reed Hastings (Netflix)
Netflix founder Reed Hastings came on board the entrepreneurship success ladder at a later age. It was after he had played around with the idea of Netflix DVD rental in his 30s. At the age of 47, he had his big break with the concept of Netflix stream.
How To Become An Entrepreneur
Are you in search of answers on how to become an entrepreneur? You might have to take a pen and a paper and note this down. “There are no hard rules for becoming an entrepreneur” anywhere in the world.
However, we have this 5-step guide that can help you become a successful entrepreneur. Let’s talk!
1. Make Up Your Mind
Here’s a little motivation for you, every success you would ever achieve as a person starts with your mind. You see it first in your mind to achieve it.
Now imagine what would happen if you have not made up your mind that an entrepreneur is who you want to become? It is essential seeing yourself as an entrepreneur even before you venture into it. To have the big picture of where you want to go impacts great confidence to explore the challenges on the way to your startup. It energizes you for the challenges down the line. Indeed, you will meet challenges—however, the ability to surmount these challenges will determine your enterprise’s success.
2. Get A Business Idea
Having a viable business idea, you will be working on is the starting point of becoming an entrepreneur. A defined business idea redirects your attention from so many other ideas that you might have unto one.
Honestly, when you’ve found that idea or passion that is for you, you will know. Business magnate Jeff Bezos had this to say about finding the right idea as an entrepreneur. The greatest mistake you can make is trying to force an interest on yourself. You do not choose your passion; your passion chooses you.
3. Determining Skill or Education
Although you do not necessarily require formal education to become an entrepreneur. It makes perfect sense to acquire the proper knowledge or skills you need for your business to get a better edge to compete favorably in the marketplace.
4. Prepare Your Business Plan
Preparing a business plan: A well-planned business idea and needs allow you to see your business on paper before launching. Writing a business plan for your business will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. It gives you an informative overview of your target market and also your potential competition.
5. Successful Entrepreneur Network
Have you heard that your network is your net worth? Successful people have in common that they follow in the footprint of those who have walked the sand before them. The actual point I’m trying to sell to you here is that beyond the people in your team, you also need direct or indirect mentoring of the people that had succeeded in your chosen enterprise before you came along.
Like it or not, there will always be people ahead of you. To become a successful entrepreneur, you must study the precedents of those ahead of you in the industry. So, you can either learn from them or get crushed by them.
No need to reinvent the wheel. We have 99+ Business Ideas you can improve to be relevant in your market.
Having Entrepreneurial Qualities In You
An entrepreneur’s mindset is at the core of becoming a successful entrepreneur. An entrepreneur’s mindset is an embodiment of all the entrepreneurial qualities that make an entrepreneur.
For instance, a potential entrepreneur is a guy who sees nothing wrong with showing up for work before everybody else and leaving after everybody else. An entrepreneurial-conscious person asks why to stop here when you can reach there.
What are the five entrepreneurial qualities every entrepreneur must have? They include:
To become successful as an entrepreneur, you need to stay inspired. If you are not self-motivated, you need to look towards things that keep you motivated—for example, reading books or attending seminars hosted by entrepreneurs you admire.
The point here is an embodiment of persistence and determination. It would be best if you disciplined yourself to find what works. When you do find it, the choice to remain persistent on your goals is non-negotiable.
You cannot become a very successful entrepreneur if you do not have a creative mind. Creativity here is an embodiment of risk-taking, flexibility, and problem-solving. Every entrepreneur is a risk-taker who is flexible enough to look for solutions in unconventional places. If you often do not think there is a possibility of finding the solution outside the box, you might want to rethink your wish to become an entrepreneur.
4. Hard Work
The amount of work you put into developing your idea and eventually growing your business is directly proportional to the amount of success you will get.
Next to being a hard worker is working in a team or collaborate with other companies outside your entrepreneurial sphere to succeed. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Again, teamwork allows you to delegate duties to your team members, allowing you to manage time and other human resources effectively. Overall, this puts you in a supervisory position where you can oversee your team members.
How to Improve Entrepreneurial Skills
Some entrepreneurs are born with the talents to carry out their startups with a high level of easiness. In contrast, some create the talents needed in the industry as they go along. The making process of a successful entrepreneur involves persistent honing of your innate or acquired entrepreneurial skills and qualities until you master the game.
You can continuously improve your entrepreneurial skills and qualities until you become competent, no matter where you fall in the spectrum of things.
Four Inspiring Quotes for Entrepreneurs
Throughout your journey as an entrepreneur, you will need to stay motivated. The need for motivation cannot be said less in the life of an entrepreneur. Below are four simple but inspiring quotes for entrepreneurs for all times. All you need is to keep them close to your heart as you journey down.
7 Websites to Learn More about Entrepreneurs
There are several open and paid resources on the internet serving great content on becoming an entrepreneur. Below are seven trusted websites to learn more about entrepreneurship.
Finally, these qualities are inevitable in modern entrepreneurship on becoming an entrepreneur: remain persistent, consistent, and motivated.
Moments would come when you feel you’ve arrived at a crossroad and other times when you think it’s a dead end. Those are the very moments when you should never give up. No matter what happens, never let that ship steer off course.
If you happen to be starting your entrepreneurial journey at a later age, always remember that the experience of age is an invaluable asset you can rely on to get through.