Entrepreneurship: Can I Start At A Later Age?

Entrepreneurship: Can I Start At A Later Age?

What is entrepreneurship?

In the face of a changing global economy, entrepreneurship offers a flexible path for many, regardless of age. In this article, we will guide you through the fundamentals of becoming an entrepreneur, even if you’re considering it at a later stage in life.

An entrepreneur (man/woman) conceives a viable business idea and undertakes the risk of developing it into a profitable business venture. The process of setting up a business, from idea conception to 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 return to their drawing board or go home!

While the energy of youth can be an asset for an entrepreneur, the wisdom that comes with age is equally valuable. You might question, ‘Is there a point where it’s too late to start a business?’ The answer is a resounding no, and we’ll show you why.

10 Diverse Examples of Entrepreneurs Who Started Late

Popular opinion holds that an entrepreneur is a young man or woman already making business strides right out of his dorm room or, worse, fresh out of college. The success story of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of college to concentrate on his idea, does not detract credence from this popular opinion.

So, is the popular belief entirely accurate? Does it mean no one started their entrepreneurial journey later in life and still succeeded? History tells us otherwise! It’s never too late to start your own business. Age is not a barrier to entrepreneurship; we’ll prove it.

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 was inspired to start KFC after the service station he worked for 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 that operate as KFC franchises.

2. Amadeo Giannini (BoA)

Amadeo Giannini founded Bank of America at the age of 61. The company’s long-standing success today proves that starting as an entrepreneur is never too late.

3. Arianna Huffington (HuffPost)

Arianna Huffington, an immigrant from Greece, launched the Huffington Post in 2005, one of the most influential blogs in the world. 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 was 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, at 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 still thrives today.

5. Wally Blume (Denali Flavors)

Wally Blume used all of his life savings at age 54 to create Denali Flavors, a company that made 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 would do well in the marketplace. One year later, at the age of 52, Kroc came back and turned their business into a franchise. Three years later, McDonald’s sold their 100 millionth McDonald’s burger – a massive success.

7. Bernie Marcus (Home Depot)

Bernie Marcus was 50 when he started his home-improvement store, Home Depot. 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. Home Depot has over 2,200 stores today 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 Confederate States Army, sustained a saber injury in 1865 during the Battle of Columbus. This led him to search for 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. She restored a 19th-century farmhouse there, which sparked her interest in homemaking. A few years later, she started her own catering business.

By 1990, at age 49, Stewart’s catering business had become successful. She decided to publish the first issue of her magazine, Martha Stewart Living. Next to follow the magazine were Martha Stewart’s 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 a Netflix stream.

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Are you in search of answers on how to become an entrepreneur? Take a pen and some paper and write this down. “There are no hard rules for becoming an entrepreneur” anywhere globally.

However, we have this 5-step guide that can help you become a successful entrepreneur. Let’s discuss each step in detail: 1. Make up your mind, 2. Research and plan, 3. Secure funding, 4. Build your team, and 5. Launch and grow your business.

1. Make up your mind

Here’s a little motivation for you: every success you will 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 had not decided that an entrepreneur is who you want to become. It is essential to see yourself as an entrepreneur before venture into it. Having the big picture of where you want to go gives you 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, surmounting 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 to one.

You will know when you’ve found that idea or passion for you. 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. Determine if you need any particular skills or education

However, 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 and 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 will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. It will also give you an informative overview of your target market and 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 point I’m selling to you here is that beyond the people in your team, you also need direct or indirect mentoring of those who 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.

Having Entrepreneurial Qualities in you

An entrepreneur’s mindset is at the core of becoming a successful entrepreneur. It is the 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 you should stop here when you can reach there.

What are the Five Entrepreneurial Qualities?

What are the five entrepreneurial qualities every entrepreneur must have? They include:

1. Motivation

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.

2. Discipline

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.

3. Creativity

You can only become a successful entrepreneur with a creative mind. Creativity here is an embodiment of risk-taking, flexibility, and problem-solving. Every entrepreneur is a risk-taker, flexible enough to look for solutions in unconventional places. If you often do not think there is a possibility of finding a solution outside the box, you should rethink your wish to become an entrepreneur.

4. Hard Work

The work you put into developing your idea and eventually growing your business is directly proportional to the success you will achieve.

5. Teamwork

Next to being a hard worker is working in a team or collaborating 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 easily. In contrast, some create the talents needed in the industry as they go along. Becoming a successful entrepreneur involves persistently honing your innate or acquired entrepreneurial skills and qualities until you master the game.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you can continuously improve your entrepreneurial skills and qualities until you become competent.

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 three simple but inspiring quotes for entrepreneurs of all times. You only need to keep them close to your heart as you journey down.

  1. The best way to predict the future is to create it ~ Peter Drucker.
  2. Winners never quit, and quitters never win ~ Vince Lombardi.
  3. I have succeeded. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work~ Thomas Edison.
  4. A simple rule of business is that if you do the things that are easier first, you can make a lot of progress: Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder.

7 Websites to Learn More about Entrepreneurs

Several open and paid online resources serve great content on becoming an entrepreneur. Below are seven trusted websites to learn more about entrepreneurship.

1. Edx.org

2. Investopedia.com

3. Coursera.org

4. Futurelearn.com

5. Entrepreneur.com

6. Alison.com

7. Udemy.com


Finally, these qualities are inevitable in modern entrepreneurship. When becoming an entrepreneur, remain persistent, consistent, and motivated.

Moments would come when you feel you’ve arrived at a crossroads 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 are starting your entrepreneurial journey at a later age, remember that the experience of age is an invaluable asset you can rely on to get through.

I start my own business at 50.

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