Colonel Sanders is the face of KFC around the world, even after roughly 40 years of his death. He even sold his fried chicken business 16 years before his death but retained much influence over executives and franchisees. Colonel Harland David Sanders thought of selling fried chicken, with a secret recipe in a pressure fryer, in the 1930s. But he started KFC as a commercial restaurant in 1952 at the age of 62. With more than 23,000 KFC stores in over 140 countries, the rest as they say is history.
If you have crossed your 40s (or even 50s), don’t think that you have passed your prime and can’t start a small business and can come up with a great idea any day. The general idea is that starting a business requires much hard work round the clock and only young people can perform these duties. Colonel Sanders along with other notable business leaders like Donald Fisher (co-founded GAP at 41) Charles Ranlett Flint (founded IBM at 61) and Bernie Marcus (co-founded Home Depot at 50) proved this notion wrong.
It’s never too late to start a business as any idea can click. In a recent study two MIT professors found the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged. And that also holds true for the tech sector; IBM’s Flint is a prime example. According to research, out of 2.7 million company founders, the average age of startup founders was 45. Still skeptical about what you are hearing? Check out the following numbers.
A 50-year old’s founder’s chances are 2.2 times higher than a 30-year-old. And for a person at 40, the chances are 2.1 times as compared to a 25-year-old. You may wonder why? The reasons are aplenty, but the difference between idea and execution is what counts at the end.
Idea and Execution
Ideas and their proper execution are poles apart. And the idea that sounds great on paper can be unrealistic or not even viable to start when we try to execute the idea in the real world. Ideas are the basis of multi-billion-dollar businesses, but it is the execution that counts. So why experience matters when we talk of an idea and how to execute it? It is much harder to execute any idea with limited experience.
Developing a sound strategy and making smart and tactical decisions won’t come naturally to a fresh graduate out of college. There is a famous saying that “Time teaches everything.” And you can’t earn experience overnight. We learn many lessons through failure and trying things that we don’t know much about. And experience in any industry or about a product takes time. And for true leadership, experience and knowledge is a basic requirement.
Why 40 is a Magic Number?
For people in their 40s, there’s no better time to follow their dreams. Don’t think that because the young generation is more tech-savvy than you, they have a better chance to succeed. With your experience, you can do it, too. Here are three good reasons why you must consider starting a business in your 40s:
- More Experience
As discussed earlier, with experience, you can have a focused mindset, and you’ve had time to think about a product or service you are about to launch. Use all your experience in marketing, sales and business administration to come up with a plan that will work in spite of all the hurdles every business has to face.
Younger professionals, on the other hand, will find it hard to get along and will feel heading into unchartered territory. Don’t feel old school but instead use this quality to your advantage. People in their 40s and above can use their age to be someone who is experienced and knows how to find a way even in dire situations.
- A Big Social and Professional Network
In your 40s, a big social and professional network will help you find the target audience and spread your message across. You will also find some much-needed help from them as they are experienced and can offer a word of wisdom based on their knowledge.
With good connections, you can have a head-start in your domain. Professional networking events can also make your work easy as a launchpad to showcase your product or increase awareness about it. You’ll regularly come across familiar faces at these events, and that will help your cause further as those professionals can offer you good support.
- Responsibilities Make you Mature
Raising a family, paying the mortgage, and loans are reason enough so that you will focus on anything you do with commitment and zeal. For a person starting a new business, there is a huge responsibility for him to pull this off. Your familiarity with dealing with tough situations like taking care of your family and other obligations will make you deal with scenarios in the business world much easier and without getting anxious.
With the use of a free task management tool like TaskQue, you can streamline your daily operations and work better to achieve positive results in a quick time.
Whether you’re in your 40s, 50s or even 60s with a bug to start a business, don’t over-think it and just get cracking. It’s never too late to start something new. We all love to hear the success stories of young and exciting entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. But people in their forties and fifties have also done wonders, and we must appreciate their hard work too.
I hope this blog will motivate you guys to go for your dreams, even if you’re witnessing salt n pepper in your hair. If you want to add something valuable to this blog, ask a question, or want to offer your feedback, you are more than welcome. Please use the comments section below.