Traditionally, we tend to think of aspiring entrepreneurs as young professionals with decades of potential ahead of them and energy to spare. However, judging by current trends, perhaps it’s time for this outdated notion to be refreshed.
According to recent estimates, nearly a quarter of new entrepreneurs fall between the ages of 55 and 64. Given the rise in technology and the accessibility it provides, it makes sense that more workforce veterans might decide to start a company of their own. But while they certainly have plenty of knowledge, starting a business after retirement has its own set of challenges. Thankfully, finding your way doesn’t have to be so difficult. So strap in: Let’s discuss what you bring to the startup world and the first steps you can take now to bring your vision to life.
Advantages of Starting a Business After Retirement
No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too late to pursue your passions. Such is definitely the case for retirees looking into the startup space. Age, after all, isn’t only a number — it’s an indication of a life lived and lessons learned. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways late-in-life business owners can leverage their circumstances to fuel the success and promise of their latest endeavor.
Experience Is Still Key
Retired entrepreneurs may initially feel in over their heads. But despite the appearance of insurmountable odds, don’t overlook everything you’ve accomplished up to this point. Your experience — both in business and in life — can often inform your decision-making. Don’t forget that you have the invaluable assets of intuition and savvy that simply can’t be won any way other than through the rigors of time. So rather than lamenting your age, harness everything you’ve absorbed and weaponize it instead.
Although many young and hungry entrepreneurs may have big dreams and high hopes of where they want to take their business, one thing that few have on their side is a reliable source of funds. By the time you reach retirement age, you may have developed significant savings you can use to infuse your new business with some startup funds. The financial standing of your business when you start out has a huge impact on its potential; this is another advantage older entrepreneurs are likely to have in their back pocket (literally).
Solid Support System
Often, young aspiring entrepreneurs dream of the startup they want to leap into after college, only to encounter a ton of resistance. Why risk your future when you could embrace the comfort of a cushy corporate gig?, they’re told. But it’s an entirely different story for retired entrepreneurs. At this stage in your life, you may already have a family of your own, longtime friends and trustworthy colleagues who can give you honest feedback. Moreover, knowing that your social life is beyond stable allows you to relax and take your startup one measured step at a time.
How to Get Started
Now that you have a better sense of how your business can benefit from your age and experience, you’re probably wondering what you should do to actually put it into action. As you brace for the next stage of your professional life, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to maximize your chances of achieving your startup goals.
Know Yourself and Your Limits
One reason your age is such a critical ingredient in your business is that it helps you gauge the terrain ahead. Carefully consider all your options before investing your time and money in a new business venture; if something doesn’t add up, doggedly pursue the answers you need and the level of risk involved. Regardless of what business you’re getting into, you’re certain to face a variety of setbacks as you get your bearings. Use your experience to keep you ready for them before they’re upon you.
Outsource and Assemble Greatness
Even the most heralded professional minds of our time can only accomplish so much as single individuals. Remember that — and don’t burden yourself with the notion that you need to wear all hats indefinitely. The most successful companies got that way because of their leadership…but also because of the team that leader assembled to execute their vision on a grander scale. No one knows your goals better than you do, but you need other passionate team members who can contribute to them and complement your own role in the process.
Practice Self-Care Above All Else
This is a critical point for all aspiring entrepreneurs, but especially for those of advanced age. In the early days of your new business, you may be obliged to drive ceaselessly toward your next objective. While this persistence is a testament to your passion, don’t let it run your life. In other words, know when to disconnect from your work and connect with loved ones, have some fun or just get some rest. Most retired entrepreneurs will need to consider their health more seriously than their younger counterparts. In the end, remember that you won’t be able to push your business forward if you’re feeling run down.
It’s Never Too Late
With any luck, we’ve helped you feel empowered to more confidently move in the direction of your startup dreams. Now we want to help you take the next steps to make your business a reality.
This article was originally published on the Incfile Blog.
Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer since 2004, including print and online publications. Much of his experience centers on the business world, including work for a major regional business newspaper and a global law firm.