What is an entrepreneur? There are many dictionary definitions of what makes an entrepreneur, most agree that an entrepreneur is “one who organises, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise” or,  “the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits”. This seems to be a rather blunt, detached definition to something that is far more complicated to define, but one thing that is worth noticing is that there is no mention made of age.

The reality is that an entrepreneur is so much more than what the dictionary defines, and the sense of passion and adventure that leads you to start your own business is not limited in any way by your age – you are never too old…or too young for that matter.

When Should You Start Your Business?

If you are old enough to conceive a business idea and are willing to put in the time and effort to make it a reality, then you are old enough to start your own business. It does not even need to be a groundbreaking or especially innovative idea to be successful. Many successful entrepreneurial ventures have been such by creating businesses that are centered around a very basic need that customers require, seeing a gap in the market and filling it with a business that offers great service, products and pricing.

On the other end of the spectrum, of course, are entrepreneurs who want to start a business but they think they are too old to do so. This is ridiculous.  No matter a person’s age or experience, they can be a successful entrepreneur if they have a good idea and are willing to put in the work to make their business a success.

Despite there being no age limit on becoming an entrepreneur, there are some attributes, regardless of age or experience that seem to help entrepreneurs to attain success.  Here are just a few of them:

  • They are constantly coming up with new ideas and make a habit of writing them down
  • They actively look for ways to promote and develop their ideas
  • Their ideas are usually based on solving a problem or providing a convenience
  • They use their ideas to make money
  • They enjoy the challenge of starting their own business

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but these are the characteristics and behavior patterns that are common among entrepreneurs of all ages.

Never Too Old or Too Young To Be Successful

Many young people have entrepreneurial ideas, and research shows that they are more likely to be successful if they have parents who support and guide them along the way. Interestingly, on the other end of the age spectrum, older entrepreneurs often meet resistance from their own children when proposing a business idea.  It is very common for their worries to arise from concerns about scale and scope of the proposed business. Many adult children worry about the impact starting a business will have on a parent’s health, free time, and financial well-being. Just as with young entrepreneurs gaining the support of their parents, it is a good idea for more mature entrepreneurs to talk with their children about their business idea to help them understand exactly what they have in mind.

What is worth noting is that although starting a business has never come with an age limit, it still brings with it a lot of “buts”, “I wish’s” and “do you really think?’s”.  Being older only adds to this as the dreaded mid-life crisis brings with it a dozen problems and insecurities and the simple fear of “starting anew”. Being a more mature entrepreneur means that the excuses to put off the plan are more likely to occur than starting a flame of entrepreneurship.

Pushing aside all the “buts”, worries and self-doubt, if you believe going out and trying something new is in any way better than sitting around enduring the safe option-then entrepreneurship is for you!  Starting a new venture has never had an expiry date. Thinking you’re too old for it has!

Age is just a number and entrepreneurship is a chance to create something of value from nothing. An idea and a fearless heart is a terrific combination for success.