Starting a business mid-life

There are a number of reasons to look at starting a business once you are heading to or past the magic age of 50.

Getting to a half century doesn’t mean your nearly out; it means you finally have a chance to put all those resources you have been gathering to good use.

I had a mentor who said that in an ideal world we spend a third of our life learning how to do something, a third of our life doing it and a third of our life giving back or showing other people how to do it.

Life is never that neat and tidy, but, in theory, I think it is great. If you look at a productive life cycle, from 20-40, we are learning to do something, 40-60 we are doing it and 60 plus, we share, teach and give back. 

It sounds a little idealistic; I get it. The whole theory gets busted when you look at digital commerce where more and more people seem to spend a month learning to do something.

Then, they sell it to a whole pile of people for a few months before becoming “experts” and charging us a lot for a course to learn what they learned in a month.

At least it seems that way.

In reality, what I am saying is in those mid-life years, the senior “gap years”, we are at our most productive.

It is also reality that many people my age question how valuable they may be to an employer. What if I lose my job?

Frankly, there is some truth to the fact that in such a fast-changing world, it can be hard to keep up as an employee.

As an entrepreneur however, it is quite different.

There is always some fear and trepidation when you think about starting a business, but think about your strengths when it comes to becoming a solopreneur or entrepreneur.

  • You have gained wisdom (hopefully!)
  • You seen a lot of things go wrong. That is experience and it is very valuable
  • You probably have a better handle on finances than a young entrepreneur
  • You are a little more level headed. You know the difference between risk and stupidity.
  • You have developed a network of connections.
  • You have a little more time to devote without raising a family at the same time.

That is a pretty good A list of positive attributes. 

The problem is, we don’t focus on our strengths when we compare to other people. We compare our weakness and look at their strengths — it is a losing game form the start.

Instead look at the list above, add some more to it and get going. There really is no time like the present.

Happy new year


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories