Too old to start a business? This will change your mind.

Ritchie Cotton

Monday, 24 February 2020

You’re alive. There’s no better time to smash your business goals than now.

If you think you’re too old to be successful, that’s not only destructive, but untrue. Entrepreneurs aged 50 are twice as likely to succeed than those aged 30.

And, remember—a successful start-up doesn’t necessarily lead to successful long-term growth. One study discovered that on average, the more successful start-ups in their sample had older founders.

Age isn’t just a number. We all grow and change, collecting nuggets of wisdom—and wrinkles—along the way. Use those nuggets to your advantage!

You know more than you think.

Maybe your memory is declining and your joints ache more than you’d like, but you’re becoming wiser everyday. You probably have experience in several jobs now, and maybe even several careers, building a wealth of knowledge and refining your skillset. It’s time to put that time and expertise to good use, not let it waste fear.

If you’re still not convinced, the average business owner in Australia is 48 years old, and the following companies (some of which are now iconic brands) were founded by entrepreneurs aged 35+. They did it, and so can you.

1. KFC

The iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken was started by Colonel Sanders at age 65. Sanders didn’t exactly have an easy life before starting KFC—his dad passed away when he was just six years old, and throughout his career in law, Sanders struggled to keep a job down. He even had a brawl in court with one of his own clients.

But these challenges didn't dampen Sanders' spirit—he used each setback as fuel to move forward and smash his goals. Sanders set up a roadside restaurant in Kentucky and shared his now-famous fried chicken with hundreds of satisfied customers. He later went on to franchise KFC, which led to the billion dollar success story it is today.

2. Ford

Henry Ford’s parents had high hopes that one day, their son would run the family’s farming business. But Ford had a completely different idea. At the young age of 16, he left home to become a machinist, despite his family's wishes.

A career in engineering allowed him to grow a valuable skill set that he later leveraged to start Ford at age 40, which now has a net-worth of 199 billion.

3. Netflix

Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in the late nineties, after Hastings copped a $40 late fee at a video store. But it didn't start as the popular streaming service we all know today. Netflix was originally an online DVD service, and later evolved into the well-known streaming site many of us are now addicted to. Netflix streaming was launched in 2007 when Hastings was in his late 40s, so never say never!

4. Archibald’s Swiss Cheese Mountain

The inspiring entrepreneur, Sylvia Lieberman, published her award-winning children’s book at age 90, named Archibald’s Swiss Cheese Mountain. The book inspires children to shoot for the stars and reach for their dreams. Lieberman is proof that it’s never too late to smash your business goals. To this day, she attends book signings, interviews and TV appearances to promote her book.

5. Lululemon

The popular Canadian yoga brand, Lululemon, was founded by Chip Wilson at age 42. Wilson's grand idea to start Lululemon was inspired by his first yoga class, where he observed how uncomfortable his classmates looked sweating away in baggy clothes. Lululemon now offers a range of high-quality yoga essentials.

Whether you’re 25 or 90, we see no difference. Valiant helps entrepreneurs and small business owners from all walks of life take their business ideas to new heights, everyday. The truth is, if you’re determined enough to put in the hard work, there’s never a ‘good’ time to start (or grow) your business.

Compare hundreds of business loans in just minutes to secure funding at the right rate, and finally bring your vision to life.

The information in this post is correct at the time of writing, and for general purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional financial advice.

Ritchie is our CPO and a Co-Founder of Valiant. His number one mission is to make business finance easy for Australians, and help SMEs reach their full potential. Ritchie loves playing music and cooking Italian food, with risotto being his specialty!

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