• Susanne Birgersdotter

Starting a Business Later-in-Life is Actually a Great Idea!

When we were younger, a lot of us would think of our later years as easier days, retirement, and vacations. We would plan and work hard so that we could enjoy a comfortable life in the future. I envision my future to be full of lazy days, trips, and endless hours spent with the people I love and doing the things I love.

And then middle age came and proved me wrong!

I thought I would be slowing down and taking things easy in my 40s. I thought that I would be done with business – may be too tired, too uninspired, or too jaded to continue on the daily grind. I thought the fervour I had when I was just starting would be gone after a few years.

I was never more wrong!

Today, already well passed my 40s, I don’t see much difference or feel much different from the 25-year-old me. Aside from the acquired wisdom, experience, and confidence, nothing much has changed. I still feel the excitement when presented with a great business idea. I still have the motivation and drive to build businesses from scratch. I still feel invigorated with discovering new grounds. From a business point of view, I am still the young entrepreneur I was 20 years ago.

And I still run and start businesses. In fact, I don’t think I will ever stop. Here are some reasons why it is better to start a business later in life:

  • You’ve already acquired business acumen – Your working years have already given you a taste of business. Whether it is from employment, a failed business, or a personal endeavor, the experience has given you a good idea of how business works. You could be an accountant, a marketing assistant, a product designer, or a financial advisor – learning the business ways and just waiting for the right time to apply what you’ve learned to your own business.

  • You’ve enjoyed exposure to certain industries – Certain business industries are close-knit, where details are well-kept by its members. They also happen to be the most profitable ones. Your working years have given you exposure, experience, and access to well-kept industry details. You can take advantage of your acquired knowledge by setting up your own enterprises.

  • You have a sizeable network – You’ve been out and about for a while now. You’ve met people and developed friendships and ties with them. The multitude of personalities from your network can be a great resource when starting a business. You are now a better judge of people’s character and would have met your business partners, experts, and people who have the right connections to make your business a success.

  • You’ve determined your passion – You are no longer a bumbling youngster, bouncing through life trying to find your place in the sun. You are now a mature adult who knows her niche. You know what you like to do in life, you’ve discovered your passion and has perfected the skills and craft you are best at.

  • You have access to funding – It is later in life that money comes easier. We have gone through most of life’s most expensive phase – weddings, childcare, home acquisition, career build-up. We are better at financial management and we’ve learned our lessons from maybe a few monetary debacles. We might have some savings that could start up the business and friends who can invest in the endeavour.

  • You know failure – Failure is life’s toughest and best teacher. You are put to the test, no warning, no buts. And then the lesson comes later. You see, everyone is bound to fail. Success is how you handle failure, how you learn from it, and how you bounce back. Failing multiple times means more lessons learned and a character made stronger, bold, and resilient.

  • You have acquired self-discipline – The careless, devil-may-care recklessness is toned down with measured daring. The capriciousness of the young is replaced with stability. We have learned the importance of setting goals, hard work, and steadfastness to success. We have realized that our biggest enemy is only ourselves.

Life doesn’t get easier. We’ve only gotten stronger, wiser, and better at it. This doesn’t only apply to business, but in all aspects of life as well. So, whether you are trying to start a business now, take on another career, or pursue a lifelong passion, go get it! It is never too late to start anew. Today is the best day to do it. A year from now, you could be enjoying a new life, running a new business, or still pining for it.