In our line of work, we often see two main expressed opinions about what age is best for starting a business. Some people think “the younger the better”. Young enthusiasts are often more motivated, with bright and fast minds. Not only that, but the inevitable mistakes are forgiven and they can “afford” a failure as time is ahead. Furthermore. younger entrepreneurs are willing to take more risks.
But on the other hand, with age comes more experience and respectfully, wisdom. The older people get, the more they know about the niche they chose and what the industry needs. Connections become stronger, and networking – easier.
So, which one is it? Let’s take a look at some stats.
Thankfully, there are many examples of entrepreneurs around the age of 20-30. This includes Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn (age 35 in 2002), Evan Williams – Twitter (age 35 in 2007), Matthew Mullenweg – WordPress (age 19 in 2004). Of course, there are many other examples of the same age range and higher. However, studies show middle-aged men start the most successful business, according to MIT Sloan. The golden middle line in our lives appears to be the best timeline for succeeding.
If you are under 30 you’re probably inspired by the stories of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and other tech giants who founded their first companies at an extremely young age. And that’s okay. You can get as much as possible insights from those key figures in our history, but you don’t have to necessarily feel pressured to become one of them under the age of 30. We will talk about entrepreneurial skills, but do you know the first thing they all had in common? Patience.
The truth is, you can become successful at any age – whether you are like David Karp – Tumblr (age 21 in 2007) or like Colonel Sanders who founded KFC at the age of 65. There are no limits to what and when you can do.
Willingness to Learn
We’ll start with one essential skill that entrepreneurs need and it’s exactly the eagerness to learn. But we are not talking about education in specific. Because in fact, only 9% of entrepreneurs have a Bachelor’s Degree in business (source: TSheets). Not enough? Well, according to Guidant Financial, 33% of entrepreneurs have only a high-school diploma.
We don’t want to say that education is not important, of course. But it is not 100% necessary. Rather than that, the willingness to learn and expand knowledge is more significant. People that succeed are always up to date, they know what their potential customers or users need, and how to provide it. Learning new things every day hides unlimited potential.
Courage and Taking measured risks
As you might realize, successful entrepreneurs need the courage to start and of course, are willing to take risks. The ability to accept things might not go the way you think, can be your strongest weapon. If you want to become one of the startup founders that succeed, then you’ve probably already started educating yourself with statistics and subtleties.
One thing you’ll often read is the percentage of failures. As stated by US BLS, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% in their second year, 50% after five years, and 70% in their 10th year. And this should not scare you. The sooner you accept you might fail, the more motivated and free you’ll feel. Nothing can stand in your way!
The biggest challenge for 33% of small business owners is the lack of capital, as stated by Guidant Financial. Profits and expenses are in our lives whether we are entrepreneurs or not. But how we manage them makes us successful. Keeping track of money and managing them carefully is a key strategy to become better businessmen.
First, you’ll need to make a good calculation of your capital and what and how you can invest. After that, comes the moment of rightful distribution of all financial assets. And of course, in the end, the thoughtful balance between expenses and incomes. If you take time to master those abilities, or you already do, things will work out great for you.
To Sum Up
You can be in your early twenties or late forties, you can be highly educational representative of some of the best colleges in the world, or have only a high-school diploma. If you have the needed insights, valuable experience, and an idea that no one else has, you are one step closer to becoming one of the successful entrepreneurs.
As for the qualities and skills needed to achieve that, we stated willingness to learn, courage, taking measured risks, and managing money. However, we know there are many others that can be useful for you on your way to the top like creativity, confidence, leading skills, awareness of both weaknesses and strengths, of course, communication, and a lot more. Start working on the best version of yourself and soon you’ll see how you will master them all.