When you think of an entrepreneur, there is a tendency to picture the stereotype of a young and energetic go-getter taking the world by storm with big ideas and bigger accomplishments. While there are plenty of young businessmen and businesswomen out there doing exciting things, I’m pleased to report that you don’t have to be young to be an entrepreneur. I’m living proof of that. While you can start a business and become an entrepreneur at any age, I’ve learned that there are some challenges and advantages specific to doing so when you’re a little further along in life. For anyone considering taking the lead in your career, here are some of the challenges and advantages that I’ve seen in my journey:
- You have to be mentally prepared for the challenge and the activity of running a business. Depending on what industry or discipline you came from, that can be difficult to get used to. No matter what you do, it’s going to be fast paced, which can also make for a difficult transition if you aren’t used to working at that speed.
- The older you are, the more set in your ways you can become. When you transition into entrepreneurship, you are almost certainly going to be asked (and expected) to do things very different than you are used to. Adjusting and adapting isn’t always easy.
- With age comes experience, wisdom and perspective that you didn’t have when you were younger. You’ve been able to see the broad landscape of life, the world and all kinds of people. You also tend to be able to read personalities a lot more accurately, and are consequently oftentimes a better evaluator of people.
- While there are always exceptions, I’ve generally found that when you’re more mature, you also have more patience. Patience with people and processes, and patience with mistakes. You tend to get rattled less easily. You can be more relaxed, dealing with things calmly and thoughtfully even in a time of crisis.