Image | Chapendra
Sayings like better late than never or it’s never too late can seem cliché; in fact, they often are. However, in the world of entrepreneurship, these sayings have a greater meaning.
You may be thinking, ‘what?’ Well, there is a general opinion that entrepreneurs should be young, between the ages of 20 and 30, and that only businessmen in this age range can make it in the business world. Wrong.
Nowadays, we don’t value the experience that comes with age nearly as much as we should. Many people over 50 are out of work and overlooked by employers who disregard their years of accumulated experience and wisdom. Wrong again.
So, what’s the solution? One option becoming increasingly important is to take advantage of seniority and experience. Enter the “senior entrepreneurs” or seniorpreneurs. Often those with long careers opt to take on new ventures; sometimes accompanied by someone younger with ambition, energy, ideas and technological knowledge. In other cases they go at it solo. Young or old, it won’t be the age of the entrepreneur that determines the success or failure of a business.
These images of Funders and Founders show several examples of successful people at the moment they began their empire. You can see the full image here, in an interesting animated infographic.
Examples of success stories show us it’s never too late to embark on a new business venture. At 52, Ray Kroc bought McDonald’s from brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, 15 years after its founding. Despite not being the creator, he was the founder of the chain, as well as the one responsible for the internationalization and expansion of the multinational company. In Spain, Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara, didn’t start laying the first bricks for his empire, Inditex, until he was 31.
In the technology sector, with the exception of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), many entrepreneurs have started after their 30th birthday, such as Jeff Bezos who founded Amazon at 31 and Evan Williams who founded Twitter at 35. Niklas Zennstromm, the creator of Skype, was 37. But if there’s one case that perfectly exemplifies the seniorpreneur phenomenon, it’s Ariana Huffington — she founded the Huffington Post at 54.
These stories break down the myth that young entrepreneurs are the ones succeeding. Youth has its advantages, however, experience and previous failures can be very useful when it comes to achieving success in new business ventures. The most important thing is to have passion and never give up.