Starting a business after 50 is becoming more common because, as we live longer, the ages between 50 and 80 is a time for discovering our inner passion and perusing our dreams on our own terms. Senior entrepreneurs are empowered by greater life experiences and better confidence and more perseverance.
In fact, a study at Babson College & Baruch College found that Americans 55 and older started 18.9% of all businesses created in 2008. When you compare with this the 10% created in 2001, that’s nearly twice the percentage in a seven year span! We baby boomers make up a huge percentage of the population which is part of the reason why. However, I believe we also have the patience and perseverance that it takes to start a new business.
The kids today tend to have very little patience; and it’s patience and perseverance, indeed, that give you the makeup to start a successful business after 50 – or at any age!
Here are a few examples of people who have been successful at starting a business after 50…
Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated how to fight for a cause in a nonviolent way. One of the most important acts in his quest for Indian independence occurred in 1930, when Gandhi was 61.
Kroc, the guy responsible for all the McDonald’s in the world, began his venture at the ripe age of 52, despite battles with diabetes and arthritis. Seven years later, he convinced the brothers to sell out their shares, and he became the owner of a franchise that would sell more than a billion hamburgers by 1963. Kroc continued to be involved in McDonald’s operations until his death in 1984.
Grandma Moses never had any formal art training — indeed, she’d had very little formal education at all — but she painted every day, turning out more than a thousand paintings in 25 years. She had no experience or education in paining, and didn’t being painting until the age of 76.
One of the oldest success stories is The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harlan David Sanders, well known as Colonel Sanders. He was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was a brand new business idea for him. In his youth, Sanders worked many different jobs from farming to steamboat pilot, to insurance salesman.
When he turned 40 years old, he started a service station and sold chicken dinners to his patrons. Over a number of years he developing the way he pressure fried the chicken, yet he didn’t decide to actually start his own business until he received his first puny social security check for under $100.
And what about his patience and perseverance? Get this: Old man Colonel Sanders solicited over a thousand restaurant owners to try his chicken recipe in an effort to start his business. And, after persevering 1009 rejections, he finally received his first “yes” and his chicken business had been launched!
This is the kind of perseverance it takes to start a business that soars to success.
Some people think that it’s even harder in today’s economy to start their own business. However, contrary to popular belief, a tough economy makes it easier. In fact, there were more successful businesses launched in the great depression than ever before.