In recent months I have been encountering more and more older (50+) people who are busy starting up their own business. There are lots of reasons for this, and if you read this article at USA today they attribute the trend to:
1. Corporate layoffs – clearly more relevant in the USA than Australia.
2. Shifting values – people wanting to take control of their lives and actually have a life instead of the corporate treadmill.
3. An ageing population.
4. Innovative technology – this makes it easier and often cheaper to start a new business.
5. Business skills – the 50+ market has a lot of skill in the business world.
I have so much admiration for people who leave the semi-secure corporate world to enter the somewhat erratic and insecure world of self employment. It is a big step and it really takes courage. But, the reality is that this is an excellent time to start a business as long as you can get past the worry and lack of financial security.
It is certainly easier to start a business these days. There are “soft” businesses like EBay which really holds little or no risk to the business owner. There are many franchises targeted at the older buyer, with the realisation that there is a big market for products and services to be sold within the Baby Boomer’s demographic. Who better to sell to them – other Baby Boomers.
And if you are a little more mature, and you think you are getting a little long in the tooth to start your career as an entrepreneur – rest assured many very successful business owners didn’t get started until they were over fifty.
Two of the most famous mature entrepreneurs feed the masses, but with slightly different food. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame needs little introduction. Even though he had run his own diner he didn’t embark on his franchising and global expansion of KFC until he was sixty years old. In ten years he had over 600 franchisees.
Secondly is Louise Hay, who started a global publishing and new age movement after her fiftieth birthday. Drawing on her own life experiences, Louise realised that things had to change so in her own life and she documented the steps she took towards a better life.
As people noticed the profound changes in her, she realised that she was not alone and in fact, many people wanted to make similar changes. So she started to share her own journey and experiences with like minded people, to the point where Hay House publishing has produced millions of books, products and events around the world and many say, this company has done more to help people that any other company on the planet.
I think we are going to see an entire new entrepreneurial generation evolving in the next 20 years and I think it is going to be very impressive. Maturity, calm, financial resources, energy, time, a supportive network and wisdom are all significant contributors to running a successful business and the older entrepreneurs – or the Boompreneurs, have it all.