Why 50 is a good time to become an entrepreneur

Research carried out by the Kauffman Institute indicates that the older entrepreneur will be at the forefront of the post-recession upturn.

According to professor E. LitanContrary to popularly held assumptions, it turns out that over the past decade or so, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belongs to the 55-64 age group.”

Prime Initiative, a charity that helps people over 50  (“olderpreneurs”) set up new businesses, estimates that about 20% of the over 50s are self-employed, and actually achieve higher business survival rates than younger people. The grey economy seems to be full of potential for corporate Baby Boomer refugees.

So if you have reached your half century and are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, here are  8 reasons why 50+ can be the best age to start up a business:

1. You know who you are

By the time you have reached this age you know what you are good at and where and how you add value. This gives you the clarity you need to reach your goals.

2. You know what you love and are passionate about

An advantage of reaching this age is that you are done exploring all your options and experimenting. You know what makes you want to get out of bed and go to work in the morning.

3. You have 25 years’ experience and skills to bring to the table

This generation is one of the best educated in history and the healthiest. You have deep experience and qualifications in your chosen field that you can tap into to make your business a success.

You are also financially savvy and possibly have the necessary resources to get your business off the ground.  Other age groups might struggle to leverage necessary funding.

4. You have the commitment and drive

You have probably been work centric throughout your career and willing to work long hours in your corporate life. You are part of a generation that thrives and is motivated by professional success more than any other generation.   Your career path will probably have been linear and the notion of portfolio careers with multiple stints in short term employment roles is an alien concept.  You are used to making the sacrifices necessary to succeed and stick at projects until completion.

5. You are socially skilled

As part of a pre-digital generation that had to pick up a phone and actually talk and meet people, you are excellent at building relationships. You are not afraid to leave your desk and communicate directly, but are also willing to master new technologies as witnessed by the growth in internet usage by your age demographic.

6. You have a strong network

With an extended corporate career you have built up an wide network of valuable contacts and have the skills to create strategic alliances to advance your business.

7. You have the confidence to know when you need support 

By the time you reach 50 you know when you need to surround yourself with the right people  (business manager, accountant, lawyer, mentor ) or acquire new skills (technology, social media)

8. You are used to challenging the status quo 

The careers of 50 somethings took place during a period of fast-paced change. You have seen a shift where individual employees have become a new breed of entrepreneur, with concepts such as Personal Branding slipping into the corporate lexicon.    You are part of generation willing to challenge established practices and confront issues  you do not agree with.

So what are you waiting for?