two non-young people on a bench thumbnail hero image two non-young people on a bench
June 17, 2019

7 Reasons You’re Never Too Old To Start A Business

If you’re anything like me, you grew up with iconic stories like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerburg. These people each started what would become new multi-billion dollar tech industries before they were old enough to buy a beer.

So when you turn 30, is that it? Are you done?

Ha! Here are 7 reasons why you’re never too old to start a business.

1) Most Businesses Are NOT Started By 20-Somethings

People over 40 start an astounding 82% of businesses! [Source]

Startups are rarely created by 20-year-olds who are dropping out of college. That’s a myth according to the data.

number of business owners over under 40

When I started my 1st business at 30, I was actually a very young business owner. When you look closer at the numbers, you’ll see that only 13% of businesses created are being created by people under 35!!! Only 2% are being created by people under 25.

average age of business owners

2) Start-ups Only Last For 3 Years

Wait, Disney and McDonald’s have been around for like a hundred years. How can I tell you with a straight face they only last for three?

What I’m saying is that most people start their business with an idea, the effort they’re willing to expend bringing that idea to life, and if you’re lucky a little bit of cash. In three years time you’ll have either burned through those things and failed, or the business will have transitioned into a drastically new phase.

The whole process looks a little something like this.

startup lifecycle

I choose to see this evolution as a great thing. You can expect to see the growth phase of your business within a few years time. Even if you were 80 years old, you’re potentially young enough to see your business creation flourish.

3) You Get Smarter As You Get Older

A lot of old people don’t like to learn new things. Well actually let me rephrase that. A lot of old people don’t like to learn new things.

Old people who don’t like to learn new things are just people who haven’t liked learning new things for an extremely long time. If you’re somebody who’s always working to improve yourself you pretty much only get smarter as you age minus an unfortunate health situation.

This learning gets to the point where you look back at your past self in absolute disgust and horror. And it never stops.

20 vs 40

It means if you’re 30, you’ll be smarter and thus better at starting businesses at 40. The same is true between 40 and 50 etc. You only get better.

4) Older People Have More Resources

When I was a kid, I imagined that you had to put together a business plan and then get approval from investors or the bank to start a business. But, this is another myth. The vast majority of startups are self-funded.

Startups typically fund themselves with personal funds, credit cards, or by simply not needing a ton of startup cash. [Source]

how startups get funding

All the businesses I’ve created in my life thusfar were self-funded. And I’ve never dumped more than $7,000 into one without seeing a return on my investment. When I was 18, $7,000 was an amount of money I couldn’t conjure up. But at 40? It’s a modest risk. That’s the advantage of getting older, our finances improve and we can take that risk.

5) You’ve Learned From All Your Past Business Failures

I started my first business almost by accident. I was trying to figure out how Amazon was 2-day shipping everything for free while post-office shipping prices were through the roof. Boom, my Amazon FBA business was born.

Slight problem with that, I knew nothing about running a business. I didn’t understand taxes, being productive, whether I should have a business partner, etc. I learned these lessons the hard way…

But, I did learn the lessons. Present me knows enough not to make any of the same mistakes that past-me made. And I’m significantly better for it.

6) You Gain Hard Skills Throughout Your Life

I worked for over a decade as a software engineer. I created a successful YouTube Channel and got good at making videos. I learned Internet Advertising and how to ship physical inventory all over the world with my Amazon FBA venture.

These skills add up and become quite valuable in unexpected places as you start new businesses. For example, this blog doesn’t really require any coding knowledge. But, if my blog loads slowly, I don’t have to hire a developer to figure out how to speed it up. As you get older you accumulate lots of little things like this.

7) You Gain Emotional Stability As You Age

Many people don’t realize this, but running a business will be an emotional roller coaster for you.

First off, to create anything and put it into the world takes a lot of effort. To pour your heart and soul into something and then release it for the world only to have them take a giant dump on it? That’s basically the definition of starting a business. When you’re young, that type of feedback from the world hurts pretty bad.

telling friends and family about your business

There are also the emotions of the ups and downs of success, power, and status. My first business ultimately failed, it was devastating to me at the time. I went from being a 9-to-5 employee to a business owner and back to a very poor 9-to-5 employee. A real rollercoaster.

You need to be emotionally tough to run a business. At 20 years old, I wouldn’t have been ready to emotionally handle the roller-coaster that running a business could be.

But at 30 or 40 after you’ve done it a couple of times, it gets easier. You get used to it, and you get stronger. So if you haven’t started a business that became a significant success yet don’t worry, start now because you’re definitely not too old for it!

Shaun Poore worked as a professional software developer for 15 years before transitioning into content creation and digital product businesses. Shaun's currently focused on providing as many people as possible with actionable advice and tools they can use to succeed online, without the fluff or BS that too often plagues this industry.