Older Entrepreneurs Outperform Younger Founders—Shattering Ageism --- Forbes
The news keeps coming from all sectors of the economy – the ageism that floods the discussion of older entrepreneurs is flat out wrong.
This new Forbes article by Kumar Mehta cites some of the key factors that give older workers an edge when it comes to startups.
I especially like this writer’s focus on working for the right reasons. Older workers have subject matter expertise and have worked to advance a specific version of that work. Also, that we are motivated by more than money. Companies and new organizations that succeed are driven to improve communities they love and markets they know.
These are the three key factors this author says make the difference for older entrepreneurs:
You Know Your Domain:
"Domain knowledge and industry experience are crucial for any aspiring entrepreneur because you can only create a valuable enterprise by innovating, and for that, you must deeply understand your industry. Every successful founder knows their product and business model inside out."
You Have Been Successful at Your Job:
"Success at your job is highly correlated with your effectiveness as a founder because people who have already experienced professional success have a higher bar in how they define entrepreneurial success."
You are Intrinsically Motivated
"Intrinsic motivation is essential because if you are extrinsically motivated or start a company primarily for the rewards it may bring, your efforts are less likely to result in the outcomes you want. Money is an extrinsic motivator; when you are doing something solely for money, you tend to become more risk averse, which inhibits you from having the creativity and freedom you need to build a successful venture."
Older entrepreneurs approach the subject from many directions. Some want to build fast growing 'gazelles'. Other older entrepreneurs may want to set up small consultancies where they can contribute their time and knowledge to projects -- based on their schedules. There is no right or wrong. What is true is that there are few limits to what older entrepreneurs can do and contribute. Misunderstanding this weakens our economic and personal lives.