Are you thinking about starting a business, but you think it’s too late because you’re in your forties? Don’t worry, your time has not passed. I know that with so many stories in the press about young people starting their own companies, you might think that jumping into the entrepreneurship world in your forties is downright impossible. The truth is, starting a business later in life may have some challenges, but it also has its advantages.
Your Life Lived, Matters
As a woman in her forties, you have life experience that a young twenty-something wouldn’t have. The years you’ve spent on this earth have given you wisdom that someone much younger wouldn’t have. When you were 21, I bet you thought you knew it all, but now looking back, your hindsight tells you that you really had no clue what life was really about. Everything was just trial and error. The mistakes you made back then were the learning lessons of your future. Which is now.
Because you’ve had a number of career experiences, you could bring what you’ve learned into the operations at your business. Perhaps you worked as a supervisor or manager in a previous job and that gives you the edge when it comes to managing a team for your new business. You’re skills will make you better at time management and planning. Being more mature also means you’re understanding of the world and how to reach your target audience also becomes an advantage when marketing your business as well.
Acknowledge the Obstacles
In your forties, you may face some obstacles that could make starting your own company more challenging than someone who is in their twenties. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s important that you acknowledge what those challenges are and prepare for how you’re going to address them. Being conscious of what you may be facing better equips you on how you’ll manage it.
For instance, many women at this age are often raising children or they are married and have to manage their schedules with their spouse. When you have children to care for, it can be very demanding because they need your attention possibly at critical times of your business. It’s up to you to find a support system that will help you to handle unexpected situations.
Once you know what you may be facing, simply put measures in place as to how you’re going to handle it. Don’t let your circumstances hold you back from getting started in the first place.
Don’t Be a One-Woman Show
Looking at posts on social media, sometimes it can make you feel like you have to be doing it all alone. You see amazing stories of women talking about being a #BossBabe, #BossGirl and more. It looks like they are superwoman and doing it all by themselves. As women we often feel like we have to do it all. Work-life balance is always a topic of conversation and puts a lot of pressure on women to excel while still managing a household.
Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you can do it alone. It takes a team to get a business off the ground and sustain it. Consider hiring people to support you on selected tasks so that it frees you to concentrate on your strengths in the business. If you’re not at the stage to pay for staff, then perhaps you have a family member who would be willing to help out on a part-time basis while you get your business off the ground. You could also seek out students in local colleges who may be interested in doing an internship. This is a great way to have some support without breaking the bank.
When you have people to help it results in you being more focused and less exhausted because you were trying to do it all yourself.
Keep Your Job as Long as Possible
In the early stages of your business, you may not be earning any money. The reality is, in your forties you have more responsibilities than someone who is in their twenties. You may have a mortgage and debts that need servicing. As a result, the need to keep a steady cash flow is important. Depending on the type of business you’re starting, it’s very possible you can work on it outside of your normal job’s hours. If you find it’s too much, then leave your full-time position and find something part-time that can support your needs and still gives you the flexibility to work on your business.
The downside to keeping a full-time job while building your business on the side, is that many people don’t have the same energy levels as they used to when you were younger. You need to make sure you’re still taking care of yourself while you’re hustling to get your new company off the ground. Eating healthy foods, exercise and getting enough sleep will help you keep your energy levels as you work through these early stages of business.
It’s Not Too Late. Just Start.
You’ve been mulling over the idea to start a business for so long, don’t you think it’s time you get started? You’re spending too much time ‘thinking’ and not enough ‘doing’. If you sit on that great idea, eventually someone else will be doing it. Then you’ll regret not trying.
Remember, you have so much knowledge and experience that sets you apart from the much younger entrepreneurs who are always gaining the spotlight. This is about you doing what you’ve dreamed about doing. Don’t compare your stage of life with your younger counterparts. Put your focus on your business idea and just get started. Today.