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Age Is Not an Advantage

Trevor O'Hara
1 min read
Age Is Not an Advantage
Photo by James Lee

I've been asked a lot about my thoughts on whether people over 50 should start a business.

I'm always baffled by the question because the stats clearly show a rising trend of people over 50 starting a new business.

Most businesses operate in a world of randomness and unpredictability. These two forces don't care about age. So age is irrelevant, provided you have the resources such as time, money, and health.

What I find more disturbing is the automatic assumption that age equals experience and experience equates to success.

Not so fast!

Experience, as data reveals, often provides an advantage over younger entrepreneurs. But such misleading associations can cultivate a sense of overconfidence, hindering our receptivity to fresh ideas.

Certain psychological studies suggest a tendency toward predictability and comfort as we age. It's well-observed that younger folks often rebound more readily from unforeseen life events, showcasing greater vigor, endurance, and resilience. They might also be more inclined towards relocating, accommodating erratic work schedules or travel commitments—vital components of entrepreneurial ventures.

This rigidity could potentially impact our tech skills as well. Even older entrepreneurs confident in their tech proficiency may find it challenging to match the agility of younger individuals in adapting to technological evolution and leveraging new social platforms for networking.

Moreover, these social networks are instrumental in providing diverse perspectives, a crucial ingredient in innovative, entrepreneurial settings.

Lastly, we should acknowledge that experience does not insulate us from the whims of business unpredictability. Take two equivalent businesses: their paths and results will differ. Experience in one doesn't guarantee success in the other.

Forget about the wise owl stuff. It's mostly never about age! It's always about your ability to deal with randomness!