From a question asked on MosaicHub by Barbara Ciosek.
I’ve been advising small business owners for 25 years, and I see that people start businesses at all ages. Here are a few common categories:
20s. New professionals. People who get professional training, then go out on their own, so they never really work for anybody else (except their customers). Pretty quickly they see they must make their professional practice work as a business.
30s – 40s. Experienced professionals. People who start out working for a large company, get fed up with it, and strike out on their own, perhaps taking a few customers with them. Most of my clients fall into this category.
50s – 60s. Corporate escapees or castoffs get laid off–or retire–then either start their business or buy a business. I have a client who took his golden parachute from investment banking and started a yoga studio.
60s – 70s. Recycled Boomers. People who retire often get bored and decide to launch another venture. I have a client who sold his cable programming company at 67, and has started a training program for other retirees.
What about energy levels? I think it’s a myth that you have to work 24/7 when you start a business. Many do, of course, but I think that’s often due to poor planning–or choosing an inadequate business model.
The young often see older people as decrepit and slowing down. But when you get to be 70, you might say, “Hey, I still love my work, and I still have plenty of energy and gumption. And what else would I do for the next 20 years or so?”
I, at 71, am about to launch a new offshoot from my company, training coaches and consultants to do what I do.
PS. This ignores the whole category of people who take over a family business, which can happen at any age, but most commonly in the 30s or 40s, after working in the business for a long while.