You are never too old to start up your own business
Social media might be awash with young entrepreneurs making a name for themselves in the online world, but this doesn’t mean that age has to define solo business success.
Life experience, contacts and networks, long-lasting relationships and self-belief are all traits that come with age, and they also happen to be much-needed attributes for business owners.
Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s, I believe that you can make the switch to running your own show, you might just need a little help and guidance to change direction.
I launched my coaching business in my late 30s when I was on maternity leave. While I loved my job, I was desperate to find more balance in my life and I knew that this wouldn’t happen in the world of education. I didn’t have backers or loads of money in the bank, I didn’t even have an end game in mind, but I knew that there had to be more to life than doing a job that took over everything else.
Let’s be clear, making the step to go it alone is a big one and not for the faint-hearted, but if you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone, put in the work and really go for it, there are an abundance of opportunities out there for the taking.
Maybe you want to open a vintage boutique, train to be a Pilates teacher, have always wanted to be a personal trainer or would love to exhibit your artwork in galleries. Whatever it is, don’t let your age stop you from embracing your ambition and going for it.
Sue Tappenden, a coach at Headspace for Chance is another of my clients, and adds, “With age comes experience and wisdom, and that is so valuable. The trick is in recognising that value, shaping it into something that others will benefit from and then letting them know how you can support them. I set up my coaching business in my 50s and it allows me to work 1:1 with people as a coach and facilitator of change. I love what I am doing and feel more in control of my time and have more opportunity to be creative when getting my message out there.”
My top tips for making the changes you want to see, whatever your age, are:
Do something you love
Being the boss isn’t easy, so if you are going to stick at it, make sure you do something you love and will motivate you, then even when times are tough you will still have fire in your belly to keep going.
Have a business plan
I am not talking about anything fancy, but even having a one-page document that sets out what you want to achieve, by when and how is a starting point. This will become your road map to success and will help to guide you towards the business you want to create.
Accept ‘failure’ is part of the journey
Things don’t always go the way you expect them to, and that is totally OK. Learn from what happened, look at your next steps and move forward with a positive frame of mind.
Leave the self-doubt at the door
Maybe you think you are too old to make the change, you don’t understand social media or aren’t a fashion trendsetter – these things don’t matter and self-sabotage will only hold you back. The sooner you start to see that you can do this, the sooner things will start to happen and the doubts will fall away.
Create your network
When you are working for yourself, there won’t be those team lunches or water cooler moments, so you need to ensure you have an inner circle who will inspire and encourage you. Online communities and real-life networking events are a fantastic starting point and if you are prepared to put in the time and energy, you can find some really incredible people who will be there to cheer you on, and you them!
Celebrate every achievement
From ordering your first business cards to sending out your biggest ever invoice, it is vital that you celebrate the big and small victories on your entrepreneurial journey. By doing this you will keep up your motivation and feel a huge sense of pride and achievement each time you hit another milestone that may have seemed impossible at the start.
I hope this has shown you that you really can use your midlife creativeness to pursue your dreams and follow the business path that you have always wanted.
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