You Do Not Have to Be Under 30 to Be a Startup Success
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By Carole Bennett
As a part of my regular business routine, I follow business and technical publications from a variety of English-language publications, including the U.K. and Australia. One dominant trait I’ve noticed, no matter if the publication is located in Silicon Valley or Down Under, is an enthrallment with the startups led by innovators and entrepreneurs just out of college, or not even out of college yet.
- Inc.com’s “30 Under 30” – The lead-in sentence to this article is “The definition of cool is constantly in flux. This year, 30 young companies embody cool.”
- Under30CEO.com – One of their currently popular articles is entitled “8 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 22” (written by a sage elder of 28)
- SmartCompany’s “Hot 30 under 30” – I recently received an e-mail asking if I’d like to submit my startup for inclusion in this elite group for 2012 (clearly they missed screening their subscriber demographics).
The list of other examples abound – Google “entrepreneurs under 30” to see an exhaustive list. There’s such an inundation of these articles in business and technology, that it can make a more seasoned individual feel like they’re a failure for not having made their first million by the time they graduated college.
Here’s the flip-side to all this youth-oriented success hype:
From American Express Open Forum: “Why Those Over 50 Make Better Entrepreneurs” – “First, older entrepreneurs have more life and work experience. In some cases, they have decades of industry expertise—and a better understanding of what it truly takes to compete, and succeed, in the business world. Second, they also have much broader and vaster networks.”
What this means to you as you pass that “30” milestone:
Experience – you’ve been there, you’ve done that. If you’re a parent, you’re had some of the most intense multi-task training ever devised. That skill is a huge bonus for anyone launching a startup, where you’ll find yourself filling multiple roles and tasks on a regular basis.
Judgement – there’s a saying that good judgement comes from bad experiences. Well, the more living you do, the more experiences you’ll have; this will allow you to identify good opportunities quickly, and avoid unproductive choices.
Knowledge – all that experience adds up to one thing; you know what works, and have a vast store of knowledge to draw from, when it comes to problem-solving, thinking of new ideas, and how to implement them.
In this article from Women Entrepreneurs HQ, 30 women entrepreneurs who started their successful businesses over the age of 30 provide some amazing stories of how they used their talents, experience and inspiration to get their startups to a successful level.
Remember: if you’re over 30 and contemplating starting your own business, your odds of being successful only increase with time!
Carole Bennett is the founder and primary voice of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions. After nearly two decades of experience in providing business and technology solutions in the corporate space, Carole chose to dedicate her wealth of experience towards creating outstanding results for her small business clientele. She considers her skills gained from simultaneously managing a fire performance troupe, raising a family, and working as a full-time IT consultant excellent preparation for her current career incarnation as the driving force behind IndigoTea Small Business Solutions. “Fire-breathing redhead on a mission” is not just a metaphorical description!