Who says entrepreneurship is only for the young? After all you need energy, stamina, relentless focus, and the most important thing, time on your side. Maybe! But a key to successful entrepreneurship is simply doing it. Regardless of age or circumstance, make your own opportunities and go for it.
According to Department of U.S. Labor Statistics, the self-employed aged 55 -65 rose 33 percent in 2008, double the number of self-employed 25 - 35 year-olds. Research shows that approximately 22 percent of all new startup businesses are registered by people between 47 and 65 years of age. No matter how old you are, there is always that perceived, often misleading, label attached to your age.
Today's "Third Age Entrepreneurs" -- those seniors over 50 years old -- are healthy, energetic, competitive and determined to remain productive well into their 70s. They aren't going anywhere near that rocking chair on the front porch if they can help it.
In fact, many suggest that older entrepreneurs are more capable of starting and running a business than their younger counterparts due to the financial, human and social capital accumulated over a lifetime career. Typically, Third Age Entrepreneurs are individuals on the brink of retirement that may see small-scale community based entrepreneurial activity as a positive way of keeping themselves active.
The National Association of Senior Employment, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, BlackExperts.com, The Kauffman Entrepreneur Foundation and the U.S. Office of Senior Citizen Services all offer valuable entrepreneur start-up information.
The majority of motivated senior entrepreneurs are driven to succeed based on their enthusiasm to deliver a valued product or service giving back to the community. Despite the increasing trend of mature entrepreneurs, a few of the marketplace apprehensions about older workers can be obstacles such as the following:
Health concerns - Many worry that older folks may ultimately cost more as their health deteriorates. In fact data supports that people older than 50 tend to take fewer sick days than younger people.
Technological inexperience - The concern about people at midlife being technically incompetent is an outdated belief that holds very little merit. Although they didn't grow up with computers on their desks, they've been using them for over 20 years now. There is very little they don't know about common usage.
Younger workers - Once they get over the initial adjustment, they often develop a relationship with seniors based solidly on mutual respect and each learns from the other. The key is a leadership philosophy based on collaboration rather than top-down authority.
If you're an older worker who is looking for a job where people will have faith and trust in your wisdom, review below a few jobs where your experience and expertise are an advantage including:
Health care professional
Older health-care professionals exude good judgment and breadth of experience; people believe they are less likely to be wrong or make a mistake.
Older workers hold a lot of credibility with stakeholders.
People want career advice from people who actually have depth in the work force.
Older workers usually have a clear commitment to company goals.
The good thing about being a consultant is that you can advise on almost anything.
With a large number of senior entrepreneurs working to achieve the perfect balance between their domestic and business lives, the concept of third age entrepreneurs has come like a breath of fresh air.
Farrah Gray is the author of "The Truth Shall Make You Rich."