As I write this I am surrounded by ‘to do’ lists and vast amounts of paperwork. All this chaos is related to just one thing – my new business, which is due to be launched within the next few weeks. After many tears and frustrations (mostly technical ones) I can see the finishing line in sight. This business idea has been swirling round my head for a year and I finally decided to stop thinking about it and JUST DO IT. Life is full of dreams that churn round inside us and most of the time we ignore them as just that – a dream. So my question today is – can you start a new business at ANY age ?
Of course, if you know me well you will know I am a positive person and so my answer would be a resounding YES ! Age is not relevant in our decision to start a new business. In fact the older generation carry a whole lot of experience and wisdom that the younger generation just don’t have. I have just watched episode one of The Apprentice and was shocked at the lack of simple common sense with some of the candidates. It was funny but scary at the same time, that simple tasks could be handled so badly by seemingly intelligent people.
The age of fifty brings with it many different issues, especially for women. Our children have usually flown the nest and we find ourselves looking closely at our life, minus our family commitments. That often makes us reassess our working life and our financial issues. More importantly, this crucial stage in our life brings up emotional issues, especially those related to happiness.
We have all been in situations where we dislike our job, haven’t we? It may be that we dislike the distance to work, we may hate the boss or we may simply resent the 9-5 dreary drudge. It is no surprise that the over 50 age category is the largest group for starting up their own business. I think this is no coincidence, as turning fifty is certainly a turning point for many, including me.
So what is my advice for those of you reading this who are keen to start a business, but may be hesitant or lacking self confidence? I cannot offer you solid business advice as I am not qualified to do that, but I can hopefully give you some positive thoughts that will help you.
OK, you need a plan. At least a plan of action to start with. Go buy a large notebook (the prettier the better) and write down your ideas, dreams, thoughts on your new business. EVERY idea is welcome, no matter how crazy they seem. This stage is all about getting the ideas out of your head and down on paper. Once the ideas are in black and white, then your idea starts to form a real basis for a viable business. This will then give you the kick start you need.
Find a friend who you know to be positive and encouraging. Talk to this friend about your ideas and get her / his guidance. Ask your friend to be part of your brainstorming session (see above) Sometimes our ideas get so muddled that we cannot see clearly and asking someone else can alleviate this issue. Remember this friend does not even have to be in business themselves. At this stage you are looking for someone with common sense and vision.
I am already an avid reader, but before launching into my business plan I read many books about business, marketing, accounts and how to succeed in business. I am still reading now as there is SO much to learn and I believe we can all learn something new every day. There are so many articles online that will help a new start up business. Don’t forget to also look for things that will help your confidence and positivity. I watch a lot of TED Talks for inspiration and motivation.
Self belief and positivity go a long way in business. Even when you feel overwhelmed and out of your depth, try and pretend you feel otherwise. Self doubt is an unwelcome early visitor in the setting up of a new business for us all, but it is crucial that you show IT the door. You HAVE to believe that you will be successful and your business will thrive, otherwise you will project unnecessary negativity and your business will fail before it is even launched. I understand those feelings that creep in that try and sabotage us. Trust me, I have those feelings too. So, you have to dig deep and work out just how important this new business is to you. If you really want something then you CAN make it happen, but you have to be resilient and determined. In last weeks blog post I talked about creating your own dream board. I think this is crucial to someone just starting out in business. If you would like to read this post then just click here.
Life can be tough and sometimes you have to fight for what you want. It’s not easy and it takes grit and determination to get to where you want to be. I am a great believer in trying. If you never try and put your idea into reality, then you will never know just how successful you could have been. There is no time like the present, whatever your age, so just DO IT ! We only get one shot at life, so if your dream is to open a tea room serving your famous home baked scones, then find a way to do it. I read recently of a lady who couldn’t afford premises for her dream tea shop, so she actually opened her home every weekend as a tea room ! There is always a way.
Have you any dreams / ideas for a business? Are you keen to follow those dreams or are you happy just to dream? As always comment below or send me a message.
Until next time dear friends