One evening as we were enjoying margaritas, we talked about how, at midlife, we feel like we’re not doing what we were truly meant to do. We did our jobs well but we still have a lot left to contribute to society. Just because we’re in our 50s doesn’t mean we’re done and ready to retire—not even close. So, we decided to start a business together.
Some of our family and friends think we’re crazy. Why the heck would we want to do start a business at our age? It’s hard work. There’s no guarantee. What if we fail? We’re doing it because there’s no better time than now. And, if you’ve had an idea or passion that’s been vying for your attention, here are 10 reasons why you should take action and start a business now:
10 Reasons Why Midlife Is The Perfect Time To Start A Business
- You have life experience.
The mere fact that you’ve been on this planet for over 40 years means you’ve experienced a lot in life. You don’t have to be a billionaire or have an alphabet soup of credentials following your name. You have value to share with the world, and the world needs you.
- You’ve already done hard things.
Whether you’ve been at a job for the past 25 years or you’ve been raising a family, you’ve learned how to navigate through the pitfalls and trails that life throws your way. Starting a business is hard but we’re pretty sure you’ve made it through some tough times in your life. This kind of character and tenacity is exactly what you need to make a business work.
- You know a lot of people.
If you sat down and wrote a list of all the people you know, you’d be shocked at how long that list would be. These people are your network, which will be critical for you to leverage as you get started. Don’t be afraid to tap this network because somewhere down the line, you’ll be able to help them back. Business happens when people help other people.
- You know what you want—and what you don’t want.
A key to success in business is clarity and focus. When you’re super clear on what you want, and what you don’t, you won’t be spreading yourself too thin by saying “yes” to everything that you think will help you reach and/or exceed your goals. You’ll know what is right for you and your business because you’ve “been there done that” and likely don’t want to do it again.
- You’ve failed before.
By the time you’ve reached your late 40s, you’ve made some mistakes. You’ve learned some hard-won lessons. And you also know you can’t stop trying because you never know what will work. The willingness to try and fail is another critical characteristic you’ll need as an entrepreneur, but you’ve got that covered because you’ve been doing it your whole life.
- You’ve got more money than you had when you were 20.
To start a business, you’ll need some capital. Luckily, you won’t need much if you start an online business. You are in a good place financially now since you’re likely not juggling the cost of starting a business with other major life investments like repaying student loans, buying a home, or raising kids.
- You don’t really care what other people think.
This is probably the most liberating part of being in your late 40s: you don’t give a rat’s patootie what other people think of you. This freedom gives you the courage to take your passion and turn it into profit…even if that passion is painting ceramic frogs. When you were younger, you’d worry about what your parents or friends would say but now you simply don’t care, you’re ready to take the leap.
- You know how to take responsibility.
You may have had to care for children a friend, family members, or yourself. You know what you have to do to pay the bills so you’re not adverse to doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Taking responsibility and ownership will be an important skill you’ll need to ensure the success of your business.
- Your options are limitless.
Because of your network, knowledge, experience, and skills, you can start basically any kind of business you want. This is more challenging when you’re younger because you haven’t earned a lot of money yet, developed a set up transferable skills or experience. At this stage of your life, you have more options on the path to entrepreneurship. You can start from where you are now and go from there.
- Your time is limited.
This is a good thing, especially if you have procrastination tendencies or are easily distracted by that shiny new object. You no longer have the luxury of the “someday syndrome.” Your time on this Earth is more limited than it was 20 years ago. You have an idea, a passion, a purpose and it’s just waiting to happen. All you need to do is take that first step.
Maybe we are crazy. But we think you’re crazy if you allow society to tell you what midlife should look like, and if you believe that since you’re over a certain age you’re just supposed to sit back and fade away. You’ve got skills. You have value to contribute. And there’s still work to be done. Now, let’s get to it!
About the author:
Dana Leipold is Co-Founder and Chief of Creative Ideas for Bon Faire LLC. Bon Faire means “make good” in French. We help women in midlife “make good” by stepping into their power and doing it in a way that benefits the world around them. We offer online courses, coaching, and live events. So, if you’re over 40 and you’re ready to finally, yes finally, put yourself at the top of your ‘to do’ list and make a positive contribution, Bon Faire is perfect for you. If you’re ready to put your decades of experience, skills, and knowledge to work in a way that empowers and energizes you,