Is There a Right Age for Becoming an Entrepreneur?

October 15, 2020

I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even before entering college, I had a dream of one day starting my own business.

In my twenties, I went to work for a large firm and found success. Along came my thirties, and I began receiving promotions to upper-level management positions. The accompanying pay scale and other perks led me to believe that it would be senseless, almost foolish, to abandon it all; thereby, forgoing a consistent, and very nice, salary and benefits package for the purpose of starting a new company.

By my late thirties, I had concluded that I was “too old” to ever think of starting my own company.

Obviously, I changed my mind, and at the ripe age of 41, I founded my first business, which is thriving 16 years later. Since that time, I have started several new companies, and every day I continue to seek out opportunities to create new businesses.  

I realize now, much like many 18-year-olds who are too immature to go away to college, that I was not ready to start a company in my twenties or even my thirties. I needed those first 20 years of working for others to prepare me for entrepreneurship. Although 20 years of preparation may not be necessary for everyone, it certainly applied to me.

I was mistaken in believing that only young people should give up the security of a seemingly safe job and start a new venture. Had I not corrected that way of thinking, my life, and the lives of many others – those working with me, for me, or benefiting from the companies I have founded – would be very different.  

Not long ago I was meeting with a gentleman in his early sixties. He and I were beginning the process of starting a new company together.  During our planning and discussions, I saw as much energy and excitement in his eyes as I have seen in any young person. “I only plan to work seven more years,” he said, “but I believe these next seven years will be the most rewarding of my career.”

Entrepreneurs can be born at any age. Some will be young, some will be “late-bloomers,” and many will be in between. There is no age limit for becoming an entrepreneur.

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Brian T. King is the founder and owner of multiple firms encompassing design, construction, real estate, and manufacturing, and currently president of the integrated Design-Build firm A M King. Brian shares his passion for mentoring young professionals, rising managers and entrepreneurs at speaking engagements around the country, on podcasts and via his blog.

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