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.
Brian T. King is the founder/owner of multiple businesses encompassing design, construction, real estate and manufacturing. A well-respected construction industry CEO, Brian enjoys offering guidance to young professionals, rising managers and entrepreneurs on a variety of topics – from personal and professional growth, to work/life balance – through his bi-weekly blog, national podcasts, and speaking engagements around the country.