"To become very successful, as in billion-dollar entrepreneurs, there seems to be two “best” ages. One age is influenced by the opportunity. The other depends on your readiness." (Forbes.com 2007)
Most people can argue that age is truly just a number in most instances--as we all mature faster or slower than others at any time in our lives. In small business terms, it seems there are two different "age" levels that have yielded some of our most famous entrepreneurs which can be categorized into those who took emerging industries and those who perfected already established industries.
The first age bracket comes in the late teens to early twenties category, when entrepreneurs can take advantage of an emerging industry. This is mostly due to the younger generation being more up to date with technologies and can see an opportunity even without having ALL the skills to maintain a business. When you find an emerging industry, although you do need skills, the fact that you have found a niche that has been untouched will take care of some of the work required for entrepreneurs.
Notable entrepreneurs within this age bracket--as stated by Forbes--are Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Michael Dell (Dell) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).
The second age bracket comes at a time where an industry is already developed, but an entrepreneur believes they can create an even better opportunity for an established business based on a new trend or change. This period of time comes after one has developed experience within a field, have a reputable background and has the capital or means to bring a business up to the next level. Whereas the former group did not need all of this clout to create something out of an emerging industry, this bracket needs that background or else no one would willingly let them take control of an already established business.
Notable entrepreneurs within this bracket include Glen Taylor (Taylor Corporation), Bob Kierlin (Fastenal), Steve Ells (Chipotle) and Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg).
Now, these are once again just basic age groups based on the average age of many of the most successful entrepreneurs, but that doesn't mean someone middle-aged or even a young child cannot become an entrepreneur. Remember, Benjamin Franklin had developed the bifocals in his mid-seventies and recently Alina Morse, a nine year old, created teeth-friendly lollipops called Zollipops (Entrepreneur.com).
Age is definitely just a number as long as you have a great new idea or way to reinvent an existing idea out there.
Please note, at any age, you must be ready to present your idea, show how you will personally be a great asset with creating this new or improved product or service and be ready to go when someone tells you to start. You will face criticism, setbacks, let downs and other hardships and that does not change at any age, BUT you will also have successes and praise which always counter-balance any negativity.
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