Why 50 is the Best Time to Start a Business – and How to Do It

Text from my newsletter dated 2nd August.

All the career advice I got when I was young was to find a good job with prospects, in a good company, and build my career.

Then I’d be able to retire with a good pension and live happily ever after.

Oh, how things have changed!

My first couple of employers actually did provide pension schemes, which I’m now drawing. But if those pensions were all I had, I’d probably be living under a bridge somewhere.

So when is it too late to start a business?

50 used to be considered old. Today, our 50s are when we are at the prime of our economically productive lives, with the prospect of another 40 or more years to live.

We’ve also accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience and, in many cases, we’re looking to do something more meaningful with our lives than continuing the daily commute.

Further, the pandemic has thrown a lot of us out of work. So even if we weren’t previously thinking about how to repurpose our careers, in many cases we suddenly have no choice.

Looking for a job in difficult times is hard, especially when you’re in your 50s.

Perhaps more importantly, though, increased life spans today makes it highly possible that your savings will not be enough to see you through.

So I do recommend making a solid plan for what you would do in the event you get cut loose.

It can be a scary time, but also a time of great opportunity.

And if you’ve toyed with the idea of your own business in the past, there’s no better time to get going than now.

This week’s links

This week I’ve linked to 3 articles that look at different aspects of starting your own business after 50, plus one that considers the question of when it’s too late to start a business.

Laid off and starting a business after 50?

One of the reasons for the increase in the number of people starting their own business during the past couple of years, is because they’ve lost their jobs in the pandemic.

What is often different in this situation, is that starting their own business is something they’re doing because it’s difficult to find a new job. That is, it’s a reactive step, rather than something they’ve thought about and planned.

Wendy Mayhew calls it starting a business backwards.

If you’ve been laid off, or if there’s a risk that you may be laid off, and you haven’t previously thought about your own business, there are some great tips in this interview with Wendy Mayhew:

How to start a business after 50 in a pandemic

The Minimum Viable Business – what’s yours?

When you’re planning your post 50 business, one of the more important things to clearly understand is what you want your lifestyle to be going forward.

Are you going to become a digital nomad? Do mornings only? Will you have caregiving responsibilities?

It’s going to be your business, so you can make it whatever you want. But the key is to know what you want.

When you’re clear on that, your odds of creating a business that works for you are a lot better.

It’s quite easy to start something and have it take you in a different direction from what you, or your circumstances, need.

And that would end up being highly stressful.

Karen Wylie goes into some detail on what you need to be considering in order to develop a business that’s just right for you, or your circumstances:

Your minimum viable business

7 tips for starting a business after 50

Sometimes we over-50s can feel a bit intimidated being mentored by someone younger, but it’s something we should welcome.

For example, I totally understand that someone in their 20s will know an awful lot more than me about how to attract followers on social media.

And social media marketing is an absolute necessity for any business these days, so that younger mentor is very valuable.

In this article, Angela Yurchenko takes you through 7 steps to starting a business after 50:

7 tips for starting a business after 50

Is it too late to start your business?

Colonel Sanders started KFC when he was 66, and last week I linked to an interview with Fred Sachs, a 76-year-old entrepreneur, discussing innovations and creativity.

No, it’s never too late to start your business!

But there’s definitely a difference between starting a business at 50 versus starting one at 70, and Rosemary Cass considers some of those factors in this article:

Entrepreneurship later in life

Fun flashback

Another guitarist this week – Gary Moore. Sadly, no longer with us, his guitar playing is absolutely astounding and he’s a pretty good singer too.

This version of ‘Still Got the Blues for You’ comes from a concert in Montreux, in 1995:

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Martin Malden

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Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.