Am I too old to run a business?

I make no secret of the fact that I am past the age of retirement but still working on new projects, writing blogs, proposals and books and continuing to take on speaking engagements. Indeed, my life is now the busiest it has ever been. And yet I am constantly asked either ‘are you retired’ or ‘when are you going to retire.

I am not sure whether people are worried that I am missing out on sitting in a shed at the bottom of the garden or sitting on a bench in the park, or whether they feel I should step aside and let someone younger have a go!

All I do know is that I feel far fitter from being busy and my brain benefits from being kept active. I also debunk the idea that I should step aside. My work is done as a freelance individual and if I stop writing or speaking I am not sure which young person I would release a place for. The same is true when it comes to project work as the requirement on the CV would preclude most youngsters.

This got me thinking about why people see entrepreneurs as young. Sure Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he founded Facebook but LinkedIn was founded by Reid Hoffman at 36.

Henry Ford started the Ford Motor Company at 40,Gordon Bowker was 51 when he started Starbucks, Ferdinand Porsche was 56 when he started Porsche, Charles Flint launched IBM at 61 and Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65.

Neither is it about your degree or the quality of your university. Joseph Conrad the English writer could not even speak the language until he was 20, Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was 27, Harrison Ford was a carpenter until he was 30 and Fauja Singh, the marathon runner, didn’t know how long a marathon was until he was 89!

So no it isn’t too late to start and entrepreneurship isn’t just for the young who can text at 30 words a minute or more. It is for anyone that can see a gap, can identify a solution and has the courage to carry it through.

So before anyone else asks, no I am not retired or retiring. My third book is soon to get underway, my blogs will keep on coming, my latest proposal will be finished by the end of the week, next month I will be back radio broadcasting and then I have a two year full time project to lead.

And then, who knows? It most certainly will not involve a shed at the bottom of the garden or a bench in the park.

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