Friday, March 29, 2019

Their Approach to Career Changes? Find a Niche, and Fill It - NY Times

While not specific to older entrepreneurs, there is plenty to learn from here and clearly some great examples for all of us to learn from...

"I decided I was worth the investment,” Ms. Greenwood said."

Their Approach to Career Changes? Find a Niche, and Fill It






Saturday, January 5, 2019

The New 50s: Far From Retirement - working as a "modern elder"

The economy is volatile.  Markets are crazy. You're looking for stability.  

Launching a new enterprise in this environment - especially for those of us in the second half of life - seems like a risk.  My point continues to be that it is riskier to trust others to look out for you than it is for you to look out for yourself.  

Bringing the knowledge and networks you've built throughout your career to a new business opportunity is something that you can manage on your terms, launch at your own speed and begin to build out a life that you have more control over. 

Here is a recent New York Times piece on working in the second half of life.  

I love the idea of working as a "modern elder", coined by Chip Conley.  I also especially love the idea of being inspired by and learning from much younger colleagues.  I've got Mr. Conley's book on order.  Can't wait to learn more.

The article describes approaches and strategies for people in the second half of life moving into new roles in a changing economy.  One great quote from Kimberly Strong who at 52 started her career pivot by searching out new ways to give back.  In the article she describes her effort to mentor young female founders this way:  “Basically, I’m the auntie to the start-ups,” she said, and the beneficiary of “reverse mentoring.”

The closing paragraph describes the opportunity quite nicely:  "At a time when we can Google the answer to just about anything, it’s important to remember that some things come only through lived experience. And there’s a certain magic when older and younger learn from, and with, each other."

This is the role we can play as ageless entrepreneurs.  This is the contribution we can continue to make.  This is how we can continue to learn and grow.


The New 50s: Far From Retirement  -  NYT

"At 52, Chip Conley took on a new job at Airbnb, toggling between being a mentor and an intern in a role that he described as 'modern elder.'

For the next four years, Mr. Conley worked at Airbnb, toggling between being a mentor and intern in a sometimes baffling new role - a "modern elder", as he put it.  As a veteran hospitality executive, he was used to being the "sage on the stage."  But as a newbie in the tech sector, he was ofter the oldest person in the room, learning from colleagues who were young enough to be his children.

It used to be, 50 was a time to begin thinking about retirement. But today, many people in their 50s — myself included — plan to work two or even three more decades. To become modern elders, we have to find new ways to stay relevant and keep our minds open, skills fresh and humility intact."

New York Times Article link


Friday, December 28, 2018

Something to Think About for the Coming New Year: You're Not Too Old to Be an Entrepreneur


The myth that entrepreneurship is only for the young is upside down.

The majority of startups are launched by people over 45.  We have the knowledge, the networks, and the wisdom to put our skills to work on our own terms.

Do you need a New Year's resolution to help make your life more independent and resilient?  You can take early, thoughtful steps in 2019 to make this transition for yourself.

Don't just wish for a happy new year.  Put yourself on a entrepreneurship path to make it a productive new year.

Here's a bit of inspiration just published in Entrepreneur Magazine.  I especially like the idea of older entrepreneurs choosing younger mentors.  I'm doing this with my newest launch and it's paying off wonderfully - in many great directions.

Something to Think About for the Coming New Year: You're Not Too Old to Be an Entrepreneur

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and IRS, researchers from MIT and Northwestern University found that 2.7 million entrepreneurs started businesses between 2007 and 2014.  And their average age?  42.  If that’s not surprising enough, the researchers also learned that the entrepreneurs with the highest-growth businesses were even older: 45 on average.

Connect with Younger Mentors and Mentees
Mentors don’t have to be graying old folks who start every story with “Back when I was your age …”
There are plenty of young people, too, who have a lot to offer, including valuable social connections with up-and-coming members of the workforce. After all, networking has likely contributed to your career success thus far. So, keep networking with members of the new generations entering the workforce, and they’ll be a huge help when it comes time to hire top talent. In addition, having a younger mentor or mentee could inspire you to keep an innovative mindset.

Networking that works...
If the word “networking” makes you cringe, relax. You don’t have to attend stuffy functions and scatter business cards to strengthen your network. Instead, help out the people around you as best you can. If you have experience hiring, and a fellow entrepreneur is looking for his or her first employee, offer to take that entrepreneur to lunch and explain the hiring mistakes you’ve made in the past.

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Ageless Entrepreneurs have the skills, knowledge, and networks to set sail on their own carefully planned venture.  Make 2019 the year you launch your own vision of that journey.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Are you waiting for the perfect time to start? The Rise Of The 'Accidental' Entrepreneur - Forbes

Friends in the second half of life.  Are you waiting for the perfect time to start something new?  

Holding your breath is not a strategy.

Put a toe in the water.  Learn something new.  Take a small chance. 

A new piece from Forbes puts this in context.

The Rise Of The 'Accidental' Entrepreneur - Forbes

"A third of business owners never planned on starting their own company. And in spite of the challenges they faced, from raising finance and finding customers to managing with little personal income, only 1% regret their decision, while 12% wish they’d started their business sooner. Ninety per cent say they are happier than when they were employed."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Silicon Valley's ideal entrepreneur is about 20 years too young, research shows

There is a powerful new study about entrepreneurship with great implications for the economy and those of us in the second half of life.

"A new study found the average founder of the fastest growing tech startups was about 45-years-old — and 50-year-old entrepreneurs were about twice as likely to have a runaway business success as their 30-year-old counterparts."


"The new study by Jones, Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau and MIT's Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim, looked at an expansive dataset and found the most successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged.


"Take David Duffield, who founded Workday in 2005 at the ripe age of 65.  Workday went public in 2012 and today has a $26.47 billion market cap.  Whereas younger founders may benefit from their creative thinking and lesser degree of entrenchment in an industry, the exact opposite qualities work to the benefit of their older counterparts."


"Older entrepreneurs have had years to build their business, leadership, and problem-solving skills, as well as to accumulate the social and financial capital needed to get a startup off the ground. Jones also points out that even companies like Apple and Microsoft that were founded by exceptional young entrepreneurs didn't achieve their most rapid market capitalization growth until later, when their founders were older. The iPhone entered the market when Steve Jobs was in his 50s"


There are almost endless opportunities for older entrepreneurs to meet business and community challenges with innovative entrepreneurial solutions.  Take hold of this option.  Give yourself permission to explore, then plan, then take action.  The world needs you, and the challenge will make you stronger.



Link to the CNBC article quoted above