Don’t Let Age Hold You Back from Starting Your Own Business

Imagine that you’ve worked for the same company for the past 40 years. You’ve devoted so much of your life to the company’s success. Then, on what seems like a normal day, you arrive at work, only to find out you’re being laid off.

Paul Tasner, the co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks, Inc., designs and manufactures biodegradable packaging for consumer goods. He used the knowledge he gained from 40 years of working in supply chain management to start his own company at age 66 after being laid off.

You read that right. 66. Age is just a number, after all. He is proof that it is never too late for a new beginning.

According to US Census Bureau, the number of Americans ages 65 and older are projected to reach 84 million people by 2050. Tasner, knowing that he wasn’t the type to sit around playing golf or checkers, decided to also start 70 Over 70, an organization that motivates the inner entrepreneur for those over 70.

Aren’t the accomplishments of a 70-year-old entrepreneur every bit as interesting and newsworthy as those of a 30-year-old entrepreneur? (source)

Elizabeth Isele, founder of the non-profit SeniorEntrepreneurshipWorks, says in a Forbes interview,

A new change is happening amongst the lending institutions- commercial banks, private banks, and public credit unions are beginning to identify this as a new opportunity. They’re starting to see senior entrepreneurs as a market niche and beginning to evaluate and assess a person coming to get that loan-the human capital the person brings to the bank specifically, not only their financial credibility. These entrepreneurs are bringing their lifetime work experience skills to the table, whereas a very young entrepreneur doesn’t have that treasure chest of 30-to-40 years of experience.


The collective summary of their learnings is: the average entrepreneur is 40 when they launch their startup. People over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth startup. The average age of a successful startup with over $1 million in revenues was 39. Age was less of a driver to entrepreneurial success than previous startup and industry experience.

In case you needed any more inspiration to build that business, check out this Late Bloomers slide show featuring 10 successful entrepreneurs that didn’t let age stop them. Also, These 50+ Old Entrepreneurs Will Make You Rethink Your Retirement Plan.

And, be sure to check out Tasner’s TED Talk:


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