Why I started a business when I was 60

Not only are entrepreneurial opportunities fully available to (ahem) older folks, but experience and wisdom can be secret weapons in business.

To add a line in the . to paraphrase John Mayer song, “Who Says”“it’s been a long time since 34 – what some claim to be the” average age of successful startup founders. For me, that awkward age was marked by weekends on the sidelines of football games, nights trying to catch up on endless email, and workdays making one mistake after another. When I was 34, half the time I barely knew what I was doing.

But now, at 60, yes.

As part of my work as a tech entrepreneur running a security company called TAG Cyber, it has become clear that a long career is a strong asset. This is especially true for startups like ours that sell to large corporate clients often run by the over-sixties.

So when we launch our cyber research and advisory services designed to disrupt the research giant, Gartner– we have learned that our gray hair often opens doors. Let me make the case.

Experience. When dealing with customers, especially in large enterprises, it’s really helpful to have been there and done that. For example, people my age intuitively know how to contact for a meeting because we were the target of such contacts for years. And people my age know how to write a good email – one that doesn’t look like it was copied from a template. We know this because we have deleted millions of horrible emails over the years.

Disruption. By the law of the averages, if you have four decades of work experience, you know what it was like to be disrupted both personally and professionally. And this is never a pleasant experience. So maybe it’s revenge, but people my age who choose to be a disruptor can expect a plate of delicious, unadulterated satisfaction. Going from the hunted to the hunter is as good as possible.

stature. The development of stature is possible only with long periods of achievement. And this takes time. Founders without stature will always struggle to connect with high-profile clients. That’s just the math of it. If founders in their twenties ask how to meet the head of a large bank or the senior partner of a large company, they may need to ask their grandparents for help.

Goal. Most young people become entrepreneurs because they want to get rich. This is not the goal for people in their sixties. Instead, older founders become entrepreneurs because they want a purpose. And we all know that the best goal is to serve others. Take a moment and think about that. Serving others is what successful business is all about – and sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure it out.

And now a word to those of you who are moaning under your breath that old idiot can’t start businesses that appeal to younger people. acknowledge that Reed Hastings Netflix is ​​still running, an obsession among viewers of every age group. He is 61 years old. Late S. Truett Cathy Chick-Fil-A, an eating obsession for Gen-Z eaters, took to great heights during his 70s and 80s.

And Apple, the backbone of so many young people’s computing lifestyles, is run by a Director who is (yes, you guessed it) 61 years old.

tThere are certainly differences between doing a startup and being a senior executive at an established company, but there are also many similarities. Both require discipline, vision and the ability to lead people. And above all, both (at least if the goal is to be successful) require an obsession with serving customers.

So enough with the conventional wisdom that startups are for young people. In fact, I think investors should stop asking founders about their value proposition or their unfair competitive advantage. Perhaps a better approach would be to ask for experience, judgment, and battle-tested expertise.

In such cases, it seems likely that the benefit will shift to older founders.

Edward Amoroso is founder and CEO at TAG Cyber, research professor at NYU and former senior VP and chief security officer at AT&T.

Shreya Christinahttps://businesstraverse.com
Shreya has been with businesstraverse.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesstraverse.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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