This Is the Best Age to Start Your Own Business
The question of when to start a business is quite a controversial topic with two distinct sides. On the one hand, there are those who believe that age and experience are highly beneficial to the success of a company and, therefore, starting a business later in life is the smarter option. Others believe that naiveté, inexperience, and pure passion are the key to a successful company and, therefore, you should start as soon as possible. One recent Quora thread asked the question: "What do people in Silicon Valley plan to do once they are over 35?" implying that if you're not successful by 35, your career is over. Despite all of the talk about college dropouts turned unicorn founders overnight, and the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, age is still a significant factor of success.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor United States Report, entrepreneurs who start companies in their late 30s have the greatest odds for success. The survey identifies that the best time to become an entrepreneur is between ages 35-44. Of the 5698 working-age adults interviewed in the survey, a majority cited "a sweet spot for confidence" as one of the greatest reasons for starting a business at that time.
However, there is no one-fits-all doctrine for the right age to start a business. If you have a phenomenal idea, a great network, and the financial resources to start a business, age shouldn't matter at all. You'll never know if it will work if you don't try it. Scroll through to read about a few of our favorite entrepreneurs who launched their businesses at different ages.
Her name is synonymous with lifestyle and home décor, and many credit her as the founder of the entire (tremendously successful) lifestyle industry, but Martha Stewart didn’t dabble in domesticity until she was 35. Believe it or not, Stewart worked as a stockbroker at Monness Crespi Hardt. It wasn't until 1990, at age 49, that Martha Stewart started her magazine Martha Stewart Living and her TV show and empire followed. New York Magazine named her "the definitive American woman of our time" in 1995.
Serial entrepreneur Sukhinder Singh Cassidy founded Joyous, an online video entertainment platform, at age 41, 10 years after starting her first business, Yodlee, a financial services company. While her expertise has only expanded since she started her career in tech, Cassidy still wonders why women don't start companies at the same rate as men. Her project ChoosePossibility Project focuses on creating a database of qualified female board candidates to help companies even out the sexes in the boardroom. We couldn't be more inspired by this savvy business woman.
Vera Wang didn't start her eponymous wedding company until age 40. After working as a fashion editor at Vogue for several years, Wang decided to make the switch to fashion designer and her success grew exponentially after that.
Natalie Massenet founded luxury e-retailer Net-a-Porter at age 35. She grew the game-changing business into an over $500 million dollar company. In September of 2015, Massenet stepped down from her role at Net-a-Porter to pursue her next entrepreneurial endeavor. "My entrepreneurial drive is as strong today as it always has been, and my passion for innovation will continue to be my greatest guide in business,” Massenet told The Business of Fashion. We love Massenet's fearless commitment to entrepreneurship.
Emily Weiss, the woman The New York Times refers to as "the beauty guru for Millennials," started her blog Into The Gloss in 2010 at age 24 while she was still a fashion assistant at Vogue. Three years later she raised a $2 million seed round to launch her beauty line Glossier. Weiss has now raised over $10 million and her company is just beginning.
Yael Aflalo, 37, founded cult favorite fashion brand Reformation in 2009. The sustainable fashion leader became disillusioned with the wasteful ways of the fashion industry during the 10 years she ran her first clothing line Ya-Ya. At 30, Aflalo wanted to change courses and create "killer clothes that don't kill the environment." We love her vision and drive.
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