Did you know that when Charles Flint founded IBM, he was 61 years old? Well, just like him, there are many more people across the world, who are at times called the late bloomers. This basically refers to the seniors who took an entrepreneurship trip after the 50s or 60s. Typically, people are expected to live a quiet, retired life at this age and not expected to take too much stress or troubles. After all, they would have done their bit already, is the view. But then, for many, age is just a number and they do not want to take it lying down in any way.
It could be that due to family compulsions, you started off in a career that was not your passion. It could be that you got your, inspirational “Wow” moment late. Or it could be that you managed to be relatively successful with what you did and can now afford to spend some time and money on what your passion is. Whatever the reason, it is one of the best time in India for startups. You must surely have read about the Walmart takeover of Flipkart, creating billionaires out of the deal. These are inspirations for many others to take up entrepreneurship options, even if it is after retirement.
To be an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean that you have to invest a lot yourself, or find investors, or take a loan. There are many people who have started off small and then try to convert their passion and craft into a successful business. In today’s age of the Internet and Digital Marketing, just one Facebook or Instagram page is a good enough marketing tool to advertise your business.
One of the other reasons why one could consider a startup as a senior citizen is the fact that you are at an age when you can afford to take the risks. When quite young, the fear of failure may hang like a sword, especially when you have the responsibility of a family on your head. So, it is natural to play safe at that age and think that it is better to be financially sound first.
Generally, by this age, one would have acquired a lot of experience and wisdom, and this comes really handy in a startup. A lot of mistakes can be avoided by applying this wisdom. Also, the government is very keen on encouraging startups and there are lots of schemes and subsidies like low-interest loans, tax subsidies, incubation and mentoring workshops, etc. that can benefit you and make it easier.
The risks and the rewards
Well, all is not rosy always with startups and there are many that wind up as well. One has to know the risks and be prepared to face it and the failure too, if necessary. The success factor lies in the uniqueness of your idea, product or service and the demand for it in the market. As long as there is a need, your idea will surely find a way into the hearts and homes of the people. Success may not be instant, and one may have to be persistent to pursue it.
The rewards of a successful startup though can be very sweet. Apart from the fact that you feel good about having created something good, useful for the society, and the happiness of being successful, there is always the satisfaction that perhaps you have also generated a few jobs. Also, you may well turn out to be an inspiration for others, both young and old to tread the startup path.
It is therefore not uncommon to find many grandma and grandpa entrepreneurs running businesses across the country. Many choose to run it out of their homes too, like a catering, consulting, designing, arts and craft-based gift items, pre-schools, tuition centres, etc. And there are many who have found even software companies, export houses and big business empires. Think about your choices and see if you are cut out for it, for it is certainly not an easy road, but the fruits can be exquisitely sweet.
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