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I'm No Sally O'Malley But I Can Still Kick: Starting Your Business Later In Life

Some of you may not remember Saturday Night Live's skit featuring Molly Shannon as "Sally O'Malley," the feisty 50-year-old who set out to prove herself to anyone who would listen.

"I'm Sally O'Malley and I'm proud to say I'm 50-years-old. I'm not one of those other gals who's afraid to hide her age like some other gals. And I like to kick, stretch, and kick! I'm 50! 50-years-old!" was the famous line she never failed to quote. To the younger generation at that time-myself included-it was funny and entertaining. Now that I'm older, I can feel her frustration at trying hard at proving herself.

I may not be able to "kick, stretch, and kick" like Sally can, but I started my own digital marketing business later in life. In a world of changing trends and technology, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the younger generation who was raised on smartphones and tablets. They seem to know more about social media as soon as they enter the world.

However, having said this, there are several advantages to starting something new when you are older:

  1. Accumulated experience. Entrepreneurs who are starting later in life often bring experience from previous careers. It can provide valuable insights into the industry, management skills, and problem-solving skills.

  2. Established networks. Individuals tend to build extensive contacts within their networks and communities over the years. These connections can be important in accessing resources, finding collaborators, and gaining new clients or customers.

  3. Clearer goals and priorities: A greater sense of awareness of self often comes with age. There is clarity about personal and professional goals. This tends to lead to a greater understanding of what you want to achieve in your business.

  4. Stronger work ethic and discipline. Having years of work experience typically lends to a stronger work ethic, managing time more effectively, setting goals and priorities.

  5. Emotional intelligence. Older entrepreneurs are inclined to handle stress , uncertainty, and setbacks better while maintaining a level-head in decision-making. This helps in navigating the ups and downs of business.

Now that you know some of the benefits of starting a business when you are older, how do you maintain the skill level of your younger counterparts? Here are a few tips to help you keep up-to-date on the challenges you may face:

  1. Continuous learning. Dedicate time each week to stay updated on the latest trends, tools, and techniques in your industry.

  2. Attend conferences and workshops. Attending these events will provide opportunities to learn from experts, stay updated on developments in the industry, and network with others.

  3. Stay curious. Try new strategies and be open minded. Technology is always evolving so adapt to those changes.

  4. Use online learning platforms. Take advantage of platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning to access courses and keep updated on relevant topics and increase your knowledge of best business practices.

  5. Stay organized. Use calendars and project management software to prioritize your goals and work flow. This may seem like a small thing but it is actually a big help long-term.

Starting a business later in life can be a fulfilling way to pursue new passions and stay mentally sharp. It’s never too late to take the plunge into an entrepreneurial journey, and the blend of experience, wisdom, and determination that older entrepreneurs bring to the table can be a design for remarkable success.


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