I was in my 40’s when I started my company, so I am somewhat of an expert on this topic. I can tell you what weren’t the hardest things for me:
A. It wasn’t experience.
When you’re in your 40’s you have plenty of experience. And you’re in great shape if you’ve been in the same industry for most of your working career because you can put your experience to work.
Hopefully all that experience has made you pretty wise. You don’t make the stupid mistakes that you made in your 20’s. And…
B. It wasn’t investors not wanting to invest because I was too old.
Contrary to popular opinion, investors value experience. I can’t ever remember a VC partner (when I was an EIR) ever saying they were not going to invest because a CEO was too old.
And the numbers prove this. The average age of a startup CEO according to a Harvard study is 39. And…
C. It wasn’t having enough drive or energy.
Come on, you’re not ancient. You’re in your 40’s, so you should have plenty of drive and energy.
Plus you are usually much more efficient as you get older. You learn how to manage your time better.
D. It wasn’t expenses.
You’ve hopefully saved up a reasonable amount of money, and you’ve done a good job of managing your expenses. You’ll be able to manage finically no matter what happens.
So what is the hardest thing about starting a company in your 40’s?
What do you do if you fail?
Yes, you can certainly start another company. That’s one way to go.
But it’s more difficult to go back into a corporate environment after you’ve been the CEO of a startup. Many companies will, rightfully, wonder about your long-term commitment to the company.
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