Young Person’s Game

I recently heard someone refer to the start-up world as a young man’s (or woman’s) game. When I dug deeper, he shared that he believes you have to pursue this path young (in your twenties) if you want to be successful.

I don’t agree, for a few reasons. Anyone can be successful as a founder, regardless of age, if they’re willing to put in the work. How you achieve success will likely change with your age and maturity. For example, when you’re younger you can put working hard above most anything else. All-nighters, weekends—they’re doable. You can be selfish with your time. As you mature and have other priorities, you begin to work smart while working hard. The work ethic is still there, but how you deploy it is likely more strategic and incorporates other priorities.

History is full of examples of people having entrepreneurial success in their forties, fifties, and even sixties. Ray Kroc (McDonald’s in his fifties) and Harland Sanders (KFC in his sixties) are two great ones.

If you can solve a problem in a way that creates value, you can be an entrepreneur—no matter how old you are.