We all heard and saw those stories of recent college graduates starting a billion-dollar businesses out of their garages. That’s a sweet Hollywood-stereotyped fairytale, which sells well and makes even 30-year-olds feel that their time has gone. In fact, such stories don’t happen that often and many successful entrepreneurs started much later in life.
Vera Wang began to design her famous wedding dresses when she was 39. Ray Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s franchise. Fauja Singh, a marathon runner, ran his first marathon when he turned 90. And this list goes on and on.
It seems that building your dream life at the age of 50 requires lots of courage and determination. But if we look at the situation from a different angle, the fifties are a perfect time for self-development. Kids have grown up, you have a certain professional experience and financial background, and you still feel youthful and energetic. Why not cherish something for yourself?
We talked to several people over 50 who have started successful projects at an older age. They shared their experiences and useful tips, and shed light on what building your business later in life looks like.
We thank everybody who contributed to this article:
- Jacqueline Van Der Laan, 50 years, owner of Jacky’s Garden organic restaurant
- Olga Shatyko, 72, blogger, model 70+, TED speaker, “Health-saving lifestyle” project
- Tatiana Konnova, 68, founder of “Age of Dance” school
- Mariia Darskaia, 50, founder of DAR Media PR agency and film company DAR-film
- Elena Lashko, 60, fashion stylist, online/offline styling courses, “Beautiful age” project
- Lisa B. (name changed by the interviewee’s request), 58, owner of cheese & milk store
- Megan S. (name changed by the interviewee’s request), 50, private counselor