Don't let the old man in

Two days before his 88th birthday, Clint Eastwood played a round of golf with his friend Toby Keith. Eastwood was scheduled to start shooting his 71st film that week. When Keith asked him how he has the stamina to continue working in his late 80’s, Eastwood simply said “I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in.”

Eastwood’s attitude is not limited to the entertainment industry. Age is not a barrier in business either. For instance, Bernie Marcus co-founded Home Depot when he was 50. David Duffield was 65 when his tech company Workday was launched. And, when he launched the company that would later become IBM, Charles Ranlett Flint was 61.

Indeed, age is far from an impediment in entrepreneurship. In fact, many studies indicate that age and experience is a predictor of success when it comes to starting your own company. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average age of a successful entrepreneur is 47. In one study for the NBER, researchers analysed the data of all business founders across all industries in the US and found that entrepreneurs between the ages of 40 and 60 perform significantly better than entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s.

The media is obsessed with the image of the young entrepreneur, but even still, many innovators who started young found their greatest success later in life. Take Steve Jobs. Jobs was just 21 when he founded Apple, but he was 52 when the company launched the iPhone, the company’s most profitable product.

In business, age is not a limitation. As the statistics demonstrate, older entrepreneurs can be just as successful as younger entrepreneurs. A rebel entrepreneur will not let the old man in.

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